“Growing Grit from The Inside Out” - Grit By Angela Duckworth (Chapter 6, 7, 8, & 9)




GRIT by Angela Duckworth

Part II: “Growing Grit from The Inside Out”

Chapter 6: “Interest” 

Chapter 7: “Practice”

Chapter 8: “ Purpose” 

Chapter 9: “Hope” 

Part 2 of Angela’s book Grit, discusses the 4 ingredients necessary to grow grit. They are interest, practice, purpose and hope. Below is a quick recap. 


What are you truly interested in? In order to develop and increase your GRIT, you must do work that interests you. Interest is not developed automatically. Interest must be triggered again, and again, and again. Find ways to make that happen and be patient. Keep asking questions and let the answers to those questions lead you to more questions. Keep digging. Your interests should develop into your passions. The directive to follow our passion is not bad advice, but what may be even more useful is to understand how passions are fostered in the first place. 


According to Journalist Hester Lacey, the “mega successful” all have a striking desire to excel beyond their already remarkable level of expertise. They have a persistent desire to do better, not looking back with dissatisfaction, but looking forward and wanting to grow.  Rather than focusing on what they already do well, experts strive to improve specific weaknesses. They intentionally seek out challenges they have already met, which is called deliberate practice.

There is science behind deliberate practice. Each of the basic requirements of deliberate practice is unremarkable at first glance. What makes them significant is how long one spends doing them. Do the following until they become a habit.

  • Create a clearly defined stretched goal

  • Give your full concentration and effort

  • Seek immediate and informative feedback

  • Repeat, reflect, and refine

Improvement only comes from doing deliberate action. In doing deliberate action you do not focus on what you do well, you focus on what you don’t do well, getting better with time. You only get better by practicing what you are not good at. 


According to Angela, interest is one source of passion. Another is purpose and, as defined by Angela, purpose is the intention to contribute to the wellbeing of others. The mature passion of gritty people depends on both interest and purpose.  For the GRIT paragons, pursing their purpose means something deeper than mere intention. They’re not just goal-oriented; the nature of their goals is special. 

The long days and evenings of toil, the setbacks and disappointments, the struggles, and the “sacrificing all” is worth it because ultimately, their efforts pay dividends to other people. Purpose is about doing what you enjoy and finding a way it can benefit others. Most gritty people see their ultimate aims as deeply connected to the world beyond themselves. Purpose is tremendously powerful source of motivation.


According to Angela, grit depends on a different kind of hope.  It rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future. “I have a feeling that tomorrow will be better” is different from “I resolve to make tomorrow better”. The hope that gritty people have has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with getting up again. 

Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? Read the following statements: 

  • Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much.

  • You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.

  • No matter how much intelligence you have, you can always change it quite a bit.

  • You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.

According to Psychologist Carol Dweck, if you find yourself nodding affirmatively to the first two statements, but shaking your head in disagreement with the last two, then Carol would say that you have a fixed mindset. If you had the opposite reaction, Carol would say that you have a growth mindset.

A growth mindset is the belief that people can change. With a growth mindset, you believe that you can do better. Ultimately gritty people believe that they, and others, can get better and in getting better they grow. In understanding hope, you now understand that when you have setbacks and failures you can’t overreact to them. You need to step back and analyze them and learn from them, but you need to stay optimistic.