Book Review - Review of Grit

The Founder of Inspire Leadership & focuses on unlocking people’s potential by providing them with programs; mentorship and coaching into high performance

The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth Grit:

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance was published in 2016. In this book, Angela Duckworth analyses how grit is a key ingredient to success in life. Grit is about having passion and perseverance for long-term goals. According to her, talent is not a driver of success, but grit is a guarantee for success. This finding is based on real-life studies of different groups of people, for example; in the military, in sports, and the classroom. She has a very clear perspective that Grit is about holding the same long-term goal for a very long time and to do this call for four psychological assets. 

The assets include having interest; making deliberate practice; having a purpose and always hoping for the best outcome. Gritty people spend long days and evenings of toil as well as the fact that they face setbacks and disappointments whilst making many sacrifices which ultimately payback in the form of achievements of the long-term goal(s).

Angela does not dismiss talent, she affirms that talent exists; although "a focus on talent distracts us from something that is at least as important, and that is effort". In addition to passion and perseverance, she confirms that other character strengths that will help us achieve our goals in life include: humility, social intelligence, and kindness.

According to Angela, grit triumphs talent. This is well illustrated by two equations: Talent × Effort = Skill. Skill × Effort = Achievement. In other words, talent and skills are important but effort is even more important and counts twice. How much effort (deliberate hours) are you putting onto your passions and goals?

One of my biggest takeaways from the book is the realization that working hard is not enough to lead me to success. You and I need to have goals and a strategy that is ambitious enough. Purposeful practice is key and my 10,000-hour rule has been bashed if I am doing it to clock hours (always believed that you require 10,000 hours on a passion to get to masterly). It should be 10,000 with daily improvement and optimization and the practice should get incrementally more difficult to get to masterly.

For those of us who fear failure, Duckworth has million-dollar advice for us, people who succeed- fail all the time, failure is what makes them successful since it is a way of providing an opportunity to optimize their ways which leads to success as well as discovering self. 

How would we grow grit in ourselves; Angela suggests that we will need to cultivate our interests and ensure we know what we want in life. Once this is in place, we will need to create and develop daily habits that will help us to get towards our goals. Connecting our work with a purpose beyond ourselves gives it a meaning and hence the toiling will lead to happiness and not being seen as a struggle. Angela suggests that we should learn to hope when all seems lost and that we should surround ourselves with coaches, mentors, friends, teachers, and bosses who help to grow our grit.

I highly recommend Grit for those of us having some crazy, wild dreams and goals- what I call, the big hairy auditions goals (BHAGs). This book will definitely help you to get there as it has the tools and insights useful to chasing those BHAGs

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