Grit Chapter 4 - The Secret To Achieving Your Ultimate Goal Is...


Chapter 4

How Gritty are you?

Have you taken the Grit assessment yet? See how GRITTY you are here <-- 

Your score is a reflection of how you see yourself now. Angela believes that grit can change, so take the grit assessment every few months.

In chapter 4, Angela discusses “The Goal Hierarchy”.

According to Angela, grit is about holding the same top-level goal for a very long time

Visualize your goal setting as a hierarchy with multiple levels.

The low-level goals are your day-to-day actions like writing emails, going to meetings, jogging for an hour, reading, etc. We do these goals as means to an end of a higher-level goal - such as executing a project. The higher the goal in this hierarchy the more abstract, general, and important it is. Waking up at 6am is a low-level goal. It only matters because of a mid-level goal, arriving to work on time.

The ultimate goal is what should drive every action at lower levels. If an activity doesn’t fit strongly within your goal hierarchy, then it likely isn’t moving you closer to your goal and maybe you should stop. For example, you might find that answering emails and hanging out on Facebook all day isn’t actually helping you make real progress on your project, which then isn’t driving you toward your goal.

Furthermore, the low-level goals are not to be held sacred. If you fail on a low-level goal, another can take its place. If you find a new low-level goal that is more effective, feasible, or fun, you can swap it out for another.

When well constructed, a goal hierarchy promotes grit. If all your activities are in pursuit of your highest-level goal, then your everyday activities apply effort toward your goal.Here are some common failings of goal hierarchies that lead to lower grit:

No lower-level goals

This person has a dream goal, like playing in the NBA or becoming a billionaire, but they haven’t mapped out the lower level goals that will get them there. This is “positive fantasizing” and makes it very difficult to achieve the goal.

Mid-level goals without a top-level goal

This person has frictions between multiple goals, without a unifying theme. This makes it difficult to tell when goals are in direct conflict with each other, so some goals actually negate others. The absence of an ultimate goal may also make your energy feel purposeless.

What is your top-level goal? Leave your comments below:

I would encourage you to read this chapter in great detail and complete the Warren Buffet prioritization exercise

  • Write a list of 25 career goals.
  • Circle the 5 highest priority goals for you. Only 5.
  • You must avoid the 20 goals you didn’t circle. These are your distractions.

If you can’t decide on 5, then consider quantifying your goals on two scales; interest and importance. Also, consider whether some of them contribute more to your ultimate concern than others.


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