Duckworth, A. (2016). Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. New York: Scribner
Years ago in college I would sometimes receive the compliment, “you are really smart”, to which I would reply, “No, I just work hard”. “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” by Angela Duckworth is a journey through various anecdotes about people and studies exemplifying success, not due to innate talent but hard work. The path to success is to be mindful, deliberate and strategize long term. Even though I consider myself to have certain higher level of grit, this book has been insightful and certainly relatable.
An observation about gritty people that grabbed my attention was “optimists habitually search for temporary and specific causes of their suffering, whereas pessimists assume permanent and pervasive causes are to blame” (Duckworth, 2016, p.174). I have had my let downs and roadblocks in life. The ones I have been able to overcome quicker are the ones I have identified clearly and forged past with proactive actions. Duckworth (2016) states that “Grit has two components: passion and perseverance” (p.56).
In the chapter about “Interest” the theme is that people do better in jobs in which they are passionate about. She challenges the reader with, “try recalling your teen years, the stage of life at which vocational interests commonly sprout” (Duckworth, 2016, p. 115). For me I recall the days in which I was teaching myself HTML code to build websites and affiliate ad marketing to make some cash from my frequent site demographics. Many years later, after my Business degree and several other jobs, I have come full circle and am in my field as an Analyst. I am happily doing related work every day on a computer. I wonder who else has found their passion so early and later returned to pursue it.
This book impressed upon me that grit is not constant, just as not having any is permanent. Read this to be inspired and to build upon your own grit or build it from the ground up. Reading about the challenges overcome by individuals in the anecdotes throughout the book brings about a sense of undeniable hope. This has lit the fire even stronger under my drive. At a time in my life where I have just set out on a new journey in my career, this is invaluable. Read this – your future self won’t regret it!