Thursday, November 2, 2017

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth - A Review

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Author: Angela Duckworth

Publisher: Scribner

Publication Date: May 3, 2016

Length: 353 pages

About the Author
Angela Duckworth, PhD, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the founder of the Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development in children. 

“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.” 
Grit has two components: passion and perseverance.
Passion means having enduring interest in the job you are doing.
Perseverance means being persistent and never giving up.

Are You Gritty?
Dr. Angela Duckworth developed the Grit Scale to measure an individual's grit score. The Grit Scale correctly predicted which cadets at West Point would pass the Beast Barracks, which National Spelling Bee participants would advance to the next rounds and which sales people would be able to retain their jobs. 
I encourage you to test your grit level by completing this short survey.

“as much as talent counts, effort counts twice.” 
Effort helps develop skill. Talent x Effort = Skill
Effort also helps put our skills to good use. Skill x Effort = Achievement.

Interest, Practice, Purpose and Hope
You must be passionate about something that interests you most.
Practice requires that you do things that interest you better than you did yesterday.
It is essential to identify how your work is connected to your own well-being and the well-being of others.
We must be able to get up after a setback. Hope prevails. Hope is an expectation that things will be better tomorrow.

My Thoughts
I was introduced to the work of Angela Duckworth in the Foundations of Positive Psychology Specialization on Coursera. 

This book offers many examples about how effort, perseverance and resilience play important roles in achievement and success. Finding something that you are passionate about is the key. It is natural to want to practice and improve skills that you are passionate about. After many years of effort and practice, you can use your skills for the greater good of society.

In our public schools, the children who have the highest IQ scores are often put in special "gifted and talented" classes. It is good to challenge children who have natural talent, but Dr. Duckworth found that these gifted students sometimes lack the grit that is needed for academic and professional success. Grit is not the only predictor of future success but it is an important part of the equation.

The chapter on gritty parenting gives some specific strategies that can be implemented to encourage the development of grit in children. These same strategies could be used by teachers. Parents should be demanding and supportive of their children. Wise parents are loving, warm, respectful and demanding. Children will emulate their parents, so parents must demonstrate perseverance and passion for their own personal goals. 

Dr. Duckworth believes that you can grow grit from "the inside out" by developing your most passionate interests with practice, purpose and hope. Grit can be grown from "the outside in" by seeking guidance and direction from parents, coaches, teachers, mentors and friends.

There is a reading list at the end of this book that provides more information on the topics that are covered in this book. My goal is to be a "gritty reader" and read all the books listed in this bibliography. 

I found this book fascinating and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the subjects of psychology, achievement and success.

My Rating: 5 Stars Out Of 5

FYI - I read a print copy of this book from my public library.

Please share your thoughts in the Comments Section below or tweet me @JanetteFuller.

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