A Summary and Review of Grit by Angela Duckworth

My Takeaways and Opinion on Grit

Photo by Fabien Wl on Unsplash
  1. Growing Grit from the Inside Out
  2. Growing Grit from the Outside In

Part 1: What Grit Is and Why It Matters

Chapter 1: Showing Up

In any field, the most successful people are lucky and talented. High achievers keep going after failures, stick things out, are constantly driven to improve, and are “paragons of perseverance.”

Chapter 2: Distracted by Talent

Aptitude doesn’t guarantee achievement. The most talented students don’t always get the best grades. Effort can be more important than talent.

Chapter 3: Effort Counts Twice

When someone accomplishes a feat worth writing about, we rush to anoint this individual as extraordinarily talented. By overemphasizing talent, we underemphasize everything else.

  • Achievement = skill x effort

Chapter 4: How Gritty Are You?

Grit is more about stamina than intensity. Working incredibly hard is only part of grit. Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it.

  • Perseverance

Chapter 5: Grit Grows

Grit comes partly from our DNA. Every human trait is influenced by both genes and experience. The rate at which we develop any skill is a function of experience. Some variation in grit can be attributed to genetic factors and the rest can be attributed to experience.

  • Practice
  • Purpose
  • Hope

Part 2: Growing Grit from the Inside Out

Chapter 6: Interest

People are enormously more satisfied with their jobs when they do something that aligns with their personal interests. People in jobs that align with their personal interests are generally happier with their lives as a whole. These people perform better at work, as they’re genuinely interested in what they’re doing.

Chapter 7: Practice

Grit paragons have a persistent desire to do better. According to research, it seems to take about 10,000 hours over 10 years to reach expert-level status.

  • Striving to reach their stretch goal with undivided attention and great effort
  • Hungrily seeking feedback on how they did as soon as possible
  • Repeating this process over and over
  • Full concentration and effort
  • Immediate and informative feedback
  • Repetition with reflection and refinement
  • Make it a habit
  • Change the way you experience it

Chapter 8: Purpose

Interest and purpose are two sources of passion. Purpose is the intention to contribute to the well-being of others.

  • Think about how you can change your current work to enhance its connection to your core values
  • Find inspiration in a purposeful role model

Chapter 9: Hope

One kind of hope is the expectation that tomorrow will be better than today.

  • Practice optimistic self-talk
  • Ask for a helping hand

Part 3: Growing Grit from the Outside In

Chapter 10: Parenting for Grit

There’s no research on parenting and grit yet. For people who want to parent for grit, there’s a helpful blueprint which serves as a guide for making the many decisions that must be grappled with while raising children.

  • Wise parenting occurs when parents are both depending and supportive

Chapter 11: The Playing Fields of Grit

Extracurricular activities can enhance grit, as they have two important features that are hard to replicate in any other setting:

  • These pursuits are designed to cultivate interest, practice, purpose, and hope

Chapter 12: A Culture of Grit

The culture in which we live, and with which we identify, powerfully shapes just about every aspect of our being.

Chapter 13: Conclusion

You can grow your grit. There are two ways to do so:

  • From the outside in


  • Rating: 91/100
  • Grit was a great read. It was informative, interesting, and easy to digest.
  • Duckworth did a phenomenal job of weaving in information about her personal experience in a meaningful way. She seemed to include just the right amount of detail from her own life. This made the book engaging and impactful.
  • I thought Grit was a page-turner. While these types of non-fiction reads aren’t always so enjoyable to read, this one was. I finished the book in less than five days, which says a lot given that I’m a slow reader. I was so interested in the content that I wanted to return to the book in all of my spare time.
  • I would recommend this book to anyone looking to develop their work ethic. There’s so much practical information contained in it and it’s presented in a seamless way.

data scientist interested in AI and NLP davidpeletz.com

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