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Grit

by Angela Duckworth

In sales, I found that prior experience helps, novices are less likely to keep their jobs than those with experience.

Our vanity, our self-love, promotes the cult of the genius. For if we think of genius as something magical, we are not obliged to compare ourselves and find ourselves lacking ... To call someone 'divine' means: 'here there is no need to compete'.
- Nietzsche

Those who struggle early may learn it better

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.
- Will Smith

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.

Eighty percent of success in life is showing up
- Woody Allen

A clear, well-defined philosophy gives you the guidelines and boundaries that keep you on track.
- Pete Carroll

Personality change is more a function of life experience.

Being a "promising beginner" is fun, but being an actual expert is infinitely more gratifying

To be gritty is to resist complacency. "Whatever it takes, I want to improve!"

What rippers passion is the conviction that your work matters. 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.

People whose jobs match their personal interests are, in general, happier with their lives as a whole ... and they perform better at work when what they do interests them.

What prevents a lot of young people from developing a serious career interest is unrealistic expectations. A lot of things seem uninteresting and superficial until you start doing them and, after a while, you realise that there are so many facets you didn't know at the start, and you never can fully solve the problem, or fully understand it, or what have you. Well, that requires that you stick with it. Passion for your work is a little bit of a discovery, followed by a lot of development and then a lifetime of deepening.

Without experimenting, you can't figure out which interests will stick, and which won't

Encouragement during the early years is crucial because beginners are still figuring out whether they want to commit or cut bait. A degree of autonomy during the early years is also important.

If you want to stay engaged for more than a few years in any endeavour, you'll need to find a way to enjoy the nuances that only a true aficionado can appreciate.

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.

The amount of time devote to practicing alone is a much better predictor of how quickly they develop than time spent practicing with others.

Take naps after most intensive training sessions

Deliberate practice is carefully planned, and flow is spontaneous. Deliberate practice is for preparation, and flow is for performance. 

Infants and toddlers spend most of their time trying to do things they can't, again and again, and yet they don't seem especially embarrassed or anxious. 

Bill Gates only hired programmers who finished what they began.

Without directly experiencing the connection between effort and reward, we default to laziness. Calorie-burning effort is, after all, something evolution has shaped us to avoid whenever possible.

Hart Thing Rule: you can quit but you must at least for the interval to which you've committed yourself, finish whatever you begin. You can't quit on a bad day. 

If you want to be grittier, find a gritty culture and join it. If you're a leader, and you want the people in your organization to be grittier, create a gritty culture.

There's a hard way to get grit and an easy way. The hard way is to do it by yourself. The easy way is to use conformity, because if you're around a lot of people who are gritty, you're going to act grittier.


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