Instaread Summary of Grit The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Three out of five stars
In this case, grit is used to refer to an individual’s ability to accept a mistake, learn from it and then continue to work towards their goals. The premise of the book is to make the case that innate talent is less important than a willingness to persevere through failures and disappointments. This is of course an obvious point, provided one includes the qualification “for the vast majority of people.” There will always be a wide spectrum of abilities in humans, those with high, outlier skills on the right and those with low, equally outlier skills on the left.
The key takeaways are all high on the obvious scale. They are:
*) Talent is less important than grit for achieving success.
*) The grit scale can quantify grit. It can be used to predict success.
*) To cultivate grit, it is important to identify one’s passions.
*) High achievers improve their skills through difficult, deliberate practice.
*) Gritty people feel they have control over their fate and that hard work can change outcomes.
*) In their parenting, adults should provide love, support, and examples of passion and determination.
*) Children’s extracurricular activities encourage the development of grit.
*) Gritty cultures or communities can create gritty individuals.
The most interesting item in the summary is the mention of a 2010 study of child prodigies. Of 210 child prodigies studied, only six went on to having a comparable level of success as an adult. Of course, a deep dive is necessary to fully evaluate this study. If the child was a true prodigy, then their high level of early achievement simply may have been the best thing that they will ever do. A form of regression to the mean as one moves through life. Nearly all people have a best professional achievement of their life, for prodigies, it just came earlier.
While there are points of interest in the summary, most of them are routine repeats of what has appeared in many other venues. One can see that from the key takeaways, which can be found in many self-help books.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.