** Grit by Angela Duckworth

 

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance has a hopeful message for all of us non-geniuses: it turns out that (sustained) effort is what makes successful people successful, and furthermore that deploying sustained effort is something that we can learn, and teach. Yay!

And curiously, although I embrace its ideas and their consequences , I did not like the book. Why? Part of it is a certain cheesiness familiar to anyone who has read business books. The story is a little too slick, a little too perfect. There’s not a single anecdote in which someone tries really hard and just, you know, fails. And the author makes it a point to interview famous people, so it’s a little hard to believe that just regular folks can benefit too. The other reason for my unease are the personal anecdotes. They are a little too self-congratulary, even as they keep harping on the “I’m not a genius” theme.  They made me feel a little inept, not quite good enough.

There you have it, interesting and certainly popular ideas, but unpleasant book.

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2 Comments

Filed under Non fiction

2 responses to “** Grit by Angela Duckworth

  1. I’ll take a pass on reading this, but enjoyed your summary and thoughts – as always. I am a HUGE believer in Grit, sticking with the job at hand, doing your best, working hard – because not everyone does these things and it makes the people who do standout above the rest, regardless of their nearness to genius. At least that has been my observation in work and in seeing other who excel, or don’t. Even in life outside of work.

  2. ftbooks

    Agreed. I wish I had liked the book more!

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