Education policy wonks have been hearing the gospel of grit as evangelized by Angela Duckworth for years now. Her premise that academic success can be attributed to a child’s tolerance for the hard work of persevering through the frustrating learning stage to mastery was popularized in Paul Tough’s book “How Children Succeed.”
Now, in her own book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance,” Duckworth fleshes out the concept so it can be applied to any endeavor.
She explains that using grit to achieve a major life goal—anything from completing college to becoming a working artist, finding the cure to a disease or winning the Super Bowl or Olympics—means combining passion, practice, purpose and hope.
The point of her emphasis on grit is that it replaces the common belief that innate talent, or even genius, is what makes high performers successful. Duckworth believes it is this incorrect assumption about the other-ness of high achievement that leads people to put self-imposed limitations on themselves—unnecessarily.