Gary Goulin-GRIT: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Author of Book: Angela Duckworth
Date Read: March 6, 2024

Book Report

BOOK REPORT #6 Written by Gary Goulin – March 6, 2024

Why I chose to read this book:

This book came highly recommended by a friend.

Summary of Book:

In this book, Angela Duckworth attempts to define “grit” and studies grit in a very scientific way. Most successful people have high grit scores on a scale developed by Duckworth and through her research, attempted to define just what makes a person “gritty.”

She found that while talent may be important to achieving goals, it is effort that is much more important. Interest, practice, purpose and hope are what makes a person most “gritty.”

Duckworth maintains that it is interest in something, that will make it easier to achieve your goal. Practice is key to improvement. Again, while talent can be somewhat important, effort and practice are key. For this goal to have purpose and hope, and to be of benefit to others,

makes success all the more likely. She suggests that not only setting an ultimate goal is important, but that setting mid-level and low-level goals is just as important, as they serve as stepping stones to success, and with each success, achieving the ultimate goal becomes more attainable.

Angela Duckworth explains grit as follows: “To be gritty, is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty, is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty, is to fall down seven times, and rise eight.”

Lessons I learned:

I really liked the idea of setting low-and mid-level goals as stepping stones to your ultimate goal. As each smaller goal is achieved, it gives strength and confidence to push forward, making it more likely that the high-level or ultimate goal will be achieved. “Greatness is doable. Greatness is many, many individual feats, and each of them is doable.”

I also learned that there will most certainly be set backs. Duckworth quoted one gritty individual: “Well, I really didn’t think in terms of disappointment. I tend to think that everything that happens is something I can learn from. I tend to think, well okay, that didn’t go so well, but I guess I will just carry on.”

How this book will help me during incarceration and upon release:

The idea of setting low and mid-level goals as stepping stones, to an ultimate goal, sounds like it will be most helpful to me. As an example, my ultimate goal is to emerge from here a better person than when I entered. I need to define what that means and set the appropriate goals (low and mid-level). Part of my definition of being a better person means to expand my find of knowledge – broaden my horizons, so-to-speak. An achievable goal might be to complete two or three adult continuing education courses per month on subjects I’ve not really studied before! Literature, the arts, and history are some examples.

The other way this book is helpful to me is to recognize and expect there will be disappointments. I must remain “gritty” and continue to carry on. There will be disappointments during incarceration and almost certainly after release; but I must keep my ultimate goal (return to society as a law abiding, more well-rounded, better person, of service to others and living a fulfilling life) in mind. I must develop the appropriate stepping stones, and persevere forward with grit. As Pete Carrol, former coach of the Seattle Seahawks was quoted in the book: “Personally, I have learned that if you create a vision for yourself and stick with it, you can make amazing things happen in your life. My experience is that once you have done the work to create the clear vision, it is the discipline and effort to maintain that vision that can make it all come true.