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Grit by Angela Duckworth [Book Review]

About the Author – Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth, associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, won the American MacArthur Scholar Award in 2013, referred to as the “Genius Award”. In 2013, Angela Duckworth gave a TED speech called “Fortitude: Unleashing the Power of Passion and Persistence”. As of now, the number of clicks has exceeded 10 million.

Key messages of Grit Book

Many people believe that the key to success lies in IQ and EQ. However, Angela Duckworth, associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that the quality of perseverance plays a key role in success.

In this book, Angela Duckworth introduces her research results, gives practical methods, and gives constructive answers to how we improve our perseverance index or tolerance.

This book allows us to see the other side of success, that is: find your interests, find your own life mission, constantly temper yourself in frustration, become a determined person, and have the life you want.

Core Content Book Review of Grit by Angela Duckworth

The core of this book is: Grit, perseverance, is a very fashionable new concept. It consists of passion and persistence, both of which are indispensable. No one wants to struggle with things that they do n’t like, but it ’s not the right way to keep changing goals and digging around.

A truly determined person is constantly striving in the right direction. Perseverance is a more important quality than IQ, EQ, and self-control. The perseverance index table matched with it can test a person’s perseverance index and can effectively predict whether a person will succeed in the future. At the same time, a person’s perseverance index is not fixed. You can effectively improve your perseverance through 4 steps.

Perseverance = Passion + Persistence

1. Passion

It is common knowledge that we learn what we like to do. But in reality, we usually work on things we don’t like after we grow up.

Why not dare to follow your inner passion?

Why is following passion an unreliable performance?

The reason is that we have a deep misunderstanding of passion:

  1. Passion is not an instant decision, on the contrary, it takes time to develop and at a slower pace;
  2. Passion is not something you would decide from a young age. On the contrary, it requires constant exploration and experimentation to develop.

2. Persistence

People who stick to it are more like running a marathon. It doesn’t matter how fast they run. What matters is how long they keep running. How many nights an entrepreneur has spent all night to raise funds does not indicate how determined he is. Whether you can persevere for a long time and stay loyal to your goals is the standard of perseverance.

Perseverance, a quality that is more important than IQ, EQ, and self-control

IQ


Early psychologists once believed that IQ is an important factor in predicting a person’s future success. This view is so entrenched that even now, the public still has a preference for IQ. However, the preference for genius provides an excellent excuse for our laziness or lack of improvement: the reason why I can’t succeed is not because I don’t work hard, but because I am born less intelligent.

Self-control

The Marshmallow experiment is a classic experiment on the delayed gratification program. In the marshmallow experiment, the length of a child’s waiting time was significantly related to the scores he obtained when he took the SAT test of the American College Entrance Examination.

Not only in the United States, but this experiment has also been repeated and conducted in many countries around the world, and the results are very similar. This experiment has aroused widespread concern, so that self-control can replace intelligence and become an important factor in determining whether a person can succeed.

EQ

EQ is proposed by psychologist Daniel Gorman. He believes that in modern society, the empathy of the right brain is more important than the logical thinking ability of the left brain advocated by IQ theory. People with high EQ are not only good at controlling their emotions, but also good at managing the emotions of others, and they are more at ease in doing things. Therefore, the importance of EQ is accepted by more and more people.

Perseverance

The Grit scale was developed at West Point Military Academy and later widely used in education, business and other fields. The Grit scale contains 10 questions and describes 10 situations. The tester needs to compare his own situation and choose from five answers: “Not at all like me” to “Specially like me”. This scale can not only measure the tester’s GRIT Scale, but also measure the tester’s “passion” index and “persistency” index.


For example, the topic “Frustration will not discourage me, I will not give up easily”, the test is your score on “persistent”. Do you think this sentence is “not like me at all”, “not like me”, “like me”, or “much like me” or “specially like me”? If you think “it’s like me”, then you can get 5 points for this question. If you choose “Not at all like me”, then you only score 1 point on this question.
Another topic “I was fascinated by an idea or project in a short time, but then I lost interest”. Do you think this sentence is “not like me at all”, “not like me”, “like me”, or “much like me” or “specially like me”? If you think “it’s not like me at all”, then you can get 5 points for this question. If you choose “Specially Like Me”, then your score on this question is only 1 point.

How to improve your Grit Scale?

Find your passion to improve your Grit

How to find your passion?

This requires a lot of early attempts. Author Angela Duckworth believes that even in the development of interest, people need to work hard. Most of the perseverance models have spent many years exploring their interests, and the thing that ultimately occupied their hearts was not recognized when they first encountered it.


Although successful people often say in interviews, “I can’t imagine that I will choose other professions.” However, in fact, many people had early experiences or ideas in other industries. Therefore, don’t sit there and think about what you like, but be brave in trying, pursuing and practicing to know.

Deliberate practice to improve your Grit


Perseverance is not only the time a person devotes to one interest, but also the quality of the investment, time or practice. How do professional masters practice 10,000 hours of deliberate practice?

Find a tiny aspect that needs improvement first, then devote your attention and effort to it, and seek feedback from the outside world, and then adjust and practice over and over again based on the feedback until the previous deficiency becomes an unconscious ability.

Have a Life Mission

Passion stems from interest, but also from the goal. The so-called goal is your life mission, which is the intention to help and benefit others.

Although only a few people have truly fulfilled the mission of taking work as life, it is not because people lack desire. While earning “bread”, everyone is also looking for the meaning of life.

How can we know the mission of life? The answer is that no matter what kind of work you do, you need to constantly examine yourself, and constantly think about how to connect with other people, how to connect with the wider world, and how to show the values ​​in your heart.

Have a growth mindset to improve your grit

There is a very famous experiment in the field of positive psychology-the learned helpless experiment. Experiments have found that those puppies who have no control over electric shocks and can only bear the pain passively still tend to bear the electric shock passively without facing any resistance when faced with the opportunity to escape.

However, not all puppies are like this, and a third of puppies show perseverance. Despite the previous pain, they still had no choice to give up and fled to safety. It is these puppies that allow researchers to turn their subjects into humans under similar adversity but still not giving up.

What are the factors that make those who have suffered repeated failures still hopeful and try again and again? The answer is “growth mentality”. The growth mindset helps you explain adversity in an optimistic way. It keeps you hopeful, constantly seeks new challenges, and makes you stronger. Growth mentality and perseverance always walk side by side. In other words, people with growth mentality are more determined.

Summary of Grit by Angela Duckworth

  1. To be a truly “perseverent” person, you must continue to “work hard” in the “right direction”.
  2. Perseverance is more like running a marathon. It doesn’t matter how fast the game is, how long you use it at a speed is the most important.
  3. Perseverance is to love what you love and continue to love.
  4. Those who have achieved something must have enthusiasm and persistence.

Book Summary of Grit by Angela Duckworth?

  1. To be a truly “perseverent” person, you must continue to “work hard” in the “right direction”.
  2. Perseverance is more like running a marathon. It doesn’t matter how fast the game is, how long you use it at a speed is the most important.
  3. Perseverance is to love what you love and continue to love.
  4. Those who have achieved something must have enthusiasm and persistence.

How to improve your Grit Scale?

  • Find a passion
  • Deliberate practice
  • Have a Life Mission
  • Have a growth mindset
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About the author

Susanne Ricee

Susanne Ricee is the Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Researcher at Diversity for Social Impact. Sue brings over 15 years of HR and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion consultation experience.
Sue's previous experience includes Microsoft, Target, and Kraft. Sue is also the manager of Diversity Leadership Directory