Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, written by Angela Duckworth, is a book that details how grit can help people achieve their goals with passion and perseverance. In her book, she interviewed many folks like Bill Gates and conducted studies using a grit scale and questionnaires. In each chapter, she explains how each factor is linked to grit, such as parenting, purpose, practice, passion, and hard work, by providing examples throughout the book.
My favorite part of this book is when she explains that talent is virtually useless without hard work because most hardworking people can rise to the same level of greatness. For example, my favorite was about Scott Barry Kaufman’s backstory because he mentioned that he had a lot of ear infections as a kid and could not process information from sound; he had a learning disability. However, when he grew older, he played the cello and was determined that he would improve his cello skills. He earned a seat in his high school orchestra and did well in his honors classes. He auditioned for the opera program since it didn’t focus on test scores. He took a psychology course as an elective and chose psychology as his minor. He transferred from opera to psychology and graduated Phi Beta Kappa (Duckworth, 2016, p. 31-34).
I like this book section because it informs the reader that focusing on talent distracts us from something worth more. I also have a couple learning disabilities and I take a long time to understand new material. I used strategies such as asking a tutor to help view my papers for feedback, asking a ton of questions to my professors when I am not understanding the material, I do my assignments in order based on their due dates and exercise to help me feel less overwhelmed. I may not be very talented but I have a lot of grit because I have a lot of support from my parents, I follow my passion and I want to graduate.
I experienced times when I felt like I was procrastinating because I felt stressed. For example, in my Painting I class, I asked my professor about how I was doing in his class. He told me my grade average was a C after doing poorly on a previous art project. He told me that if I improved on my final project, I would pass with a B. However, the last assignment was a self-portrait which made me feel stressed. I began to work on my assignment and took my time each work day. Then I asked my professor and some students for feedback on how to improve my self-portrait. However, I was stuck when the due date got closer because I didn’t understand my professor’s feedback. I solved my problem by asking one of my classmates to show me what the professor wanted so I could get a decent grade. On the due date, I texted one of my classmates to help put the finishing touches on my self-portrait. At the end of the semester, I earned a B minus, but I was proud of it; instead of procrastinating, I learned to have self-control.
The book provides a couple scenarios about how students can understand that they do not need talent to become successful. Instead, they should focus on their passions, work hard, and ask for help. The book can provide a different perspective for college students struggling in their classes. The book made me feel less alone and that we all struggle with classes and life in general.
TEDxBlue - Angela Lee Duckworth, Ph.D - 10/18/09
New York, NY: Scribner. Duckworth, Angela, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. New York, NY: Scribner, 2016.
TEDxTalks. (2009, November 12). TEDxBlue - Angela Lee Duckworth, ph.D - 10/18/09. YouTube. Retrieved August 1, 2022, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaeFnxSfSC4