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40 Great Articles on Grit

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What starts as an interview with a rough cowboy named True Grit becomes a life-threatening and life-changing adventure. Instead of defining or explaining the importance of Grit in life, spend an afternoon with True Grit himself. This short story will clarify the Five Key Ways people with Grit approach life and the world.

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The idea of True Grit has been embedded in the American subconscious since the early days of its founding—gritty Pilgrims facing winter in the new world, gritty industrialists building a nation from the ground up, gritty pioneers heading west into the unknown. America was built on Grit.

In 1969, the concept played out on the big screen through John Wayne’s portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Perhaps it is fitting the film was remade by the Coen Brothers in 2010 (my personal favorite). Grit is once again a topic of conversation.

Since the internet can be a noisy place, I’ve collected and categorized the top articles I’ve found on Grit. If you find a good one I’ve not listed, leave a link in the comments below.

Wikipedia on Grit

21 Inspiring Quotes on Grit

grit-Angela-Lee-Duckworth

Focus on Angela Duckworth (Mrs. Grit)

Angela Lee Duckworth’s Ted Talk on Grit
This short talk started the current conversation on Grit.

The Significance of Grit: A Conversation with Angela Lee Duckworth
A long interview, well-worth the read.

The Duckworth Lab 

Character Lab (started by Angela Duckworth and friends)

Wisdom from a MacArthur Genius: Psychologist Angela Duckworth on Why Grit, Not IQ, Predicts Success (Brain Pickings)
This includes a video of Angela Duckworth telling her story.

Interview with Angela Duckworth (Washington Post)

How much Grit have you got? Duckworth will help you find out (PsychCentral)

photo 1

Focus on Education

Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance—Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century [PDF]
Educational Research Report from Duckworth and Team.

Grit: The other 21st century skill
A nice summary of the Promoting Grit Educational report with a focus towards Grit in education.

How to foster Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: An educators guide
A thorough article on Grit in education.

How do we teach our kids Grit 

Paul Tough on Grit [Video]

This American Life discussion with Paul Tough, author of the book “How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the hidden power of Character

True Grit: Teaching character skills in the classroom [Video]
An NBC special on Grit and Character in schools, highlighting the work of the KIPP Academy.

Teaching Kids Character at KIPP Academy [Video]

What if the Secret to Success is Failure (New York Times)
This is an excellent in-depth article by Paul Tough that pulls in a lot of the themes in other posts but is centered around case studies in education.

Paul Tough is way off base and stop saying “Grit”
A attempt to rebutt of Paul Tough’s emphasis on Grit in education

Michelle Obama, a new ambassador for Grit

credit postbear (creative commons)

credit postbear (creative commons)

Focus on Business

Grit: It contributes to success more than you think (Inc)

5 Characteristics of Grit (Forbes)

Grit is more Important than IQ (Business Insider)

True Grit: What you really need to succeed (Entrepreneur)
Grit as a key to building a successful business.

Which Traits Predict Success? (The Importance of Grit) (Wired)

Credit Vox Efx (creative commons)

Credit Vox Efx (creative commons)

Focus on Self-Improvement

Without this One Thing, you probably won’t succeed

The Future of Self-Improvement: Grit is More Important than Talent  (99u)

Talent is overrated, Grit is the real key to success  (StoryLine Blog)

Do you have True Grit? (Kathleen Caron)
The Coen Brothers, Winston Churchill, and Grit

The #1 Trait that Determines Long-term Success (Nerd Fitness)

Grit: The Skills for Success and How They are Grown [PDF]

Resiliency and Grit, Not Failure

Grit means getting up close and personal with failure
“The problem with grit, though, is that it has an ugly side. Grit means getting up close and personal with failure, over and over and over again.”

Young People Lack the Grit to Get Jobs (Daily Mail)
Nick Hurd, British Minister for Civil Society, starts a firestorm by declaring that young people don’t have jobs because they lack grit.

Learning True Millennial Grit

True Grit: Increasing yours so that you will succeed in life

From true grit to being the change: The Journey of Kunal Sood

Redefining Grit: New Visions of Working Class Culture
An article pushing back on the current redefinition of Grit.

Did I miss a good article or post? Leave the link in the comments.

  • John

    Josh great collection of articles. I wrote one on my blog called “More Important Than Talent” and a follow up “The Missing Ingredient” which both talk about the need to struggle and suffer, the need for grit. The link below got over 60k views and has been passed around a lot. I hope you might consider adding it to your list and sharing it. http://changingthegameproject.com/more-important-than-talent/

    • Josh

      Great articles John. I will add them to my list!