Last March, on my birthday, my sweetheart gave me a book I really wanted to have for so long. I have seen it from many study bloggers I follow on Instagram. I always encounter it on the best-seller section on my favorite bookstores. I overheard it from a TED Talk that I haven’t actually watched and listened to.
It is GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.
Of all the success and self-help books I have read, this is realistically different because it does not merely give random advice and inspirational words but it is backed-up with actual studies on actual individuals (successful individuals) from different walks of life.
The author herself, who is a psychologist, has personal experiences with regards to what is being discussed in the book. It was Angela herself who conducted several experiments and studies to prove contrasting arguments on nature versus nurture.
In fact, when she was still young, she was frequently noted by her Dad who was a scientist for her lack of “genius”. But she proved that success is not by genius alone. Through her passion and long-term perseverance, she is now a renowned psychologist, professor, and now author of this book.
If you look up grit on the dictionary, it is being defined as courage and resolve; strength of character. In this book, the author repeatedly emphasized that you do not need to be talented or smart in order to be successful. You only need to be gritty. And being gritty means getting up every time you fall, continually pursuing improvement, and always aspiring for the best not merely being satisfied with the good.
To quote from her words, “I won’t just have a job.; I’ll have a calling. I’ll challenge myself everyday. When I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest.”
“I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest.”
She described grit from different perspectives and also presented contrasting theories from other researchers in addition to the different studies and interviews she’s had from dozens of high-achievers in medicine, business, entertainment and even pop culture.
In the last few chapters of the book, she also described how we can help other people become gritty. She focused specifically on how to parent for grit, using her own family and parenting style as an example.
Also included in the book is the Grit Scale she used in several of her studies. According to her, Grit has two components: Passion and Perseverance. On the Grit Scale you can measure how passionate and how perseverant you are by just honestly answering/rating yourself.
I took the Grit Scale and I was a bit disappointed about my Grit Score. It was then when she pointed out that Grit Grows. How gritty you are right now may be different from how gritty you were last year. To quote Pete Caroll, “Do things better than they have ever been done before.”
It is always a matter of diligence and hard-work. Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.
To put it in her own words…
Grit isn’t just working incredibly hard. There are no shortcuts to excellence. Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time — longer than most people imagine.
Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it…It is doing what you lovee, but not just falling in love — staying in love.
I am sure my sweetheart hasn’t read the book yet when he wrote a personal note on it’s cover page which reads, “Continue to pursue growth, excellence and perfection of character.” His note for me is generally what the book is really all about.
I highlighted lots of quotable quotes and motivational words as I read through the book but I opt not to share it with you, at least, not yet so that you’ll read the book and discover it for yourselves.
I promise you will not regret sparing some time to read this book. It will change your perspective about success and it will give you more courage and confidence to pursue whatever it is you want for life.
I am giving the book 4.5 stars!
Cheers for becoming grittier,