Monday, January 24, 2022

Review of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Decision Making

Watch Short Review

Elaborate Review
Grit is the combination of passion and perseverance.  Passion provides the direction for effort.  Perseverance provides the ferocious determination.  High performance is built on doing mundane acts over and over again for a very long time.  Git is the ability to not giving up.  To keep working at those skills even after setbacks.  Talent and effort matter for achievements, but effort counts twice.  Talent is how individuals learn to improve their skills.  It takes effort to build those skills.  But skills without effort leaves just skills.  It takes effort to make use of the skills, to make them productive.  Not just applying those skills, making those skills useful to other people.  Interest in an endeavor usually starts self-oriented, but becomes oriented to being useful to others.  Although there is a struggle to develop those skills, the rewards are well worth the effort.  Putting in the effort and doing the tasks is satisfying when they are part of the general interest.

Developing skills and expertise takes a lot longer than normally assumed.  Skills can be built by anyone over a vey long time, but not everyone is willing to go through what it takes to built those skills.  Mythologizing natural talent allows individuals not build those skills because they are thought of as incapable of being built.  Allows individuals to accept the status quo.  To not feel a need to compete.

It is less about the intensity of effort, and more about the consistency over time.  To consistently show up to do the tasks needed.  To not give up when things are difficult.  Most of the time, the practice is never seen.  The hours of becoming do not make an appearance.  What is usually seen is what has become.  The final product is seen, not the mistake-ridden practice to get to the final product.

Satisfaction at a job depends on personal interest, and performance is better when what is done is of interest.  Work and tasks can be the same, but different individuals can have their subjective experience be very different.  Joy comes before understanding how it can benefit others.  Purpose starts self-oriented, then self-disciplined practice, the becomes other-oriented.  The sacrifices that an individual makes when they are in the becoming stage, is worth it because it benefits other people after.

Interests are found by interacting with the world.  Discovering what captures attention and what does not.  A calling and interest are developed, rather than magically appear.  Gritty people tend to embody their goals.  Goals that have underlying subgoals that help achieve the ultimate goal.  Quitting is acceptable when the commitment is finished, and it does not serve the main goal.

As the book focuses on not giving up, it is biased in favor of not going up.  Although reasons for quitting are provided, they are underdeveloped.  There are a lot of sunk costs of sticking to what the individual thinks might be beneficial in the future, but ends up not being beneficial at all.  Not giving up under certain conditions can turn the activity into an enormous waste of time and money. 

Grit generally makes people better off and likely to succeed.  The question then is what it means to succeed.  Being on a relatively higher position to peers within an area is the success that is recognized in this book.  This creates the bias that individuals highlighted in the book have all become successful, but there might have been many others who have been just as gritty, but did not succeed to the same level.

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What is grit?
•What does it mean to have passion?
•What does it mean to have perseverance?
•How do high performing individuals become high performing individuals? 
•Where does talent come from?
•What is the purpose of practice?
•Why does effort count twice?
•For what purpose do individuals develop skills? 
•How to find an interest?
•What role does having interest have on performance? 
•When should an individual quit? 
•How is the state of flow part of grit? 
•Are humans meant to be eudaimonic or hedonic? 

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9781501111129
Pages to read:   245
Publication:     2016
1st Edition:      2016
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          5
Overall           5