Grit Angela Duckworth

Grit scale

Darwin was a plodder. Thought hard work more important than talent.

We have an unconscious bias toward believing the talent myth. Even if we say we prefer people who've earned their skill over naturally talented people, when tested we favor the supposedly natural musician or natural entrepreneur.

"The mundanity of excellence."

When we don't understand excellence we fall to labeling it talent. (Same as that blog post I read about the guy who was a terrible singer then sung every day for ten years and then people would say "oh it's easy for you, you're a natural")

But high level performance is an accretion of mundane acts.

Nietzsche - no one can see in the work of the artist how it has become. That is its advantage. For wherever one can see the act of becoming, one grows somewhat cool.

"The cult of the genius" is promoted by vanity and laziness

Nietzsche says you must employ the means available to you. Employ everything as material.

Nietzsche: Great things are accomplished by those "whose thinking is active in one direction. Who employ everything as material. Who always zealously observe their own inner life and that of others. Who perceive everywhere models and incentives. Who never tire of combining together the means available to them."

Nietzsche said exemplars of talent are, above all else "craftsmen": "Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents. One can name great men of all kinds who are very little gifted. They acquired greatness. Became 'geniuses' They all possess that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole. They allowed themselves time for it, because they took more pleasure in making the little secondary things well, than in the effect of a dazzling whole.

Talent * Effort = Skill

Skill * Effort = Achievement

Effort has a squared effect v talent.

(Talent makes it quick to gain a skill - but so does effort. Effort also makes you apply the skill you've gained. Thus effort leads to a squared amount of achievement versus the achievement outcome of talent without effort)

Warren Buffet story about "write down your 25 career goals. Pick 5. The other 20 are your 'must not do' list as they are the things that will suck up your passion, consume your time and energy and prevent you from completing the top 5." (I could call this the displacement effect)

Consistent work towards one life philosophy - a passion topic - a compass needle - a direction.

Lower level sub goals also serve this high level goal. Other sub goals are a means to an end.

To find your one life philosophy - write down all your mid level career goals.

Then graph them. Axes: interest and importance. See which are in the winning quadrant.

"The maturity principle (by which we may get grittier as we age) comes down to this: Over time we learn life lessons we don't forget. We adapt in response to the growing demands of our circumstances. Eventually new ways of thinking and acting become habitual. Over time our adaptations become durable. And eventually our identity (the sort of person we see ourself to be) has evolved. We have matured."

Part 2 develop your passion

The grittier a person is the few career changes they're likely to make.

"All human beings even from infancy tend to look away from things they've already seen and instead turn their gaze to things that are new and surprising. Interest comes from the Latin interessa which means to differ. We are by our nature neophiles."

Experts see more nuance in their topic. They develop this by deepening their interest which only happens over time. By sticking at the same interest you break through and see more nuance. This is part of why they don't get bored with it. They see novelty within what a non expert would think is the same stuff over and over. Eg musician with notes painter with colors photographer with composition.

This is similar to Kathy Sierra in badass talking about how experts see in higher definition.

Or how people said of da Vinci that it was as if he was observing the world in slow motion. He was an expert at observation so he saw better.


Deliberate practice is very good

See my toned ear practice log where I'm doing deliberate practice. Daily. Reflective. Measured. Tiny-stretch-goal oriented. Reach one goal find another.

Ben Franklin had a way of doing deliberate practice of writing.

Putting favorite essays aside and rewriting them. Then comparing to find weaknesses. Cutting the steps of an essay into pieces. Putting aside until forgotten. Then attempting to reassemble the logical structure.

More likely to practice/stick at it if working on something outside of yourself anddd interest self interest.

Other interested ness is important to success.

A top-level other-oriented life-organizing goal.

"Job-crafting" altering your job to make it more engaging. Maneuver within your job description, adding delegating and customizing what you do to tie to match interest and values. Amy Wrzesniewski.

Hope. "Fall seven rise eight."

Belief that I can alter the future.

Grit and growth mindset are strongly correlated.

"Just telling someone they can overcome adversity isn't enough. You have to rewire the brain circuitry" (the connection between the amygdala and the limbic system.) "by experiencing mastery at the same time as adversity".

A way to improve the world would be to create more extra curricular multi year activities for poor kids. Activities that are challenging and fun and rewarding.

Learned industriousness. <- name for related study.

Another name for grit is "follow-through" see studies on personal qualities by wallingham produced for ETS. "Purposeful continual commitment to particular areas versus sporadic effort in diverse areas." "Multi-year" participation with achievement versus itinerant participation switching every season.

Learn this cycle: struggle followed by progress followed by confidence.

Kids pick up on behavior more than lectures.

Structured extra curricular activities - Eg martial arts. Good for grit. One of few things that is both challenging and fun. Important to stick at it for more than 1 season.

Optimistic self talk helps growth mindset and presumably grit.

"As a transition to the final section of this book, 'building resilience from the outside in', I offer the following anecdote." <- transitions.

Parenting style should be:

Demanding AND Supportive

(Picture 4 quadrants with those on/off)

-warm respectful and demanding

Short survey about parenting style (for the children to take) parenting assessment by Nancy Darling Eg -there may be better links than this

Cody says "If you try you have a chance. If you never try, you have no chance at all." - you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

From elsewhere: "Perseverance is merely stubbornness with a purpose"

Elsewhere: impulsiveness is the opposite of grit/resilience/mindset/ -- see

Opposite of grit: being a flake. Impulsive. Low self control.

Be on time to things.

Don't use synonyms. Use limited vocals. Words with very specific meanings. Imbue meaning into the words. Like a worn down path. Reminds me of Scott Hanselman talking about being "intentional".

Good leadership like good parenting is supportive AND demanding.

3 virtue clusters:

Intrapersonal (Eg grit, self control, mental health) aka resume virtues. Interpersonal aka eulogy virtues (according to David Brookes) Intellectual - curiosity and zest, engagement with the world of ideas.