BOTM: Grit by Angela Duckworth

March 12, 2019




“Nobody wants to show you the hours and hours of becoming. They'd rather show the highlight of what they've become.” 


For some reason it took me a while to read this book even though I am inherently curious about grit and know that it is vital for any success. It is so vital, the word “grit” is the only tattoo I have on my body.  I first heard of Angela Duckworth through her TED Talk video on grit. It’s a fantastic very quick and light summary on the book and she even goes into detail about how she relied on grit to create the talk.  Reading this book was a hard look in the mirror because even though I want to have grit and know it is a huge component to my future success, I do not believe I exemplify grit. I have quit in so many aspects of my life, even when things were going awesome! Sometimes it’s because I wanted something different, sometimes it’s because I couldn’t see the future and didn’t see it through, sometimes it was my own self-doubt. No matter the reason, these are all excuses that eventually led me to fail in so many aspects. Failing isn’t making the wrong decision, it’s giving up and quitting. My new favorite quote is taken from the Navy Seals “Not dead, can’t quit”. Grit is what gets you through cancer, what gets you through a failing business, or even just learning a skill.


Duckworth starts out about finding your passion. How to start:

  • What do I like to think about?

  • Where does my mind wonder?

  • How do I like to spend my time?

  • What do I absolutely despise doing?

Begin with the answers you’re surest of and build from there.


Kaizen is a Japanese term that refers to resisting the plateau of arrested development. Continuous improvement in all functions.


Deliberate practice is for preparing, while flow is for performing. This is great for anyone that has to do anything public such as talking or performing. When you put in deliberate practice and have given it 100%, performing should be fun and should come easy. You already put in the work, now go play!


When talking to people and they do something great, congratulate them on their effort instead of talent. Example: “Wow, you’re a really great basketball player!” vs “wow, you put a lot of time and effort into playing basketball, no wonder you’re so good!”


Whenever you trip up or make a mistake or get angry, make that a character of yourself so that you don’t let it consume you. Example: If I don’t clean my room when I told myself I would, that’s just lazy Mike.


Finally when you are thinking about quitting or giving up, don’t quit on a bad day, quit on a natural stopping point. Example: ‘quitting when your coach yells at you’ vs. ‘quitting when the season is over’. Things aren’t going to go your way at various times of a project, goal, or career. Don’t stop when it gets tough, stop if there’s a natural breaking point and you have finally determined it is not for you. This will help avoid making quick irrational and emotional decisions versus thought through ones.


I would recommend this book to anyone starting in a new career or business venture. It’s going to get tough out there! Have perspective and see it through!!




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