Book Recommendation: "Grit: The Power of Passion and Perserverence" - Dr. Angela Duckworth

Termite mound - Okavango Delta, Botswana

Termite mound - Okavango Delta, Botswana

It takes some grit and courage to take apart a giant termite mound.

Continuing with the theme that how you live your life is more important than what career you pursue or where you go to college, University of Pennsylvania Professor and MacArthur Genius Dr. Angela Duckworth presents her life's work on the study of "grit."

She draws on the perspective of living under an authoritarian father who said she would never amount to much, but also as a parent of her own children, a middle school teacher, and consultant for Fortune 500 companies and professional sports franchises.

She argues that, more than academic factors like grades or test scores, or genetic factors like IQ, what matters most is a person's ability to channel their passion into long-term goals and overcome obstacles along the way. Students who complete college and soldiers who finish elite military training are more likely to be grittier than those who do not.

She dispels the myth that talent is everything. Instead, some level of talent may be required, but what matters most is hard work. Working hard isn't always fun, and dedication to your goals when things get tough determine whether you will achieve your dreams.

We all probably know people in our lives who had all the potential in the world - athletic, academic, musical - who never realized their gifts. Duckworth argues that grit is not an inherent trait, but can be learned and mastered. She provides tips and advice for how to bounce back from failure and make the most of training or studying.