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Publisher's Summary

In this must-listen book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, students, and businesspeople - both seasoned and new - that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called "grit".

Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, MacArthur "genius" Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial, such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments.

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not genius but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth created her own "character lab" and set out to test her theory.

Here, she takes listeners into the field to visit teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she's learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers - from J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to the cartoon editor of The New Yorker to Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

Winningly personal, insightful, and even life changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down and how that - not talent or luck - makes all the difference.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2016 Angela Duckworth (P)2016 Simon & Schuster

What the critics say

"Psychologist Angela Duckworth's winning performance is a nice blend of confidence in her scientific findings and humility about her personal and professional journey. Her accessible writing and speaking charm help her research on character reveal much about why people with the same abilities get vastly different results." ( AudioFile)

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What listeners say about Grit

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Very repetitive

Good message but I got bored after a while from the content... but perhaps I don’t have enough grit to survive the book!

10 people found this helpful

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Good message, interesting research, too long.

I enjoyed this book and although I think most of the insights here were common sense, it was just to have those thing confirmed by research. But, I felt like it was pretty repetitive and could have been a lot shorter.

4 people found this helpful

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Should have hired a pro to read...

Some interesting ideas backed up with some research by the Author. However, she spends most of her time on personal experiences and observing the stories of others. The content was alright, but her reading is probably the worst I've heard to date (very robotic). The audio book could have greatly benefited from a professional reader.

4 people found this helpful

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Life changing!

I wish I had this knowledge 20 years ago. Grit contains key knowledge that can dramatically improve our ability to achieve succes in fulfilling our goals. It provides a mindset that can greatly empower leaders in any field. As a parent, I find the book invaluable in helping me provide my kids with key life skills. I very highly recommend this excellent, easily digestable book to anyone who wants to fulfill their fullest potential in any field.

3 people found this helpful

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strive for more

I started this book a couple years ago, knowing it was and expecting it to be a personally challenging, yet also insightful and meaningful, read. I didn't complete it -- until today. Part of my motivation to finish came from a coworker's remark when, after I had observed that I was at the time part-way into in excess of 10 books that I intended someday to complete, he stated I probably struggle with completing tasks.

So, my small act of Grit, a step near the beginning of my journey, is to have completed this book. And it was everything and more than I expected. I do not yet live in the manner of a Grit paragon, so my personal challenge is to ensure each day is a non-zero day; to live every day striving to be more/better, even if only by degrees, than I am/was the day before.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting and informative

I often find myself replaying the audiobook even though I've already listens to it from start to finish. The narrator ( who is also the author) is pleasant to listen to and engaging. #audible1

2 people found this helpful

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Grit was a good read

Great book for parents and teachers/educators, especially those new to the field. It was enlightening and in some ways familiar.

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More Neoliberal Bootstrap BS

Oh boy. Another affluent person who thinks that the people who never get ahead just needed to try harder. Why reform the systems when we can blame the individual?

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Amazing

Everybody should read this. We all could use more grit and until you know what it is, it is hard to improve on something. Fascinating research and interesting stories!

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Must Read for anybody trying to find their way

Grit was a book I heard a lot about in different places, and now I know why. We as people tend to believe that our goals, passions and fulfillment will fall from the sky and everything will click into place. Angela offers a very different perspective. Passion and fulfillment are developed overtime through effort. This flies in the face of convention, and it's wonderful. This relieves all the pressure to figure out what your about right now, and why can't figure out what your passionate about, because it's something that is developed. It starts with a spark and is then developed through hardwork. Talent is often overrated and this book provides a good amount of evidence to support this claim.

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  • Zach
  • 2018-06-24

Lazy rehash of accomplished authors

This author doesn't "have a theory." She so shamelessly piggybacks on other more accomplished authors I'm a bit annoyed her book is so popular.

To save yourself the trouble, I will tell you to rather read the books that this book is based on:

Peak (deliberate practice)
The Power of Habit
Mindset (the masterpiece)

85 people found this helpful

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  • Grimjack
  • 2018-05-13

A 9 hour commencement address

I'll repeat what a couple of other reviewers have said, it took "grit" to finish what probably could have been discussed efficiently with statistics and examples in 90 minutes or less. While "Grit" offers some useful observations on power of persistence in exceptionally successful people, it comes across as a 9 1/2 hour affirmation of multiple the aphorisms on determination (e.g. Genius: 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration).

