Author – Dr Angela Duckworth
Daily Rituals – Mason Currey

Rising to the occasion had almost nothing to do with talent. Those who dropped out of training rarely did so from lack of ability. Rather, what mattered was a “never give up” attitude.

Why were the highly accomplished so dogged in their pursuits?
→ In their own eyes, they were never good enough.
→ They were satisfied being unsatisfied.
→ It was the chase, as much as the capture, that was gratifying.

These exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking.
They knew in a 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. ⇾ They had grit.

No other commonly measured personality trait-including extroversion, emotional stability, and conscientiousness-was as effective as grit in predicting job retention.

Those who defy the odds are especially gritty.

Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.


"The human individual usually lives far within his limits." - William James

Great things are accomplished by those “people whose thinking is active in one direction, who employ everything as material, who always zealously observe their own inner life and that of others, who perceive everywhere models and incentives, who never tire of combining the means available to them.”


"Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted. They acquired greatness, became 'geniuses'. They all possessed that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole; they allowed themselves time for it, because they took more pleasure in making the little, secondary things well than in the effect of a dazzling whole." - Nietzsche
It soon becomes clear that doing one thing better and better might be more satisfying than staying an amateur at many different things.

"To do anything really well, you have to overextend yourself. In my case, I learned that I just had to pay twice as much attention. I came to appreciate that in doing something over and over again, something that was never natural become almost second nature. You learn that you have the capacity for that, and that it doesn't come overnight." - John Irving

"Eighty percent of success in life is showing up." - Woody Allen

“There are no shortcuts to excellence.”
“Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it.”
“It’s doing what you love.”
“It’s doing what you love, but not just falling in love-staying in love.”

Not at all like me
Not much like me
Somewhat like me
Mostly like me
Very much like me
New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.
Setbacks don’t discourage me. I don’t give up easily.
I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one.
I am a hard worker
I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete.
I finish whatever I begin.
My interests change from year to year.
I am diligent. I never give up.
I have been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest.
I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge.

Grit has two components: passion and perseverance. If you want to dig a little deeper, you can calculate separate scores for each component: For your passion score, add up your points for the odd-numbered questions and divide by 5. For your perseverance score, add up your points for the even-numbered questions and divide by 5.

Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.

Grit is about holding the same top-level goal for a very long time.

One top-level professional goal, rather than any other number, is ideal.

The more unified, aligned, and coordinated your goal hierarchies, the better.

3-step process for Prioritizing:
  1. Write down a list of 25 career goals.
  2. Do some soul-searching and circle the five highest priority goals. Just five.
  3. Take a good hard look at the twenty goals you didn’t circle. These you avoid at all costs. They are what distract you: they eat away time and energy, taking your eye from the goals that matter most.
  4. To what extent do these goals serve a common purpose? The more they’re part of the same goal hierarchy-important because they than serve the same ultimate concern-the more focused your passion.
Any successful person has to decide what to do in part by deciding what not to do.

Giving up on lower-level goals is not only forgivable, it’s sometimes absolutely necessary. You should give up when one lower-level goal can be swapped for another that is more feasible. It also makes sense to switch your path when a different lower-level goal-a difference means to the same end-is just more efficient, or more fun, or for whatever reason makes more sense than your original plan.

Passion items:

  • Degree to which he works with distant objects in view (as opposed to living from hand to mouth). Active preparation for later life. Working toward a definite goal.
  • Tendency not to abandon tasks from mere changeability. Not seeking something fresh because of novelty. Not looking for a change.
    Perseverance items:
  • Degree of strength of will or perseverance. Quiet determination to stick to a course once decided upon.
  • Tendency not to abandon tasks in face of obstacles. Perseverance, tenacity, doggedness.
  • Passion begins with intrinsically enjoying what you do.
  • “I love what I do!”
    Capacity to practice.
  • After you’ve discovered and developed interest in a particular area, you must devote yourself to the sort of focused, full-hearted, challenge-exceeding-skill practice that leads to mastery.
  • You must zero in on your weaknesses, and you must do so over and over again, for hours a day, week after month after year.
  • What ripens passion is the conviction that your work matters.
  • It is imperative that you identify your work as both personally interesting and, at the same time, integrally connected to the well-being of others.
  • Hope is a rising-to-the-occasion kind of perseverance.
  • Hope defines every stage.

Passion for your work is a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, and then a lifetime of deepening.
-> Lengthier and increasingly proactive period of interest development.

Most people only begin to gravitate toward certain vocational interests, and away from others, around middle school.

Interests are not discovered through introspection. They are triggered by interacting with the outside world.
The initial triggering of a new interest must be followed by subsequent encounters that re-trigger your attention-again and again and again.

