up:: Books

The Power of Passion and Perseverance



A compelling argument how sucess comes from sticking with things, even when they’re hard. Angela Duckworth is an empathetic and lively author and narrator. The book lacked the aggressive self-promoting tone that many self-help books have.

That doesn’t mean that Angela and her research doesn’t pose a strong challenge to the reader. The people you meet and the arguments she presents force self-examination in regards to grittiness. I sure feel like there is space to grow. The books was a surprisingly comprehensive and nuanced treatment. I expected a “stiffen your neck and push through things” message but she also talked about the importance of hope, optimism and peers.


Talent _ effort = skill. Skill _ effort = achievement.

  • Grit = Passion + Perseverance
  • Grit is sticking with one thing to become really good at it

The four building blocks of Grit

  • Interest: Captivated by an endeavour
  • Practice: Daily discipline to do better today than yesterday
  • Purpose: Meaningful work breeds passion
  • Hope: Defines every stage. Keep going, even in doubts


  • When what we do lines up with what we love doing, we are happier and better at it
  • ”Follow your passion” is actually good advice (Jeff Bezos says so too)
  • Passion comes not in an epiphany, but by cultivation and deepening over time


  • Desire to do better today than yesterday
  • 10.000h rule mentioned: Effective learning comes from deliberate practice
  • Deliberate practice takes extreme effort and focus
    • It takes strain and feedback
  • Flow and deliberate practice go hand in hand but aren’t the same. Deliberate practice is what you do (practice), flow is what you feel (performance)
  • Practice shame-free. Mistakes are to be embraced.
  • Setting stretch goals: Improve weaknesses.


  • ”The intention of contributing to the lives of others”


  • When being faced with setbacks, optimism is to see them as temporary and specific
  • Pessimism is to see them as permanent and pervasive Giving up on challenges or not engaging them at all
  • Growth mindset leads to optimistic self-talk leads to perseverance over adversity
  • IQ scores usually change over life

Growing Grit from the outside in


  • In Parenting, demanding and loving aren’t opposites

  • Demanding and supportive parents are classified as psicolocially wise,

  • non-demanding but supportive as x,

  • demanding and not-supportive as authoritarian,

  • non-demanding and unsupportive as y.

  • experiment: graded student essays were sorted into two piles. The experimental group had a note that read: “I’m giving you these comments because I have every high expectations and I know that you can reach them.”

  • The control read, “I’m giving you these comments so that you’ll have feedback on your paper.”

  • Students were then given the option of revising their essays. 80% of the students with the wise feedback turned in a revised paper, compared to 40% in the control group.

  • Extracurricular activities are key. It’s one of the few activities that are fun and challenging at the same time.

  • Sticking with those activities is important too. Follow-up is the biggest factor in determining sucess later in life.

The Hard Thing Rule

  1. Everyone in the family does a hard thing that requires daily deliberate practice.
  2. You can quit the thing but only at a natural stopping point. When the semester is over, the fee is up,…
  3. You get to pick your hard thing. No one picks it for you.
  4. In high school: Commit to a hard thing, this one or a new one, for two years.

A culture of Grit

  • An easy way to be more gritty is by joining a high-grit team.