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Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  103,887 ratings  ·  7,612 reviews
In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, students, and business people both seasoned and new that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called grit.

Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, Angel
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Collins
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Stetson Jesse Singal's new book The Quick Fix has a chapter that discusses the lack of empirical support/statistical confounding of Duckworth's claims about G…moreJesse Singal's new book The Quick Fix has a chapter that discusses the lack of empirical support/statistical confounding of Duckworth's claims about Grit. There are two major issues. First, she's basically reinvented a measure for trait conscientiousness, which pre-existed her work and for which variance in is significantly explained by genetic variation. Second, IQ is still a better standalone predictor for life outcomes than other non-cognitive psychological traits like grit or conscientiousness. This isn't to say all of Duckworth's work and claims are bogus or uninteresting or not compelling for other reasons, but she is overselling them.(less)
Cora As Marissa said in the other answer, this book does have a section on that and it is in a few other places. However, that really isn't the main focus …moreAs Marissa said in the other answer, this book does have a section on that and it is in a few other places. However, that really isn't the main focus of this book. I'd say if you are mainly looking for a "how-to" type book with practical examples and ideas to put into place in your life then I wouldn't recommend this book. If you want to learn more about Grit and examples and studies that were done and statistics on Grit - then I'd recommend this book. (less)
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May 29, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Dr. Duckworth and her research since long before she became famous, so it's hard to overstate my disappointment with this title. The fundamental problem with the book is that instead of writing a popularization aimed at the intellectual/policy market, she decided to cash out with a different type of book aimed at the (larger) self-help/business market. The problem with this approach is that the self-help market doesn't want to learn about limits: they want the secret to succes ...more
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
It was hard to pay attention to or stick with because most of the chapters seemed the same.

But perhaps I haven't learned enough grittiness yet.
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I remember when I started writing my PhD thesis. I had this vague idea of being a fraud, as I knew I wasn't a genius, and I believed that to achieve academic excellence, you needed to be one.

There were many other students who seemed endlessly more talented than I was, who were creative and came up with brilliant suggestions. To top it all off, they had all the time in the world whereas I juggled being a mum of babies and toddlers and doing the research at the same time.

And yet, I finished my t
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
Ultimately, there's not much new in this latest entry in the personal improvement genre. I had high hopes for this book, initially believing that it would have new (to me) insights along the lines of what I found in Carol Dweck's book "Mindset" and Charles Duhigg's "The Power of Habit." Sadly, this book falls quite flat with entirely too much repetition of a singular topic.

If you want a tl;dr version of the book, it comes down to this: don't give up. When you are going through hell, keep going.
This book may be the first to employ the humblebrag as a rhetorical device. Roughly: "My dad always told me I was no genius. Then I won a MacArthur Fellowship 'Genius Grant' on my research showing that hard work is more crucial to success than genius." It's a little boastful, as are the author's numerous references to her Ivy League education and her work with McKinsey & Company (the Petyr Baelish of consulting firms who apparently only hire based on intellect) and, most of all, her namedropping ...more
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Trivial and littered with shameless self-promotion and self-adulation. Duckworth isn't so much a grit paragon as she is a paragon of privilege. There are painful moments where she pays lip-service to socioeconomic and racial diversity issues that clearly interfere with her measurements of 'grit', as she narrowly defines it. People may find her book and research inspiring because it draws you away from fixating on talent as the key determinant of success. However, both her analysis of success and ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointed to read this in the acknowledgments:

"First and foremost, I want to thank my collaborators. I wrote this book in the first-person singular, using "I" when, in fact, pretty much everything I've done as a researcher or writer was accomplished by a plurality. The "we" who deserve credit -- in particular coauthors on published research -- are named individually in Notes. On their behalf, I extend a heartfelt thanks to our research teams who, collectively, made this research possible."

