The Power of Passion and Perseverance

by Angela Duckworth

Number of pages: 352

Publisher: Scribner

BBB Library: Psychology and Strengths, Personal Success

ISBN: 9781501111105

About the Author

Angela Duckworth is a MacArthur “genius” grant winner, researcher, and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.


Editorial Review

The highly successful people have a kind of ferocious determination that plays out in two ways. First, they are resilient and hard working. Second, they know what they want. They not only have determination, but they also have direction. It's this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.

Book Reviews

The two big ideas about grit that have made Duckworth famous are first, that it predicts success more reliably than talent or I.Q.; and second, that anyone, man or woman, adult or child, can learn to be gritty.

Make no doubt: Grit is great. It's a lucid, informative, and entertaining review of the research Angela has assiduously conducted over the past decade or so. The book also includes suggestions on how to develop grit, and how we can help support grit in others.

“Grit” is a pop-psych smash. More than eight million people saw Duckworth’s ted talk before the book came out. Duckworth is in demand in many places as a motivational speaker.

Duckworth makes a persuasive case that “talent” and intelligence alone cannot fully account for how and why people succeed. Passion and perseverance, which together make up grit, are also critical elements. Duckworth’s proof lies in research showing that her measure of grit is predictive of accomplishments, such as thriving at West Point or advancing in the National Spelling Bee.

I found the book a reasonably compelling read – the pieces come together in a coherent story, and it is hard to quibble too much with the general advice.

With Grit, Duckworth has now put out the definitive handbook for her theory of success. It parades from one essential topic to another on a float of common sense, tossing out scientific insights as it goes along. How to raise your kids, how to unearth your inner passion, how to find a higher purpose—like other self-help authors,

Subtitled The Power of Passion and Perseverance, the text is the fruit of years studying the psychology of success. Swimmers, chefs, army cadets, telesales executives …

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Wisdom to Share

The highly successful people have a kind of ferocious determination that plays out in two ways. First, they are resilient and hard working. Second, they know what they want.

The ability to quickly climb the learning curve of any skill is obviously a very good thing, and, like it or not, some of us are better at it than others.

If we overemphasize talent, we underemphasize everything else.

Talent is how quickly your skills improve when you invest effort. Achievement is what happens when you take your acquired skills and use them.

Grit, talent, and all other psychological traits relevant to success in life are influenced by genes and also by experience. However, there is no single gene for grit or indeed any other psychological trait.

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

Gritty people do more deliberate practice and experience more flow.

Interest is one source of passion.

Reflect on how the work you're already doing can make a positive contribution to society.

Think about how, in small but meaningful ways, you can change your current work to enhance its connection to your core values.

Find inspiration in a purposeful role model.