This book was one of the 3 books in my 2019 reading list that were not read last year. Luckily, it got picked again this year and I decided to start the year with it.

While I detest motivational jargons and consciously avoid books with such content, I am very open to books that provide a push but with scientific basis (not just some feel-good stuff). Last year I started with the excellent How Will You Measure Your Life?, so it felt good starting this year with the highly recommended Grit.

A summary of Angela’s definition of grit is that it is perseverance and passion for long-term goals. The crux of the book is that talent is not the only marker for success (achievement of goals) but that passion and perseverance (which together define grit) are probably even more important markers on the road to success. The book may be repetitive at times but it is big on anecdotes and a lot of science (expected as Angela Duckworth is a professor of Psychology at one of the world’s highest-ranked schools). All the research detailed in the book point to the fact that skill can be improved with lots of practice and failure overcome by perseverance. The point of Grit is that a combination of these two is more prevalent than talent alone in the journey of success. The author asserts that while nature (talent) matters, nurture (grit) matter too. Grit can be learned and nurtured, thereby providing a route for success for the less talented.

This is not a book just asking you to try harder but one that uses anecdotes and scientific data to show that passionate perseverance is a common thread that runs among the successful. While I am still not convinced that talent and luck are outweighed by grit in the journey of success, I am more convinced than ever before that more grit will yield a better result in my life. So even where nature is less than average, nurture will go a long way. Time to stop giving up and go get gritty about my pursuits.


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