Emma Sea
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
ironically, i wish i hadnt persevered to finish this.
Saying, "I really wanted to like this book" would be an understatement. I started it expecting a 5-star read. I agreed with the premise and was eager to learn more. However, this book fell short for me. The first half read too much like a self-help book. "Be gritty! You'll be successful!" The second half had more of the academic analysis I craved but it still lacked the depth I was looking for. This might be a good intro for the importance of work ethic, follow through, and an internal locus of ...more
What a fascinating book! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this research on how important effort and perseverance is in being successful. Duckworth calls this grit, and has tests for measuring how gritty a person is in his or her projects. Her findings are that "natural talent" is helpful, of course, but effort matters more.

I've heard about grit research in relation to education, and how grittier students tend to do better in school. But grit applies to more than just getting good grades or
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I'm quitting. I think I had 4 chapters left. I read this for a work book club.

The good: It's easy to read and has some great examples of grit.

The bad: The whole concept of the book can be summed up in literally one sentence: "Success is not dependent on talent, but on the combination of a effort and perseverance, dubbed by Duckworth as Grit." That idea or some variation is repeated ad nauseam over the course of 277 pages and I just really can't take anymore. This doesn't need a whole book dedic
Sanjay Gautam
Mar 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I do not, usually, leave a book in the middle and stop reading. However, I had to break this rule for this one.

This book is nothing but a typical self help filler, sometimes interspersed with some information, if any. Writing is on the level zero. I was getting annoyed whenever I was reading it because each chapter could have been written in one page. It was like you went to mine gold but you found for every 100k tons of dirt removed you hardly procured 1 gram of gold.

Not recommended.
Acordul Fin
“There’s a vast amount of research on what happens when we believe a student is especially talented. We begin to lavish extra attention on them and hold them to higher expectations. We expect them to excel, and that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
I'm not giving this such a high rating because I'm totally sold on the premise or her research. Her theory has been challenged by other studies with equally intriguing findings which suggest that grit is not a trait that ca
Honestly, I hoped for more.

I picked this book up thinking it would be inspiring; that it would motivate me to find my own grit and understand new ideas about how resilience plays a role in becoming a more successful person.

Then I read This Review and began to worry. I hoped I would interpret this book differently, find some kernel to hold onto that would make this a worthy read. Unfortunately, Andy has pretty much nailed it.

So much of this book seems obvious, and so many times it felt like the a
H.A. Leuschel
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an inspiring and very well written book! Human beings love magic, the idea of a gift, natural talent and to be swept off their feet by a stunning piece of music or witnessing a person doing something no one has ever managed to do before. We like to believe that there is an innate natural gift that allows some people to stand out of the crowd. Yet, the author of this book suggests that she 'is yet to meet a Nobel laureate or Olympic champion who says that what they achieved came in any other ...more
Chadi Raheb
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I know! I know! I know! I got that! Talent is not everything! Yeah we got that! Gosh!
Why would she repeat each point like million times through millions of pages?!

Briefly: Don't just rely on your talent if you consider yourself smart! Because there's somebody out there who is less talented than you, but working his ass off, and while you're busy procrastinating, thinking there's still time, that person would surpass. So make that damn plan & get it done!

P.S. These authors have to learn how to wr
Sasha Nelson
Jul 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2019
I have so many issues with this book I hardly know where to begin, but I will do my best to summarize my main concerns, and limit myself to 5. The first being, it took a lot of grit for me to get through this. I am glad to hear that much of the research in Duckworth's work is now being questioned.

I became interested in Duckworth because she is often quoted on Freakonomics and other podcasts I enjoy, and I frequently found her comments to be insightful. After reading this book, I am fairly convi
Ana Marlatt
May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For the many critics of Duckworth and her theory of Grit, I say: read this book. You will not find anywhere here that Grit is about "sucking it up and getting it done". Angela Duckworth writes: "This book has been my way of taking you out for a coffee and telling you what I know." To me, this coffee date pacified off and will be repeated a few times. This book is filled with the science of Grit (Duckworth is a scientist after all), as well as countless stories about Grit. The stories stick. I wi ...more
Rosie Nguyễn
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read after the Growth Mindset.
Some takeaways:
- Why effort is important (effort can make a change to the brain structure, as the brain is remarkable adaptive).
- Why deliberate practice is a crucial part to experience the "flow" condition.
- Why we have to learn how to fail and look back to our mistakes and ask: "what did I learn, how can I make it better the next time, how to make the right kind of effort".
- IQ is not fixed, so are other qualities.
- The circle of struggle, followe
"As much as talent counts, effort counts twice."

