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Flashcards in Grit Deck (66):

Many of the people I talked to could also recount tales of rising stars who, to everyone’s surprise, dropped out or lost interest before they could realize their potential.

Apparently, it was critically important—and not at all easy—to keep going after failure: “Some people are great when things are going well, but they fall apart when things aren’t.

The highly accomplished were paragons of perseverance.”


no matter the domain, the highly successful had a kind of ferocious determination that played out in two ways.

First, these exemplars were unusually resilient and hardworking.

Second, they knew in a very, very deep way what it was they wanted. They not only had determination, they had direction.
It was this combination of passion and perseverance that made high achievers special. In a word, they had grit.


Superlative performance is really a confluence of dozens of small skills or activities,

each one learned or stumbled upon, which have been carefully drilled into habit and then are fitted together in a synthesized whole. There is nothing extraordinary or superhuman in any one of those actions; only the fact that they are done consistently and correctly, and all together, produce excellence.”


Greatness is Doable

Greatness is many, many individual feats, and each of them is doable.”


Effort Counts Twice

when you consider individuals in identical circumstances, what each achieves depends on just two things, talent and effort. Talent—how fast we improve in skill—absolutely matters. But effort factors into the calculations twice, not once.“Effort builds skill. At the very same time, effort makes skill productive. Let me give you a few examples.”


One reason I have confidence in writing the kind of novels I write

is that I have confidence in my stamina to go over something again and again no matter how difficult it is.


The only thing that I see that is distinctly different about me is: I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. I will not be outworked, period.

You might have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, you might be sexier than me. You might be all of those things. You got it on me in nine categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, there’s two things: You’re getting off first, or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple.”


Treadmill Test

running hard was not just a function of aerobic capacity and muscle strength but also the extent to which “a subject is willing to push himself or has a tendency to quit before the punishment becomes too severe.”

“Staying on the treadmill is one thing, and I do think it’s related to staying true to our commitments even when we’re not comfortable. But getting back on the treadmill the next day, eager to try again, is in my view even more reflective of grit. Because when you don’t come back the next day—when you permanently turn your back on a commitment—your effort plummets to zero. As a consequence, your skills stop improving, and at “the same time, you stop producing anything with whatever skills you have.”


Many of us, it seems, quit what we start far too early and far too often.

Even more than the effort a gritty person puts in on a single day, what matters is that they wake up the next day, and the next, ready to get on that treadmill and keep going.


Woody Allen to Young Artists

My observation was that once a person actually completed a play or a novel he was well on his way to getting it produced or published, as opposed to a vast majority of people who tell me their ambition is to write, but who strike out on the very first level and indeed never write the play or book.

Or, in Allen’s snappier formulation, “Eighty percent of success in life is showing up.


Without Effort

your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn’t. With effort, talent becomes skill and, at the very same time, effort makes skill productive.”


there are no shortcuts to excellence.

Developing real expertise, figuring out really hard problems, it all takes time—longer than most people imagine. And then, you know, you’ve got to apply those skills and produce goods or services that are valuable to people.

Grit is About Working on something you care about so much you are willing to stay loyal to it.


Grit Score Can Change

How gritty you are at this point in your life might be different from how gritty you were when you were younger.”


Passion needs Intensity and Endurance

Fireworks erupt in a blaze of glory but quickly fizzle, leaving just wisps of smoke and a memory of what was once spectacular. What Jeff’s journey suggests instead is passion as a compass—that thing that takes you some time to build, tinker with, and finally get right, and that then guides you on your long and winding road to where, ultimately, you want to be.”


Ultimate Concern

The top-level goal is not a means to any other end. It is, instead, an end in itself.


What I mean by passion is not just that you have something you care about.

What I mean is that you care about that same ultimate goal in an abiding, loyal, steady way. You are not capricious. Each day, you wake up thinking of the questions you fell asleep thinking about. You are, in a sense, pointing in the same direction, ever eager to take even the smallest step forward than to take a step to the side, toward some other destination.”


