Book Review: Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success

Source: National Reading Coalition

Interest, Practice, Passion, and Hope. Those are the four of secrets to success that Angela Duckworth mentions in her book Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success. When I first got this book, I thought that reading it would be a scam. It’s kind of obvious that we need to be passionate and practice our interests. I decided to give it a shot however, and as I kept reading the book, I was astonished at what actually goes into developing these three components (because despite them seeming so obvious, these three components require committed development).

When it comes to interest, it might seem like such a silly thing to mention. Because it would seem like this is not necessarily true. We look at the world and see all sorts of rich “successful” people who work their asses off only to be exhausted and frustrated and seemingly disinterested in what they do.Such people are not disinterested, but they have rather built their interests in the fields that they work in. They strive to continue their work in those fields, and so they push themselves, they rewire themselves to build an interest in the fields that they work in. And if it seems like they are exhausted, it’s because they are, but because they have found their purpose, they continue to do what they love. Those people have spent years exploring different interests, and even when they met their biggest interest, they might not have stuck with it at first, but found themselves coming back to it later on. It became their reason for waking up in the morning, their muse, and strength.

Practice makes perfect. Another point that this book makes for the journey to success is that in order to succeed, one must actively practice. Practice continuously and consciously. Put a goal for yourself to reach a place through your practice. Put better effort rather than more effort into your practice. (Just because you’ve spent more time at the gym today than yesterday doesn’t mean you did a better workout.)As you increasingly practice with better effort, you will unconsciously become better. You will not realize it at first, but as you look more into it, you will find yourself putting better practices into your work and it will become effortless. The practice will get easier as you get better, but that’s when you need to push yourself a bit further. The push will not be fun. You will get tired. You will become increasingly more exhausted as you push yourself, but that’s when you need to need to (as the military saying goes) “Embrace The Suck.”

How would one continue to practice and embrace the suck though? What is the motivator to do that? It is having a purpose. It is about what you can do for others. Some might think “well, what about those successful rich people who only do it for themselves?” Working solely for your own pleasure creates fluctuation, stagnation, and so many complications in your work that lives you dead with your passion and you even forget why you started to do what you do in the first place. However, when your purpose is not only for yourself but also to make the world a better place, you will want to keep working better in order see better and better results. Not only that, but you will also start to see the development within your own work and discipline.

After everything, still, things need to be followed by one more important component, and that is Hope. Hope gives the resilience to the struggles and provides the mindset to keep on moving forward, despite any difficulties one might face. When you find yourself in a difficult situation, hope builds you up, it keeps you in focus with the goal ahead, constantly reminding you that what you’re working and striving for can only come through this work that you’re doing.

This book reminds me of an old Japanese concept known as Ikigai (meaning a reason for being), and it speaks of putting together what you love (Interest), what you are good at (Practice), what you can be paid for — also future outlook (Hope), and what you can do for others (Purpose). When your passion, your hard work, and the practices you put are in the service of others, it feels worth it. You start to feel a humanly connection with others solely based on the fact that you are doing this for a cooperative purpose.

For anyone interested in Personal Development, this book would definitely be of interest to them, as it gives them the guidelines for what they can do to serve themselves and drive themselves forward.

I bought the book from Kinokuniya at The Dubai Mall. You can find it online or in-store at Magrudy’s, or Kinokuniya

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