Psychologist Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed—be it parents, students, educators, athletes, or business people—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls 'grit.'
Grit may be defined by strenuous effort, but what drives that work, Ms. Duckworth finds, is passion, and a great service of Ms. Duckworth’s book is her down-to-earth definition of passion. To be gritty, an individual doesn’t need to have an obsessive infatuation with a goal. Rather, he needs to show 'consistency over time.'
In this book, Duckworth, whose TED talk has been viewed more than eight million times, brings her lessons to the reading public. My guess is you’ll find Grit in the business section of your local bookstore. As marketing strategies go, it’s not a bad one, although the conventions of the self-help genre do require Duckworth to boil down her provocative and original hypotheses to some rather trite-sounding formulas...You can’t blame Duckworth for how people apply her ideas, but she’s not shy about reducing them to nostrums that may trickle down in problematic ways.
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, Duckworth finds authoritative answers to these questions, promising to change how we see the world. And like other self-help authors, she pulls a sleight of hand by which even widely held assumptions end up looking like discoveries...But a closer look at Duckworth’s seminal research, as well as some recent studies from her colleagues in the field, suggest there isn’t much supporting evidence for either of her theses.