Positive Fantasizing

indulging in visions of a positive future without figuring out how to get there, chiefly by considering what obstacles stand in the way, has short-term payoffs but long-term costs. In the short-term, you feel pretty great about your aspiration to be a doctor. In the long-term, you live with the disappointment of not having achieved your goal.
Even more common, I think, is having a bunch of mid-level goals that don’t correspond to any unifying, top-level goal
Or having a few competing goal hierarchies that aren’t in any way connected with each other.


A top Level Goal

is so interesting and important that it organizes a great deal of your waking activity. In very gritty people, most mid-level and low-level goals are, in some way or another, related to that ultimate goal. In contrast, a lack of grit can come from having less coherent goal structures.”


When your High Level Goal In Place, do not fear the failed low level goal.

The low-level goal with the angry-looking X through it has been blocked. It’s a rejection slip, a setback, a dead end, a failure. The gritty person will be disappointed, or even heartbroken, but not for long.
Soon enough, the gritty person identifies a new low-level goal—draws another cartoon, for example—that serves the same purpose.


Build a Coherent Goal Hierarchy

To what extent do these goals serve a common purpose? The more they’re part of the same goal hierarchy—important because they then serve the same ultimate concern—the more focused your passion.”


To Achieve Lower Level Goals

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Sound advice, but as they say “try, try again, then try something different.


Keep the Higher Level Goal firmly planted

the higher-level the goal, the more it makes sense to be stubborn.


Lower Level Goals are means to the higher level goal

giving up on lower-level goals is not only forgivable, it’s sometimes absolutely necessary. You should give up when one lower-level goal can be swapped for another that is more feasible. It also makes sense to switch your path when a different lower-level goal—a different means to the same end—is just more efficient, or more fun, or for whatever reason makes more sense than your original plan.


Building Your Compass

to get too hung up on a particular rejected grant application, academic paper, or failed experiment. The pain of those failures is real, but I don’t dwell on them for long before moving on. In contrast, I don’t give up as easily on mid-level goals, and frankly, I can’t imagine anything that would change my ultimate aim, my life philosophy, as Pete might say. My compass, once I found all the parts and put it together, keeps pointing me in the same direction, week after month after year.


Grit Features

Degree to which he works with distant objects in view (as opposed to living from hand to mouth). Active preparation for later life. Working toward a definite goal.

Tendency not to abandon tasks from mere changeability. Not seeking something fresh because of novelty. Not “looking for a change.”

“Degree of strength of will or perseverance. Quiet determination to stick to a course once decided upon.

Tendency not to abandon tasks in the face of obstacles. Perseverance, tenacity, doggedness.”


One form of perseverance is the daily discipline

of trying to do things better than we did yesterday. So, after you’ve discovered and developed interest in a particular area, you must devote yourself to the sort of focused, full-hearted, challenge-exceeding-skill practice that leads to mastery. You must zero in on your weaknesses, and you must do so over and over again, for hours a day, week after month after year. To be gritty is to resist complacency.


What ripens passion is the conviction that your work matters.

For most people, interest without purpose is nearly impossible to sustain for a lifetime. It is therefore imperative that you identify your work as both personally interesting and, at the same time, integrally connected to the well-being of others. For a few, a sense of purpose dawns early, but for many, the motivation to serve others heightens after the development of interest and years of disciplined practice.



hope does not define the last stage of grit. It defines every stage. From the very beginning to the very end, it is inestimably important to learn to keep going even when things are difficult, even when we have doubts. At various points, in big “ways and small, we get knocked down. If we stay down, grit loses. If we get up, grit prevails.”


passion for your work is

a little bit of discovery, followed by a lot of development, and then a lifetime of deepening.”


Novelty of the Expert vs Beginner

For the beginner, novelty is anything that hasn’t been encountered before. For the expert, novelty is nuance.”


William James

The old in the new is what claims the attention,“The old with a slightly new turn.”


some people get twenty years of experience

while others get one year of experience . . . twenty times in a row.


