Impressions on "Grit"
A couple of thoughts after finishing this book
Last updated on 1 August 2022. Created on 24 October 2021.
This book came highly recommended by Maria. For anybody who doesn't know her, Maria is the type of person that after having a clear goal, sooner or later, comes to you and shows you the labor of her work. And you get so mesmerized by the complexity and the depth of her work. You can feel how much work was put into it just by looking at the end result.
So when a person with so much perseverance recommends a book called Grit — The power of passion and perseverance, the expectation were high.
And boy, those expectations were met and even exceeded.
I didn't think that a book that would remind me how important is to rise up again after you have fallen, would make me ask serious questions about how will I raise my own children. And this happened in a moment where I don't have any children. And the wife isn't pregnant. Fascinating stuff.
Seriously, for a while, it made me realize that parenting is, again, much harder than expected. But I digress.
Surely I will recommend this book to any fresh parents. But also for anybody living under the illusion that those that succeed "have it easy". Or they got there only because of pure "talent".
Thinking about it, this might be the central theme: Talent can be found everywhere. What you do with it matters much more on the long run. It's never enough just to be talented. Putting in the hours, learning from failures and making calculated sacrifices will get you there.
Equally important, there is different from person to person. As a child, saying that you don't want to practice whatever musical instrument because you will never be Mozart is inherently wrong. You are not training to be Mozart. You are training to be you. To be the best version of yourself.
Thus, it is important to like what you are doing. Because you can get over those hard moments through passion. And passions comes when you like doing something. Or when you know that your hard work will have a positive impact on someone's lives.
I also liked the emphasis put by the author, Angela Duckworth, that grit is not the one and only metric. It is not the only measure you should look at. Nor the most important in some situations. But it is worth looking at it when you want to be a growth oriented person. Or when you want to build a team with a growth mindset.
There is one idea which I disagree with, though. Angela points out a concept from Aristotle that too much or too little of something is damaging (paraphrasing here). And with this I totally agree-with. Perhaps that's the reason I have the tag called #balance on this blog.
Because I truly believe that you always need to find the perfect balance for your situation. So where's the disagreement? She continues saying that she has yet to found a person in her study that after hearing the results would say that (s)he wished to have a lower grit. Or that, until now, we haven't reached a point where too much grit leads to something bad.
Just because we haven't reached that point, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Therefore, from where I stand, too much grit can be damaging. It isn't yet quantifiable, maybe. Or better yet, we don't have concrete examples, but we will get there.
The book left me inspired. Energetic, really, with a feeling of "we can do this". And, for me at least, it pointed out that I need to be more strict. Keep the fairness, but less forgiving.