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What makes high achievers successful, MacArthur Fellow Duckworth writes, is grit—a “combination of passion and perseverance”—coupled with their raw talent. Talent is important, she acknowledges, but talent multiplied by grit is what builds skill, and skill multiplied by grit equals achievement....



by Angela Duckworth


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Grit - The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Grit is an investigation into the importance of determination and perseverance for success. Society tends to focus on the importance of natural talent. We observe athletes, musicians, and academics performing at the highest level and assume they are there because of lucky genetics. The author acc...

What Grit Is and Why It Matters

Duckworth describes the concept of grit as a form of perseverance. It is essential to anybody attaining high levels of achievement. High achievers are never satisfied with minimal goals. Therefore, these people never believe they will reach their goals, as they are always striving for more. High ...


Society is obsessed with the idea of natural talent. We love the idea of people being innately good at things, and we use this as an excuse for why we cannot achieve specific goals. However, Duckworth challenges the idea that talent should be considered the most important feature of success. She ...


Our overemphasis on talent allows us to believe that high achievers are doing something we physically couldn’t. For example, we start to believe that an Olympic athlete has natural talents that we could never possibly match. However, in overfocusing on talent, we forget about the early starts, ho...

Effort is Twice as Important as Talent

Duckworth sees talent as being reliant on effort. Subsequently, she defines talent as ‘how rapidly your skills develop when you commit time and effort. Then, your achievements are the result of your developed skills being put to good use. Duckworth accepts that her formula for success does not co...

Exercise as an Example of Effort vs. Talent

Duckworth sees exercise and fitness as perfect examples of her theory of effort being more important than talent. For example, she explains that exercise equipment, including clothes and shoes, are some of the most frequently bought categories. Despite this, studies suggest that 40% of people use...

Talent vs. Skill

There is a tendency for people to equate talent with skill. However, they are not the same. Duckworth describes talent as a natural ability. In contrast, you can only develop true skill by putting hours of effort into developing a particular attribute. You will and should be spending considerably...


Each of us will have a wide range of goals. These goals can range from short-term lists of what you want to do today to life-time goals. Duckworth describes this range of goals as a hierarchy. The bottom of your goal hierarchy is filled with the goals you want to attain as soon as possible. These...

Grit Goals

Grit involves persevering and fighting through challenging times. However, grit also involves keeping your top hierarchy goals for a long time. The goals at the top of your hierarchy should be critical to every action in your life. Therefore, a gritty person develops top-level goals and integrate...

Is Grit Something You are Born With?

There isn’t a clear answer to this. However, it's likely that we are partly born with it.

Duckworth believes that grit is a combination of your genetics & experience. Although genetics does have a small impact on your grit, it is possible to heavily improve your grit through experiences. e...

The Four Characteristics of a Gritty Person

  1. Passion & interest are integral. To be gritty, individuals must enjoy what they're doing & be committed to their passions. This passion has to guide them towards dedicating portions of their day, every single day, to their interests. On top of this, a gritty person will understand that inter...

Growing Grit From the Inside Out

Emulation Rather than Imitation

Duckworth sees wise parenting as including love, limits, & latitude. Wise parents give their children constant support to emulate them & succeed with whatever goals they have, instead of imitating their every move. The older we get, the more ...

Duckworth recommends that each of your family members implement the hard thing rule into their lives. The hard thing rule suggests that you commit 100% to something for a specific period. Give it your all, and do not stop giving 100% until the period has elapsed. This thing should not be easy, bu...

Grit and School

There is a clear difference between interesting and hard. Some children will find school hard and uninteresting. Similarly, the same children might find their lunchtime interesting, but not hard. However, there are some things at school that are both hard and interesting—for example, learning how...

Growing Grit From the Outside In

Grit and Culture

Duckworth defines culture as a group of people who share the same values and norms. Therefore, if you want to maintain your grit levels, it is best to immerse yourself in a gritty culture. Surround yourself with gritty people and you will benefit in the lon...

Practicing hard can be a waste of time if you are not practicing intelligently. For example, suppose you are just on autopilot by copying a textbook word-for-word as a study technique. In that case, you won’t necessarily succeed. Intelligent practice is a concept introduced by cognitive psycholog...

The Finnish Culture of Grit

Duckworth described Finland as a country where grit is widely promoted in the culture. She attributes this to long, cold winters & history of having to defend themselves. Subsequently, they have their own word for grit, sisu, which refers to someone having the quality of perseverance. A Finnish p...

Practice Intelligently

Practicing hard can be a waste of time if you are not practicing intelligently. For example, suppose you are just on autopilot by copying a textbook word-for-word as a study technique. In that case, you won’t necessarily succeed. Intelligent practice is a concept introduced by cognitive psycholog...


Duckworth defines grit as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals”. She believes that this is what distinguishes successful people from unsuccessful people. Critics argue that her definition of grit is too broad and does not provide a clear understanding of what it means to have grit.

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I always believed in the conventional ‘Attitude is the key to success.’



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