Determination, not innate talent, is what drives success. We’ve seen this movie before. Geoffrey Colvin (Talent Is Overrated) and Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers) have argued that deliberate practice creates winners. Jumping on this bandwagon is psychologist Angela Duckworth, who argues that success can (in general) be had with the right combination of passion and stick-to-it-tive-ness.
Duckworth brings a human element to her teachings as the daughter of a scientist who lamented her lack of “genius”. Using a combination of personal insight and neuroscience, she hypothesizes that what drives success is not genius but perseverance. She labels this skill “grit.”
Duckworth looks beyond herself and previously hashed research/ideas. She takes us on a wide-ranging tour of cadets at West Point, teachers working in the nation’s toughest schools, and historically gritty figures.
- Go several weeks with scant sleep
- Cut out sugar and caffeine
- Live in total isolation
- Gain more muscle mass
- Reduce smartphone use to an hour a day
- Get up at 5:30 in the morning
- Work 90 hours a week
- And more
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