So apart from delayed gratification being a predictor of future success, as documented in Walter Mischel’s book The Marshmallow Test, “grit” – a special blend of passion and perseverance, does the same thing too. Well, at least that’s what Angela Duckworth seems to imply in her book.
Drawing from her studies, Duckworth found that grittier adults were more likely to get further in their formal schooling. Does that mean people like Steve jobs and Bill Gates were not gritty enough?
I doubt so. High achievers not only have determination, they have direction. Duckworth explains that grit isn’t just about working incredibly hard. Although half of grit is perseverance, “nobody works doggedly on something they don’t find intrinsically interesting”.
One gripe I have about books of this nature is that there are lots of cross-referencing to other researches, e.g. Carol Dweck’s study on fixed/growth mindset. Unfortunately, the relevance of some examples to her own study on grit was lost on me.
Duckworth’s research may be less technical and less conclusive compared to Mischel’s decades of marshmallow tests, but her book is an entertaining read and you probably don’t need a lot grit to pull through the 300+ pages.