While the author cites some studies and field work, I'm unconvinced that she used test populations and statistical sampling that hold up to analytic rigor. At the beginning of the book, the author overstates the statistical merit of the grit study to predict a cadet's potential to complete "Beast Barracks" at West Point and while she does somewhat temper her conclusion near the end of the book, it comes very late and almost off-hand. Finally, I did not value the author's continual inclusion of herself and family to support her observations and work. While these anecdotes are interesting in their own right and make the author relatable, they are also self-serving and call into question her objectivity.

I think largest deficiency in the book is not fully exploring goal setting in relation to grit. There is some time spent on this topic, maybe 45 minutes to an hour, which is really not enough in comparison to the rest of the volume. "Grit' is worth the read if you've never read anything about hard work; there are some interesting anecdotes but overall, "Grit" doesn't present anything particularly new.

132 people found this helpful

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  • Abdullah Al-Kassas
  • 2019-02-04

Nothing new and repeatitive

I struggled to finish it. It can be summarized, unnecessarily long. Moreover, content is not original or creative.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Tristan
  • 2016-06-11

Two different books

Duckworth demonstrates her own grit by giving an expert performance narrating her own book. It's clear she put considerable work into learning to narrate effectively. She does a great job.

To me, this book has two distinct halves.

The first half is excellent and easily deserves 5 stars. She shows that a simple, self-reported test on people's willingness to stick with goals carries significantly more predictive power than more traditional predictors, such as SAT scores or athletic ability. I walked away from this section with an all new appreciation of how crucial it is for me to focus on a few, high-priority things in my own life if I ever want to achieve greatness. Her work here is based on sufficiently strong research that it forces the reader to rethink their assumptions about talent and accomplishment.

The second half is based less on research, and more on anecdotes. As a result, it reads a bit like a fluffy self-help book. The chapter on the importance of "purpose" to success is basically unsubstantiated. None of the testimonials prove that "purpose" is important to success because the people she interviews could equally just want to rationalize their story in a way that makes them feel good. While purpose may be important to some people, Duckworth failed to convince that pure self-interest would have been an insufficient motivator for plenty of the successful people she interviewed. Her interviews with investment bankers made me throw up in my mouth a bit.

It is also seems counter-productive to include purpose and passion in the definition of grit. The ability of people to push themselves through tasks they do not enjoy is itself an important, distinct quality to understand, and it would be valuable to have a word that refers specifically to that. I know that part of my own success rests on the fact that I have been willing to do unpleasant tasks that I felt no passion or purpose for, but which I felt were necessary. I have also felt passion and purpose for some goals, but lacked the grit to withstand the pain of putting in the effort to achieve them. Passion and purpose may indeed be motivators of grit, but to say they are part of it causes the term to lose its distinct meaning.

This book should perhaps be called "Persistence", of which grit, passion and purpose are three parts. As it stands, "Grit" is, in effect, defined by grit, passion and purpose. The fact that the term appears to be operating as part of its own definition shows that there is a conflation of concepts at play.

328 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2017-03-16

A few good chapters stretched into a whole book

It turns out, perseverance is a useful tool for succeeding in a vast array of subjects. Hardly Earth shattering news, but Duckworth has the data to back this up! There are a few early chapters that talk about her models and their predictive value, but that's not enough for a whole book, so it's padded with endless sports celebrity anecdotes ("paragons" of grit), personal experience hideously contorted to relate to the subject, and lavish praise for perhaps the grittiest thief of the century, Jamie Dimon.

21 people found this helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 2016-05-15

Simple but hard to do

This is an excellent book that pulls together several concepts and their role in perseverance and success. Concepts that are becoming well known are: people can score higher on IQ tests when they have a growth mindset (believing that they can learn more instead of believing that they are born intelligent or not) and people can become experts through deliberate practice. An average person can become better than a "talented" person through many hours of practice and guidance from coaches and teachers who can provide precise feedback on what to work on. "Grit" takes it to the next step - how to stay motivated to spend all those hours practicing and focused on the goal (or as the author would say, be gritty). There is also a 10-question test on the author's website to measure grit. If you answer honestly, it provides a basis for which to measure yourself over time of your perseverance.