Professor and MacArthur Award winner Angela Duckworth has entered the "talent vs. effort" discussion with years of research showing that dedicated effort -- what she calls "grit"-- is far more important to success than any innate talent. While some agree (see books such as Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else, and Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why, among others) critics have both questione
Daniel Clausen
There is a lot to like about this book. There are lots of great examples in this book. If you are a psychologist, then you will find lots of great research. If you are a coach, parent, or teacher there is a lot of great, useable material.

However, I was looking for something more from this book. And I didn't find it. I also realized that there was a more soulful and philosophical approach woven through several other books.

I guess, I was hoping for great stories. Rocky-esque type, against the od
Rebecca Renner
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this so much more than I thought I would! It's a must-read for teachers and writers. Actually, I would recommend it to anyone who is working toward a big goal, especially if they've experienced some setbacks. ...more
May 10, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars for Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (audiobook) by Angela Duckworth read by the author.

This was a interesting look into passion and perseverance. It’s was fascinating to listening to the author try and quantify what grit is and she actually has a test to determine how much you have.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
I am interested generally in the idea of “grit.” It’s hard sometimes to not be discouraged, to have resilience and to get up and keep going after setbacks, and I’m interested in how to develop that trait.

To that end, this book skims over some relevant ideas. Apparently everything might come down to your overall worldview, or, as I read it, your humanism and compassion. The author talks about a “fixed mindset” vs. a “growth mindset”: whether you believe that people are born a certain way and have
Dec 13, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tiger mom 2.0. Just watch the TED talk. There's not much in here. ...more
Kristin Butler
I guess if you really have something to prove you might be interested in reading this book. I found it a snoozer and I felt a little sorry for the author who appears to be obsessed with the topic of achievement. Perhaps I'm too much of a slacker to appreciate the power of " grit", but I think my real issue is tethering grit to " success", because I'm not sure I agree with the author's definition of success. I had the same problem with Gladwell's Outliers as all his case studies were cherry picke ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating exploration of Grit. There’s even a Grit questionnaire to assess how gritty you are. I’m moderately gritty BTW - happily mediocre. I’m aware I could be grittier and resolve to do so, but then I’ve already moved on to the next book.

I like the idea though. It seems like a hearty admonishment of work and stick-to-it-ness that appeals to my Asian upbringing - Duckworth herself is raised by Chinese immigrants. It’s resonated far more than the conversing with your creativity ala Elizabe
Shahzad Suleman
Angela Duckworth compels attention with her idea that regular individuals who exercise self-control and perseverance can reach as high as those who are naturally talented — that your mindset is as important as your mind.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
“...there are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time―longer than most people've got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people....Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you're willing to stay loyal to's doing what you love, but not just falling in love―staying in love.”

When it come to grit i'm only slightly above average as reported back to me
Aug 19, 2022 rated it really liked it
This was a leftover from my working days. I go back and forth between not wasting the money that I spent on a book (although I am not certain I paid anything for this) and not spending the time to read something that I am not going to enjoy. I caved and read it. And enjoyed it. And although it would have been of even more value when I was working or when my kids were younger, I still feel I benefited.

Angela Duckworth’s argument is straightforward. Our achievements, our successes, are a combinat
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Angela Duckworth, PhD, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. An expert in non-I.Q. competencies, she has advised the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Prior to her career in research, she taught children math and science and was the founder of a summer school for low-income children that won the Better Government Award from the ...more

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