Angela Duckworth

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Themes and Colors
Passion, Perseverance, and Success Theme Icon
Developing Grit Theme Icon
Psychology and Human Development Theme Icon
Grit and Society Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Grit, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Passion, Perseverance, and Success

American psychologist Angela Duckworth’s book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance announces its main argument in its title. Most people wrongly assume that success depends on people’s inborn talents, but Duckworth argues that effort—specifically the combination of passion and perseverance that she calls grit—is actually far more important. Duckworth began to understand the importance of grit while working as a middle school teacher, management consultant, and youth nonprofit leader. Then, she became…

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Developing Grit

Even if talent is natural and unchangeable, Angela Duckworth argues, grit is learnable. This is excellent news for readers: since Duckworth believes that grit is the most important ingredient for success in most areas of life, she thinks that absolutely anyone can succeed if they learn to apply certain principles and techniques to their lives. As sociologist Dan Chambliss puts it, “greatness is many, many individual feats, and each of them is doable.” Specifically, Duckworth…

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Psychology and Human Development

Author and psychologist Angela Duckworth argues that people with high levels of grit (a combination of passion and perseverance) learn to organize their lives around a single top-level goal that guides all of their decisions. Duckworth’s own “life-organizing goal” is simple but specific: “use psychological science to help children thrive.” Indeed, her life, work, and writing are a testament to the power of behavioral science. In Grit, she shows that countless psychologists (as well…

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Grit and Society

In her conclusion to Grit, Angela Duckworth addresses an unusual question: is it possible to have too much grit? Yes, she says, in theory. But in practice, nobody has ever told her they wanted to be less gritty (that is, less passionate and tenacious). Indeed, given the option, most people in modern societies would choose to become grittier. After all, this would help them set and achieve more meaningful goals. Because grit promotes…

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