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Grit Audiobook

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

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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.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Tristan 06-11-16
    Tristan 06-11-16 Member Since 2016

    Urban planner. Environmentalist. Geek.

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    "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.

    81 of 90 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 05-05-16
    Gillian Austin, TX, United States 05-05-16 Member Since 2016

    SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!

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    "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...!"

    59 of 69 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yoshida 05-15-16
    A. Yoshida 05-15-16
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    "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.

    23 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John United States 07-09-16
    John United States 07-09-16 Member Since 2015
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    "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.

    68 of 84 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A-aron ohio 06-11-16
    A-aron ohio 06-11-16

    AG

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    "Well worth the read."

    I purchased this book because I've always been interested in perseverance and how it works. I thought this book would be more about stories but I was definitely wrong. As a person who does not really like hearing about research, I have to admit that this book filled with useful information and so well written that I hardly noticed. The author read in such a way that I was always interested and couldn't wait to get back to the book. Most importantly I found out some answers that I have been seeking about myself for years and how to motivate and transfer my own Grit over to my children. I highly recommend not only you read this book, but also have your children read it. I can guarantee that they too will get something out of it.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank 09-15-16
    Frank 09-15-16
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    "Grit! And How to Get It! Keep an Open Mind"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This book is well written, well performed, and a brilliant outline of what we all know to be true. But simply can't put into words like Mrs. Duckworth.


    What about Angela Duckworth’s performance did you like?

    Angela Duckworth does a brilliant job. Sometimes you listen to an author read their own work and you think "This is a good book by Mr./Ms. ABC - but they should have hired Mr./Ms. XYZ to read it.". Not this audiobook. Great job!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Grit - How YOU Can Perform Like a West Point Cadet In Your Own Life.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelley 09-13-16
    Kelley 09-13-16
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    "Compelling call to a gritty life!"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Duckworth explores the subject of being gritty so throughly, and in such a factual and genuine way, that it inspired me to be even more persistent about my passions.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shane Powers 05-21-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Wish I Read This 25 Years Ago"

    I've been a fan of self-help and psychology books for a long time. I learned a lot of the lessons in this book from an old baseball coach when I was 13 or 14. I took a lot of those lessons from baseball and taught myself (with help) how to play guitar, how to build websites and code, how to start a business, and even soft skills like how to be more persuasive.

    I heard about this book from the Freakonomics podcast and being a fan of Gladwell's Outliers and Dan Coyle's The Talent Code, I added it to my wish list.

    This book is an essential piece for anyone that's working consistently to get better at a skill. Entrepreneurs, teachers, musicians, athletes and tech people will definitely find it valuable.

    I'm sure I'll go back and listen to it at least a dozen times.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JK907 05-11-16
    JK907 05-11-16
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    "superb book w/info supported by evidence & research"

    This book smartly explores the value of effort and the many levels of hard work over talent. It is similar to books of Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers, Tipping Point), however, in this book, everything is backed up with years of research and doesn't make sweeping generalizations from onetime instances. The author also recognizes both sides of her theories and uses a great variety of examples. She presents the notion of grit versus talent in a way that makes you feel capable and motivated because of the evidence presented. Very wise and informative book, I highly recommend it - especially for those who believe talent cannot be developed or that hard work cannot more so than not, trump talent.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jami Vail, AZ 09-17-16
    Jami Vail, AZ 09-17-16 Member Since 2014
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    "excellent book!"

    Great research told through very effective and relevant vignettes. applicable in all aspects of life, both personally and professionally enhancing.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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