Book Review: Grit

Full title: Grit: Passion, Perseverance, and the Science of Success by Angela Duckworth

3 out of 5 stars | See the book on Goodreads

This book offers a scientific explanation of success, one that's appealing in many ways. I gave this a 3/5 though, because it was (ironically) challenging to read, partially because the writing could be a bit more accessible, and partially because the ideas are challenging ones, especially for a young American.

Pair with: Creativity Inc to unlock your genius potential

You see, Duckworth offers an explanation of success, and that is given away in the title: It's grit. This semi-mythical ability for successful individuals to push through any obstacles in their path—a path which they know their ultimate outcome and goal. 

I'll let her explain what she means:

If you're on a path, and you have a goal—one, overarching goal that you've made your life's work—this book is a great read. It offers some great advice on taking your passion to the next level and adding the layer of perseverance.

Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.
— Angela Duckworth, Grit


I spent more time than usual stopping and thinking through her ideas (always a good sign) but in the end, found that though her argument made sense, the book was largely unhelpful. One of her biggest pieces of advice—to focus on one, overarching goal—requires you to understand what that goal is. And to pick one. Basically, you need to answer the terrifying question, "What do I do with my life?"

For me, where I am, that's a really messy answer. It's easier to shrug that off (maybe I'm not that gritty...) and so, found this book a challenging, but ultimately worthwhile, read. This book is definitely a call-to-action (or in my case, a kick in the pants) to stop thinking and start doing.