Short Review | Grit by Angela Duckworth

Grit by Angela Duckworth

Grit by Angela Duckworth

I think one of the best measures of a book is how long after you read it you find yourself talking about it, thinking about it, and recommending it to others.

One that recently intrigued me was Grit by Angela Duckworth. It sat on my shelf in my TBR pile for months after I received it for Christmas. I figured “I’ll get to it when I get to it,” until a friend gave me another copy for my birthday…which is about as close as it gets to a sign, I reckon.

Needless to say, it’s a book that I keep thinking about, even when I don’t realize it. Case in point: I suggested some modification of our parenting to Brittany, to which she quickly came back with: “Is this another thing from your Grit book?” I guess I’ve been mentioning it a lot.

Well, it’s a good read. And full of good material. For a pretty average guy like me, it’s a refreshing reminder that effort can go a long way to make up for average talents. Between the inspirational reminder to keep on working and Duckworth’s suggestions for raising children with Grit, it’s a book that I know I’ll turn back to in years to come.

Grit Book Cover Grit
Angela Duckworth
May 3, 2016

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently noted her lack of “genius,” Duckworth, now a celebrated researcher and professor, describes her early eye-opening stints in teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a unique combination of passion and long-term perseverance.

In Grit, she takes readers into the field to visit cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, teachers working in some of the toughest schools, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.

Among Grit’s most valuable insights:

*Why any effort you make ultimately counts twice toward your goal
*How grit can be learned, regardless of I.Q. or circumstances
*How lifelong interest is triggered
*How much of optimal practice is suffering and how much ecstasy
*Which is better for your child—a warm embrace or high standards
*The magic of the Hard Thing Rule

About Daniel

Daniel Burton lives in Salt Lake County, Utah, where he practices law by day and everything else by night. He reads about history, politics, and current events, as well as more serious genres such as science fiction and fantasy. You can also follow him on his blog where he muses on politics, the law, books and ideas.

  • Kami Furr

    I love books that linger and you can’t get over. Book hangovers are a double edged sword though because I can’t move on to another book.