“Staying on the treadmill is one thing, and I do think it’s related to staying true to our commitments even when we’re not comfortable. But getting back on the treadmill the next day, eager to try again, is in my view even more reflective of grit. Because when you don’t come back the next day—when you permanently turn your back on a commitment—your effort plummets to zero. As a consequence, your skills stop improving, and at the same time, you stop producing anything with whatever skills you have.”
- Angela Duckworth, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Upon opening the back sleeve cover to read about the author, one is greatly impressed by Angela Duckworth's credentials: A.B. in neurobiology at Harvard, '92; M.Sc. in neuroscience on the Marshall Scholarship at University of Oxford, '96; and Ph.D. in psychology from University of Pennsylvania, '06. She started a school in Cambridge, MA during her undergraduate studies that helped under privileged children continue studies during the summer. She worked as a consultant at the world renowned McKinsey consulting firm. She has done quite a bit to say the least.
In her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance Duckworth takes you through her studies that help prove the science behind grit and seeing things through. She makes mention of an ancient proverb early on that states, fall down seven times, get up eight. This helps set the stage for her findings.
Duckworth takes into consideration many grit paragons as she likes to call them and uses their stories to help give examples of what goal setting, feedback and shifts in your daily paradigm can help bring to your life. Duckworth talks about how there are two ways of building grit in one's life: through internal grit building techniques and using your own skills and passions to develop your life's work. The second method to help build grit is to use external forces. These include family, friends, work, mentors, coaches etc who can provide feedback and coaching to help foster your grit growth.
So many times throughout the book, Duckworth shows these iconic figures, ranging from Steve Young to Jeff Bezos, and how most people tend to idolize these individuals as "genius" or "naturally gifted" wherein when you peel back the layers (as Duckworth shows through interviews with the individual as well as family) we see the amount of hard work, passion, and perseverance that was put in to bring them the moments we all remember.
A link to purchase the book can be found here