Interests thrive when there is a crew of encouraging supporters including parents, teachers, coaches, and peers.
They provide the ongoing simulation and information that is essential to actually liking something more and more.

Before hard work comes play.
Before those who've yet to fix on a passion are ready to spend hours a day diligently honing skills, they must goof around, triggering and re-triggering interest.
→ Even the most accomplished of experts start out as un-serious beginners.

We need to practice. But not too much and not too soon.
Rush a beginner, and you’ll bludgeon their budding interest. It’s very, very hard to get that back once you do.

If you’d like to follow your passion but haven’t fostered one, you must begin at the beginning: discovery. Ask yourself a few simple questions:

  • What do I like to think about?
  • Where does my mind wander
  • What do I really care about?
  • What matters most to me?
  • How do I enjoy spending my time?
  • What do I find absolutely unbearable?
  • If you find it hard to answer these questions, try recalling your teen years, the stage of life at which vocational interests commonly sprout.

Kaizen is Japanese for resisting the plateau of arrested development. Its literal translation is: “continuous development” → After interviewing dozens and dozens of grit paragons, they all exude kaizen. There are no exceptions.


"Persistent desire to do better. The opposite of being complacent. But it's a positive state of mind, not a negative one. It's not looking backward with dissatisfaction. It's looking forward and wanting to grow." - Hester Lacey

How experts practice:

  1. Set a stretch goal; zeroing in on just one narrow aspect of their overall performance.
    They strive to improve their specific weaknesses. They intentionally seek out challenges they can’t yet meet.
  2. Strive to reach their stretch goal; with undivided attention and great effort.
    They are more interested in what they did *wrong – so they can fix it-rather than what they did right.
    The active processing of this feedback is as essential as its immediacy.
    After feedback, then what?
  3. Do it all over again, and again, and again; until they finally mastered what they set out to do.
    Until conscious incompetence becomes unconscious competence.

Deliberate practice is experienced as supremely effortful.

It's also relevant that many athletes and musicians take naps after their most intensive training session.

The primary motivation for doing effortful deliberate practice is to improve your skill.


“It's about hard work. When it's not fun, you do what you need to do anyway. Because when you achieve results, it's incredibly fun. You get to enjoy the 'Aha' at the end, and that is what drags you along a lot of the way.” — Mads Rasmussen

Develop a taste for hard work as they experience the rewards of their labor. → love to love the burn

Deliberate practice:
  • A clearly defined stretch goal
  • Full concentration and effort
  • Immediate and informative feedback
  • Repetition with reflection and refinement
  • No matter their initial talent, great performers in every domain improve through deliberate practice.
  • Make it a habit to do deliberate practice.
  • Figure out when and where you’re the most comfortable doing deliberate practice.
  • Do deliberate practice then and there every day.
  • Change the way you experience deliberate practice.
  • When you have a habit of practicing at the same time and in the same place every day, you hardly have to think about getting started. You just do.
  • Experts follow routines. They’re creatures of habit.
  • A simple daily plan helps things get going.

Trying to do things they can’t yet do, failing, and learning what they need to do differently is exactly the way experts practice.

Feelings of frustration aren’t necessarily a sign they’re on the wrong track.

Wishing they did things better is extremely common during learning.

Interest is one source of passion. Purpose-the intention to contribute to the well-being of others-is another. The mature passions of getting people depend on both.

The more common sequence is to start out with a relatively self-oriented interest, then learn self-disciplined practice, and finally, integrate that work with an other-centered purpose.

The long days and evenings of toil, the setback and disappointments and struggle, the sacrifice-all this is worth it because ultimately, efforts pay dividends to other people.

At its core, the idea of purpose is the idea that what we do matters to people other than ourselves.

Three bricklayers are asked: “What are you doing?”
The first says “I am laying bricks.”
The second says “I am building a church.”
The third says “I am building the house of God.”

a job “I view my job as just a necessity of life, much like breathing or sleeping.”
a career “I view my job primarily as a stepping-stone to other jobs”
a calling “My work is one of the most important things in my life.”

How you see your work is more important than your job title.

People mistakenly think about interest: They don't realize they need to play an active role in developing and deepening their interests.
Leaders and employees who keep both personal and prosocial interests in mind do better in the long run than those who are 100 percent selfishly motivated.

Young people who’d mentioned both self and other-oriented motives rated their schoolwork as more personally meaningful than classmates who’d named either motive alone.

A beyond-the-self orientation can and should be deliberately cultivated.

Everyone has a spark. And that’s the very beginning of purpose. That spark is something you’re interested in.
Next, you need to observe someone who is purposeful.