Kaizen is Japanese for resisting the plateau of arrested development.

Its literal translation is: “continuous improvement.”


Among Grit Paragons

“It’s a persistent desire to do better, “It’s the opposite of being complacent. But it’s a positive state of mind, not a negative one. It’s not looking backward with dissatisfaction. It’s looking forward and wanting to grow.”


Deliberate Practice:

Find Your Achilles Heel :zeroing in on just one narrow aspect of their overall performance. Rather than focus on what they already do well, experts strive to improve specific weaknesses. They intentionally seek out challenges they can’t yet meet.

Then, with undivided attention and great effort, experts strive to reach their stretch goal. Interestingly, many choose to do so while nobody’s watching.
As soon as possible, experts hungrily seek feedback on how they did. Necessarily, much of that feedback is negative.

This means that experts are more interested in what they did wrong—so they can fix it—than what they did right. The active processing of this feedback is as essential as its immediacy.”

Then experts do it all over again, and again, and again. Until they have finally mastered what they set out to do. Until what was a struggle before is now fluent and flawless. Until conscious incompetence becomes unconscious competence.”


Subtle Refinements of Technique and Mental models Can

add up to dazzling mastery.”


“Every day is an experiment.

Every scene might not work and so you’re concentrating—Is it working? Should I get an extra line for editing? What would I change if I had to, if I hated this in three months, why would I hate it? And you’re concen“trating and you’re exhausted.


The work you put into the practice results in

what you are able to do in the presentation


top performers point out that the alternative to deliberate practice

mindlessly “going through the motions” without improvement—can be its own form of suffering.”


Each of the basic requirements of deliberate practice is unremarkable:

• A clearly defined stretch goal
• Full concentration and effort
• Immediate and informative feedback
• Repetition with reflection and refinement

But how many hours of practice do most people accomplish that checks all four of these boxes? ”


Work Smart Over Hard

It’s not hours of brute-force exhaustion you’re after, he told them. It’s high-quality, thoughtful training goals pursued, just as Ericsson’s research has shown, for just a few hours a day, tops.”


my second suggestion for getting the most out of deliberate practice: Make it a habit.

By this I mean, figure out when and where you’re most comfortable doing deliberate practice. Once you’ve made your selection, do deliberate practice then and there every day. Why? Because routines are a godsend when it comes to“doing something hard.


daily rituals

In their own particular way, all the experts in this book consistently put in hours and hours of solitary deliberate practice. They follow routines. They’re creatures of habit.


At its core, the idea of purpose is the idea that what we do matters to people other than ourselves.

However they say it, the message is the same: the long days and evenings of toil, the setbacks and disappointments and struggle, the sacrifice—all this is worth it because, ultimately, their efforts pay dividends to other people.



In harmony with one's good inner spirit. Aristotle believed noble and pure.



In the Moment, self-centred experience. primitive and vulgar


grittier people are dramatically more motivated than others to seek a meaningful, other-centered life. ”

This is not to say that all grit paragons are saints, but rather, that most gritty people see their ultimate aims as deeply connected to the world beyond themselves.”


Job Career, Calling

a job (“I view my job as just a necessity of life, much like breathing or sleeping”),
a career (“I view my job primarily as a stepping-stone to other jobs”), or
a calling (“My work is one of the most important things in my life”).”

adults who felt their work was a calling missed at least a third fewer days of work than those with a job or a career.”


A calling is not some fully formed thing that you find

Whatever you do—whether you’re a janitor or the CEO—you can continually look at what you do and ask how it connects to other people, how it connects to the bigger picture, how it can be an expression of your deepest values.”


To Build a Purpose

First Purposeful Role model--:shows its possible to accomplush something on behalf of others.
Second:The person discovers a problem in the world that“needs solving.
Third:“I personally can make a difference.” This conviction, this intention to take action, he says, is why it’s so important to have observed a role model enact purpose in their own life. “You have to believe that your efforts will not be in vain.”


Fall Seven

Rise Eight


Suffering Doesn't Lead to Helplessness

It’s suffering you think you can’t control.”

