Grit Chapter 3 - Effort Counts Twice


GRIT by Angela Duckworth

A summary of Chapter 3: Effort Counts Twice

I’ve never really viewed myself as particularly talented,” Where I excel is ridiculous, sickening work ethic.
— Will Smith

Mark Andrew Spitz is an American former competitive swimmer, nine-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in seven events. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, an achievement surpassed only by Michael Phelps who won eight gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Mark Spitz & Michael Phelps; Talented or Skilled?

It seems that when anyone accomplishes a feat worth writing about, we rush to anoint that individual as extraordinarily “talented.” If we overemphasize talent, we underemphasize everything else. In the extreme, it’s as if deep down we hold the following to be true:

No one can argue that both swimmers aren’t talented, but talent is never enough.  In peak training phases, Phelps swims a minimum of 80,000 meters a week; which is nearly 50 miles. Phelps trains six days a week for around five to six hours a day. He practices twice a day and sometimes more if he’s training at altitude.

Talent is how quickly your skills improve when you invest effort. Achievement is what happens when you take your acquired skills and use them. Of course, your opportunities—for example, having a great coach or teacher—matter tremendously. Bob Bowman is Michael Phelps’ coach.

“Without Bob I have no shot at achieving the records I’ve achieved or winning the medals that I’ve won,” writes Phelps in the forward to Bowman’s book.

When you consider individuals in identical circumstances, what each achieves depends on just two things - talent and effort.

Talent—how fast we improve in skill—absolutely matters.

But effort factors into the calculations twice, not once. Effort builds skill. At the very same time, effort makes skill productive

It seems that many of us, according to Angela, quit what we start far too early and far too often. What matters more than the effort a gritty person puts in on a single day, is that they wake up the next day, and the next, ready to get on that treadmill and keep going.

Remember, skill is not the same thing as achievement. Without effort, your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done. With effort your talent enhances your skill.

I encourage you to read this article -

Remember; reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body!  Take care, Constance

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