Today’s Book of the Day is Grit, written by Angela Duckworth and published in 2016 by Scribner.

Dr. Angela Duckworth is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, and a world-renowned expert in those competencies that are not directly related to our IQ.

Grit, by Angela Duckworth

I have read again this book in the last few days as I wanted to check a couple of ideas that came out from a pleasant discussion during a business meeting.

This book is both a personal tale of a journey and a scientific report on the topic of grit and intelligence.

Duckworth tells us, in this book, how her father – a scientist – used to play with her as a child, telling to her that unfortunately, she was not a genius. This joke convinced the author to start her career and research in psychology to demonstrate that perseverance and passion are also essential to becoming successful.

Dr. Duckworth became so determined that she became an excellent student, then a brilliant academic, and one of the most famous international speakers on the topic of why some people succeed, and others fail.

Her answer is in this book: grit, a special blend of passion and perseverance, is surely one of the more crucial factors to achieve personal and professional success, far more than pure talent or intelligence.

The book is fun, engaging, and full of scientific evidence, coming from the author’s research. She guides the readers through many interesting examples, taken from her professional experience as a psychologist and from history. The readers are brought on a journey into performance and achievement.

The stunning results of the research are that perseverance in what we do, and a sincere passion, help us achieve our goals and purpose more than our pure “gifts”.

Some of the most valuable ideas one can find in the book are:

  • Grit can be learned
  • Whatever our I.Q. we can learn how to achieve
  • We can find our passions in every moment of our lives
  • Passions can be triggered
  • Success and achievement are a mix of both practice, hard work, and rewards
  • A proper amount of effort helps more than other skills in reaching our goals
  • The Hard Thing Rule (my favorite, coming from a Martial Arts background) – we must get to pick our hard thing to do, do it for long enough, and commit to it.

This book is an essential read for bosses, managers, coaches, and teachers. Encouraging people to be committed to their purpose and passion is by far most effective and efficient than pushing them to acquire just skills.

The book is a fantastic, insightful, compassionate, and fun read to learn how to develop those other parts of our characters that will bring us to success in our life, to pursue our goals, and to achieve our purpose.

So, you have to read this book, if you are passionate and determined in your life and career!


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