The steps are simple but hard to do. Experiment and explore to find an area of interest. Practice to overcome obstacles. The more you accomplish, the more passionate you'll feel and the more committed you'll feel to the purpose. Determination and direction are what will lead you to success.

87 people found this helpful

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  • E4KILO
  • 2016-07-09

Spend time listening to something else.

Go download the free Freakonimics podcast episode "How to Get More Grit In Your Life". It sums up everything you need to know and won't take 9 hours. I have around 100 books in my Audible Library. I have only returned 1 book to date. I'm returning this.

237 people found this helpful

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  • AndroidUser
  • 2018-11-08

This audiobook is a grit test in and of itself

If you can finish this book, congrats! you got lots of grit. I like the intention of the book and there some great points in the first few chapters, but it seems the author really wanted more chapters in her book so she repeated everything for another 5. Presentation is monotonous. All that makes this audiobook a chore to finish. needless to say, I failed this grit test of a book

5 people found this helpful

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  • ANDRÉ
  • 2016-05-22

The Soul of The Super Achievers

I have been studying ways to improve myself and my kids for almost a decade. I've read and listened to many books that talked about grit. And I searched many times for "Angela Duckworth and grit". Well, what a beautiful surprise to find this excellent book and to listen to it twice already, in the month of its release. Angela Duckworth is the main scientist that studies GRIT. And in this book she delivers all her knowledge in a very profound yet comprehensive way.
But, instead of writing only about grit and her researches, she goes beyond and talks about play, deliberate practice, flow and many other important topics of the psychology of success.
I will try to highlight the message, but I recommend you to read the book at least once.
Grit is a consistency of effort and practice. A gritty person have the attitude of never giving up, have an obsession and go for it, try to be the best in the world and always search for ways to improve; A gritty person has passion and perseverance.
Having grit is better than having talent (but better to have both). To have grit is to have a laser bean focus (specially on your weaknesses) to achieve what you desire, to get feedback from others and from yourself and use it to make adjustments to be more competent.
A terrific book with plenty of sound advices. Read it and share with others that the ultimate book of success has arrived.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Gillian
  • 2016-05-05

No More Obsessing on Talent!

When I picked up "Grit", I was pretty sure I was going to feel pretty crummy as I was one of those kids who flunked 'The Marshmallow Test', like, bad (I don't wanna talk about it...). But it turns out that you can learn grit (and that you get grittier as you get older through bouncing back from all of life's pitfalls and disappointments. BUT! You have to make sure you keep getting up after you're knocked down).
Sure there is growing grit from the outside-in: parents, mentors, teachers play a very important role, but that's not anywhere near the half of it. You can also grow grit from the inside-out: by cultivating your interests (Do it! Very, very few people know what their one 'top-level' goal through life will be); by challenging your skills every day; by connecting your work to a purpose beyond yourself (This was so wonderful and important to me. I started seeing my self-worth at work, and want to make myself worthier to the kids I work with and to my co-workers); and by learning to hope when all seems lost. Learned helplessness? Sure. Learned hopefulness/optimism? Now we're talking!
Through the book, examples are given, people are talked or referred to, entrepreneurs like Jeff Bezos, creative types like John Irving. It's fascinating and inspiring.
And make sure you don't forget to download the PDF materials. You'll find a way to rate yourself on the Grit Scale, a reflection of who you are now and which can grow over time.
Learn to do the hard work; learn to pare down your goals; learn to develop your one guiding principle, and you're golden.
The only flaw in this book is that it's a study, rather than your usual how-to book. That's not a bad thing, it just means that the jury's still out on a few of the developing stats. Most importantly, is living with a paragon of grit easy to do? Duckworth asked her two daughters, and though she said they love it, the way she quoted them, I dunno. Sounds like her daughters wanted her to relax a little.
That won't be a problem with me. Sometimes I'm so relaxed, I'm darned near comatose. But "Grit" was just the passionate and enlightening study I needed to hear about. I'm really, really glad I listened to it.
"Fall seven; Rise eight...!"

