The concept of “grit” is very simple – try hard enough, believe in yourself, persevere and you will succeed. Angela Duckworth presents her case for the predictive power of behaviors and values related to “grittiness” and through many (very similar and repetitive) anecdotes she contrasts them with talent and intelligence (privilege is swept under the carpet). No surprises here, and most anecdotes are very simple stories of the “Übung macht den Meister” type. Talent as unmet potential and the ugly duckling stories abound in “Grit” and won’t disappoint most fans of self-help books. (We are left wondering however about how much hindsight and survivorship bias there is in all these stories.)
We get also some back-to-back advice on the subject from none other than Will Smith and Friedrich Nietzsche! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Nietzsche seems to be always in good company:
“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger,” Nietzsche once said. Kanye West and Kelly Clarkson echo the same sentiment and there’s a reason we keep repeating it.
2/5 (because it is rather boring)
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
Scribner 2016, 352 pages