Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
I decided to review Duckworth’s Grit after seeing so many of you pick it up at conferences. I found this book to be quite an enjoyable and interesting read. Divided into three parts, she discusses what ‘having grit’ means as well as how to foster it, both from the inside, by finding and practicing what one is passionate about, as well as ‘from the outside’, by promoting a culture of grit. It was extremely well researched, showing many examples of people who find a personally worthy cause and stick tenaciously with it. Duckworth also helpfully provides simple means to determine one’s own grittiness as well as some useful means of improving it. It was also interesting to read the many references to CBT, positive psychology as well as to Flow by Csikszentmihalyi. At some points, I think that she has gone too far in being obsessed with and promoting grit, to the exclusion of any other virtues, perhaps such as happiness and enjoyment. Certainly, it is possible to live a balanced and fulfilling life without being a ‘paragon of grit’. However, it is also true that finding one’s passion and practicing it everyday is a great way to develop both expertise as well as personal satisfaction at accomplishment. I tend to agree with Duckworth, that everyone could use a little more grit.
Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance