Grit by Angela Duckworth

Book Notes – In this series, I share my insights, ideas, and reviews of my favourite books, whose topics are wide-ranging.

Rating – 9/10

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Book Compressed into 3 Points

  • Your effort counts more than your inherent talent to achieve success in any field.
  • Cultivating interests, deliberate practice, a higher purpose, and a growth mindset will help develop your grit.
  • Surround yourself with gritty individuals, and finish what you have started to embody the quality of grit.

Who is it for?

  • Those striving for success in any field
  • Those at the beginning or in the middle of their professional lives
  • Students who are committed to academic excellence.

3 Best Quotes

  • To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times and rise eight.
  • In sum, no matter what domain, the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways. First, these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking. Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, they had direction. It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.
  • Passion for your work is a little bit of discovery followed by a lot of development and then a lifetime of deepening.


  • Our potential is only one aspect of ourselves. It is what we do with it that matters.
  • In today’s world, talent is given too much importance. Consistency of effort over the long run matters for real success.
  • Angela Duckworth’s Grit Formula. Talent X Effort = Skill, & Skill X Effort = Achievement. Therefore Achievement = Talent X Effort X Effort. Effort counts twice
  • There are no shortcuts to excellence. You need to put in the daily grind to achieve success. Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.
  • Paragons of grit say that you can develop grit. You need:
  1. Interest – Passion for the work you do. This is cultivated by spending time developing it. Surrounding yourself with encouraging people will aid this phenomenon.
  2. Practice – A regular bid at persevering in your discipline. This must be focused, full-hearted and deliberate. The goal must be to improve. Informative feedback is crucial, followed by reflection and refinement.
  3. Purpose – A conviction that your work matters. A higher calling. Work should be integrally connected to the well-being of others. Your driving force must be more than mere intention. Your ultimate aim must be deeply connected to the world beyond you.
  4. Hope – This permeates all stages. When situations are challenging, you must go on. Inculcate a growth mindset. You must believe you can learn to do better.
  • You must embody gritty values to inspire them in people you care about. 
  • Participating in an extracurricular activity aids in developing a gritty character. In parenting, Duckworth recommends the ‘Hard Thing rule, which is that your children should have one hard endeavour to pursue. They cannot quit until you have completed it for a designated time. And lastly, they can pick the ‘Hard Thing’.
  • Follow through with whatever you pursue. Don’t leave your endeavour midway. 
  • To truly develop grit, you must identify with a culture of grit. It must become part of your identity.
  • Complacency has its charms, but it is not worth trading it for the fulfilment of realising your true potential.


It is a well-written book, done in an anecdotal and academic style. Backed with rigorous research, it shows how passion and persistence are the 2 main qualities all successful people embody. At a reasonable length, this piece of nonfiction is recommended for teenagers and above. Especially for those who feel success is beyond their capabilities. After reading this, I pursue every goal with a gritty mindset, keen on rendering a good job. I made grit a part of my identity. I make sure that any undertaking is seen through till the end. In all my hobbies, I practice deliberately, obtain feedback and introspect before the next practice session.  I am now building my gritty mindset for my college life and beyond to become the best version of myself.

Published by Ishan Shanavas

I am a young adult, interested in nature, photography, art and culture. An aspiring polymath, I share my learnings through my blog. I also include insights from my favourite books.

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