Book notes: Grit

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·Aug 13, 2021·

3 min read

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

By Angela Duckworth

Part 1: What Grit Is and Why It Matters

Grit is a combination of passion and perseverance. Talent is not main predictor of success, grit is.

  • Various studies have shown that talent and intelligence alone don’t predict success.

Too much focus on talent can take away attention from other factors like effort. Talent x Effort = Skill Skill x Effort = Achievement Effort counts twice. Effort builds skill and makes skill productive. What a person achieves depends on just two things: talent and effort.

Grit grows with age - we get grittier as we get older because we mature: grit is not fixed. Studies show that there tends to be a hidden bias/preference towards natural talent over effort.

Part 2: Growing Grit from the Inside Out

There are four psychological assets of grit:

Interest Grit has to do with both the quantity of time and the quality of time you invest in an interest.

  • Studies show that people perform better if what they do interests them. Passion is something that can be developed over a long period of time, so what is more useful than follow your passion is to understand how the passion is cultivated in the first place.


  • Experts spend time on deliberate practice - with a clearly defined goal
  • Gritty people do more deliberate practice and experience more flow. While deliberate practice is exceptionally effortful, flow is effortless. four basic requirements of deliberate practice:
  • Clearly defined stretch goal
  • Full concentration and effort
  • Immediate and informative feedback
  • Repetition with reflection and refinement

  • Kaizen (which was the topic of One Small Step Can Change Your Life)

Purpose Gritty people have a strong sense of purpose, a conviction that their work matters. It is the intention to contribute to the well-being of others.


  • Grit depends on hope that rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future. The hope that gritty people possess has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with getting up again.
  • A growth mindset involves a belief that people can change (Also from a previous book(!), Mindset). Having grit also involves having a growth mindset.
    • Growth Mindset > Optimistic Self-Talk > Perseverance Over Adversity

Part 3: Growing Grit from the Outside In

Extracurricular activities can enhance grit. Kids who are more involved in extracurriculars - especially for more than a year - perform better in almost all areas including better grades and higher self-esteem.

A culture is defined by the shared norms and values of a group of people. Cultures have the power to shape our identities in the long run. Culture building is a matter of continuous experimentation.

If you're a leader and want to cultivate grit, create a culture of grit.

####Conclusion We can reach our potential and accomplish our goals with grit - our passion and perseverance for long-term goals. There are two ways to grow grit:

  1. "from the inside out" --> Cultivate your interests, practice and build your skills, connect the work to a bigger purpose, and learn to hope when things seem to fail.
  2. "from the outside in" --> develop your grit with the influence of other people around you.
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