83 people found this helpful

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  • Faure
  • 2021-04-24

A bad psychology book from a bad psychologist

I don't intend for this review to be mean, but I have to factually say some unkind things about this book.

First, good things about this book: the author reads very well. Good audio quality.

Everything else makes for a very bad book. There are numerous issues with the author's vision, approach and methodology. I can't list all of them here, but I'll start with the most problematic issues:

1/ The author itself doesn't seem like a good psychologist. She pretty much sounds like someone extremely happy to have been able to have taken a step back on life, and who now believes she attained wisdom. While anyone who took two or three steps back can see she still believes in a LOT of fallacies, myths, and globally did not deconstruct well her approach to life.

Many references are made to her dad, and it can be felt many, many times through the book that she still suffers from low self-esteem from their relationship, which is very fine, as long as you're not pretending to not suffer from self-esteem issues. The book kind of read like a whole "See how good I am, dad?". Which is not helped at all by the annoying tendency from almost any self-help book to make their author shine in the brightest possible light.

Similarly, the book holds a position against essentialism of character (i.e. there are no natural winners and losers, you can learn to succeed in life) but at the same time it is clear the author still holds a very essentialist approach. She still uses terms such as "winner" and "loser". Her choice of people to interview for the book also shows quite much a lot about her, i.e. how she buys in into the whole "rich entrepreneurs are just better people" popular american myth.

Simply put, the author stopped her world analysis way too early while being convinced that she now holds the ultimate truth. It is extremely cringe to listen to people like this. I don't think that makes for a good book, nor for a very good psychologist.

2/ The psychology is quite bad. For multiple reasons, but I will just have to quote two huge fallacies that the author commit.

First, her definition of "grit" keeps changing depending on her findings about that value. In the end, what she calls "grit" is actually nothing like the original word. Would you call "gritty" or "perseverant" someone who works a lot on a hobby because they love it so much? That seems like a stretch. But because the data shows that working on what you love makes you successful, the author labelize it as "gritty". Smells like a true scottsman fallacy.

Another huge fallacy the author commits is the survivor fallacy. By interviewing only successful people, she completely fails to nuance her argument. It makes as much sense as interviewing people who got rich playing the lottery, determining they all won the lottery, and therefore recommending that everyone plays the lottery. The author refuse to acknowledge the simple truth that perserverance and passion can - sometimes - lead to bad outcomes, especially when it's badly directed - Oh but there is a chapter about how you have to direct your grit in a smart direction! But without really explaining how. So basically the whole ad-hoc argument works in reverse. In the end, if you were successful, it means you applied the concepts in this book well (so the author is proven right), and if you were not, well you did not apply them well (so the author is proven right again). This is neither good science nor psychology, you cannot establish a theory starting from the conclusions.

There are some good arguments and interesting data in the book. But it's globally an extremely cringe read/listen, and the bulk of the argument often falls flat. It is often inspiring, which can be a good thing, except when it blinds you to the reality that the author just is not exposing a very good argument.

You can listen to it, but you should never takes what the author says at face value. There are some interesting parts, such as the "growth mindset" if you're not familiar with that already, althought I did not find the explanations for this great concept (which doesn't come from this author) to be particularly stellar.

For an alternative, I recommend "Atomic habits", which is way more grounded in reality and which presents a way better argument leading to actual changes to make you a happier person.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michel FERRY
  • 2016-12-19

Inspiring but lack of practical tools

Good book with inspiring stories but I would have loved to have more practical tools or concepts that can be applied in everyday life. For instance like the "one hard thing" that Angela and her family has.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Client d'Amazon
  • 2021-11-01

great book

i recommend the book, it is well documented and very useful for parents and teachers.

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  • J.Carver
  • 2020-09-16

One of the best books I've read

A perfect balance of studies, research, and stories that aren't dramatized. An excellent piece on what I takes to achieve great things in life. A sound guide that should be shared.

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  • GA
  • 2018-10-29

Un peu longuet

Le livre et les idées sont intéressantes mais alors qu'est-ce que c'est long! Sinon, le livre est lu par l'auteur, qui a une voix agréable.