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Book Summary: Grit by Angela Duckworth

Part I: What Grit Is And Why It Matters

Chapter 1 : Showing Up

In sum, no matter the domain, the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways.

First, these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking.

Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted.

They not only had determination, they had direction.

It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special.

In a word, they had grit.

Chapter 2: Distracted By Talent

The biggest reason a preoccupation with talent can be harmful is simple

By shining our spotlight on talent, we risk leaving everything else in the shadows.

Talent is great, but tests of talent stink.

The focus on talent distracts us from something that is at least as important, and that is effort.

Chapter 3: Effort Counts Twice

Talent is how quickly your skills improve when you invest effort.

Achievement is what happens when you take your acquired skills and use them.

But effort factors into the calculations twice, not once. Effort builds skill.

At the very same time, effort makes skill productive

With effort, talent becomes skill and, at the very same time, effort makes skill productive.

Finish what you start Book Summary

Chapter 4: How Gritty Are You?

Grit has two components: passion and perseverance.

“high but not the highest intelligence, combined with the greatest degree of persistence, will achieve greater eminence than ….

The highest degree of intelligence with somewhat less persistence.”

Chapter 5: Grit Grows

Traits like honesty and generosity and, yes, grit, are genetically influenced and, in addition, influenced by experience

You can learn to discover, develop, and deepen your interests. You can acquire the habit of discipline.

You can cultivate a sense of purpose and meaning. And you can teach yourself to hope.

Part Ii: Growing Grit From The Inside Out

Chapter 6: Interest

Research shows that people are enormously more satisfied with their jobs when they do something that fits their personal interests

If you’d like to follow your passion but haven’t yet fostered one, you must begin at the beginning: discovery.

Ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • What do I like to think about?
  • Where does my mind wander?
  • What do I really care about?
  • What matters most to me?
  • How do I enjoy spending my time?

Interests must be triggered again and again and again.

The development of interests takes time. Keep asking questions

Chapter 7: Practice

Grittier kids at the National Spelling Bee practiced more than their less gritty competitors.

Grittier kids reported working harder than other kids when doing deliberate practice but, at the same time, said they enjoyed it more than other kids

“learn to love the burn”

Chapter 8: Purpose

Leaders and employees who keep both personal and prosocial interests in mind do better in the long run than those who are 100 percent selfishly motivated.


Many of those who were driven to help others worked fewer overtime hours

Chapter 9: Hope

One kind of hope is the expectation that tomorrow will be better than today

Grit depends on a different kind of hope. It rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future.

Students with a growth mindset are significantly grittier than students with a fixed mindset.

“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,”

Asking for help was a good way to hold on to hope.

Part Iii: Growing Grit From The Outside In

Chapter 10: Parenting For Grit

Perseverance and especially passion bloom when children are lavished with unconditional affection and support.

These champions of kinder and gentler parenting advocate big hugs and long leashes and point out that

Children are by their nature challenge-seeking creatures whose innate desire for competence needs only our unconditional love and affection to reveal itself

Post-it notes are no substitute for the daily gestures, comments, and actions that communicate warmth, respect, and high expectations.

Chapter 11 : The Playing Fields Of Grit

Kids who are more involved in extracurriculars fare better on just about every conceivable metric—

They earn better grades, have higher self-esteem, are less likely to get in trouble and so forth.

With practice, industriousness can be learned

Chapter 12: A Culture Of Grit

There’s a hard way to get grit and an easy way. The hard way is to do it by yourself.

The easy way is to use conformity—the basic human drive to fit in—because if you’re around a lot of people who are gritty, you’re going to act grittier.

Chapter 13: Conclusion

You can grow your grit.

You can cultivate your interests.

You can develop a habit of daily challenge-exceeding-skill practice.

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