“additional experiments revealed that suffering without control reliably produces symptoms of clinical depression, including changes in appetite and physical activity, sleep problems, and poor concentration.”


Grit depends on a different kind of hope. It rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future.

I have a feeling tomorrow“will be better is different from I resolve to make tomorrow better. The hope that gritty people have has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with getting up again.”


Optimists vs Pessimists

just as likely to encounter bad events as pessimists. Where they diverge is in their explanations: optimists habitually search for temporary and specific causes of their suffering, whereas pessimists assume permanent and pervasive causes are to blame.”


The Danger of Permanent and Pervasive Explanations

you might say, I screw up everything. Or: I’m a loser. These explanations are all permanent; there’s not much you can do to change them. They’re also pervasive; they’re likely to influence lots of life situations, not just your job performance. Permanent and pervasive explanations for adversity turn minor complications into major catastrophes. They make it seem logical to give up. If, on the other hand, you’re an optimist, you might say, I mismanaged my time. Or: I didn’t work efficiently because of distractions. These explanations are all temporary and specific; their “fixability” motivates you to start clearing them away as problems.


If you believe there are no solutions to your problem, there is no hope of you finding any

When you keep searching for ways to change your situation for the better, you stand a chance of finding them. When you stop searching, assuming they can’t be found, you guarantee they won’t.”


Learn to identify Failure as a cue to try harder rather than

as confirmation that they lacked the ability to succeed.”


Growth Mindset Makes Grit

We’ve found that students with a growth mindset are significantly grittier than students with a fixed mindset. What’s more, grittier students earn higher report card grades and, after graduation, are more likely to enroll in and persist through college. ”


Ultimately, adopting a gritty perspective involves recognizing that people

get better at things—they grow. Just as we want to cultivate the ability to get up off the floor when life has knocked us down, we want to give those around us the benefit of the doubt when something they’ve tried isn’t a raging success. There’s always tomorrow.”


The people who have continued to be successful here have stayed on a growth trajectory.

They just keep surprising you with how much they’re growing. We’ve had people who, if you looked at their résumé coming in, you’d say, ‘Wow, how did that person end up so successful?’ And we’ve had other people come in with incredible credentials, and you’re wondering, ‘Why did they not go further?’ ”


when you have setbacks and failures, you can’t overreact to them.

You need to step back, analyze them, and learn from them. But you also need to stay optimistic.”


We think there is plasticity in that circuitry. If you experience adversity—something pretty potent—that you overcome on your own during your youth, you develop a different way of dealing with adversity later on.

It’s important that the adversity be pretty potent. Because these brain areas really have to wire together in some fashion, and that doesn’t happen with just minor inconveniences.”
For the rewiring to happen, you have to activate the control circuitry at the same time as those low-level areas. That happens when you experience mastery at the same time as adversity.”


You need to learn that there’s a contingency between your actions and what happens to you:

If I do something, then something will happen to you


Collectively, the evidence I’ve presented tells the following story:

A fixed mindset about ability leads to pessimistic explanations of adversity, and that, in turn, leads to both giving up on challenges and avoiding them in the first place. In contrast, a growth mindset leads to optimistic ways of explaining adversity, and that, in turn, leads to perseverance and seeking out new challenges that will ultimately make you even stronger.”


Practice Optimistic Self Talk

The point is that you can, in fact, modify your self-talk, and you can learn to not let it interfere with you moving toward your goals. With practice and guidance, you can change the way you think, feel, and, most important, act when the going gets rough.”


Math "Talent"

“People assume you have to have some special talent to do mathematics,” Sylvia has said. “They think you’re either born with it, or you’re not. But Rhonda and I keep saying, ‘You actually develop the ability to do mathematics. Don’t give up!’ ”

“There have been so many times in my career when I wanted to pack it in, when I wanted to give up and do something easier,” Rhonda told me. “But there was always someone who, in one way or another, told me to keep going. I think everyone needs somebody like that. Don’t you?”