"What matters is that someone demonstrates that it's possible to accomplish something on behalf of others."

There is no single case in which the development of purpose unfolded without the earlier observation of a purposeful role model.


"You never know who will go on to do good or even great things or become the next great influencer in the world-so treat everyone like they are that person."

Job crafting -> Thinking about how, in small but meaningful ways, you can change your current work to enhance its connection to your core values.

“Imagine yourself fifteen years from now.”
“What do you think will be most important to you then?”
“Can you think of someone whose life inspires you to be a better person? Who? Why?”

Hopelessness → Suffering you think you can’t control.

If you have a growth mindset, you're more likely to do well in school, enjoy better emotional and physical health, and have stronger, more positive social relationships with other people.

→ Students with a growth mindset are significantly grittier than students with a fixed mindset.
→ Growth mindset and grit go together.
-> Adopting a gritty perspective involves recognizing that people get better at things-they grow.


“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

Children develop more of a fixed mindset when their parents react to mistakes as though they’re harmful and problematic.

“Put your head down and go hard. Hard work really, really matters.”

“Just keep working hard and learning, and it will all work out.”


“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” — Nietzsche

What didn’t kill the young rats, when by their own efforts they could control what was happening, made them stronger for life.

A fixed mindset about ability leads to pessimistic explanations of adversity, and that, in turn, leads to both giving up on challenges and avoiding them in the first place.
In contrast, a growth mindset leads to optimistic ways of explaining adversity, and that, in turn, leads to perseverance and seeking out new challenges that will ultimately make you even stronger.

Update your beliefs about intelligence and talent.

Practice optimistic self-talk.

Social class, or parents’ marital status, teens with warm, respectful, and demanding parents earned higher grades in school, were more self-reliant, suffered from less anxiety and depression, and were less likely to engage in delinquent behavior.

Wise parenting encourages children to emulate their parents.

A young child’s instinct to copy adults is very strong.

There are countless research studies showing that kids who are more involved in extracurriculars fare better on just about every conceivable metric-they earn better grades, have higher self-esteem, are less likely to get in trouble and so forth.

More participation in activities predicts better outcomes.

Follow-through was the single best predictor of holding an appointed or elected leadership position in young adulthood.

Follow-through predicted notable accomplishments for a young adult in all domains, from the arts and writing to entrepreneurism and community service.

The particular pursuits to which students had devoted themselves in high school didn’t matter. The key was that students had signed up for something, signed up again the following year, and during that time had made some kind of progress.

Following through on our commitments while we grow up both requires grit and, at the same time, builds it.


“Most people are born with tremendous potential. The real question is whether they’re encouraged to employ their good old-fashioned hard work and their grit to its maximum. In the end, those are the people who seem to be the most successful. – Bill Fitzsimmons

If you want to be grittier, find a gritty culture and join it. If you’re a leader, and you want the people in your organization to be grittier, create a gritty culture.


“The hard way is to do it by yourself. The easy way is to use conformity-the basic human drive to fit in-because if you’re around people who are grittier, you’re going to act grittier.” – Dan Chambliss

The way we do things around here and why eventually becomes The way I do things and why.

Culture and identity are so critical to understand how gritty people live their lives.

Think of yourself as someone who is able to overcome tremendous adversity often leads to behavior that confirms that self-conception. You get up again no matter what.


“Have a fierce resolve in everything you do. Demonstrate determination, resiliency, and tenacity. Do not let temporary setbacks become permanent excuses. Use mistakes and problems as opportunities to get better-not reasons to quit.” – Jamie Dimon

“Personally, I have learned that if you create a vision for yourself and stick with it, you can make amazing things happen in your life.
My experience is that once you have done the work to create the clear vision, it is the discipline and effort to maintain that vision that can make it all come true.
The two go hand in hand. The moment you’ve created that vision, you’re on your way, but it’s the diligence with which you stick to that vision that allows you to get there.” — Pete Carroll

Compete comes from Latin. It literally means strive together. It doesn’t have anything in its origins about another person losing.

Supportive and demanding parenting is psychologically wise and encourages children to emulate their parents.
It stands to reason that supportive and demanding leadership would do the same.

It’s about pushing beyond what you can do today so that tomorrow you’re just a little bit better. It’s about excellence.

What we accomplish in the marathon of life depends tremendously on our grit-our passion and perseverance for long-term goals.

You can grow your grit.

You can cultivate your interests. You can develop a habit of daily challenge-exceeding-skill practice. You can connect your work to a purpose beyond yourself. And you can learn to hope when all seems lost.

The grittier a person is, the more likely they’ll enjoy a healthy emotional life.

Grit went hand in hand with well-being, no matter how it was measured.

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.