Grit to Great is a book by Linda Kaplan with instructions for how to mix talent with the right amount of hard work to achieve your full potential.
The difference between a music teacher and a world-class musician, they say, is in the amount of time each one dedicates to practice.
The true greats in sports, music, business, etc. have one thing that their peers lacked – grit. Grit, according to this book, is the ability to work hard and have a get-back-on-the-horse-again mentality. That is how successful people are made – talent alone is not enough.
- Audible Audiobook
- Linda Kaplan Thaler (Author) – Meredith Mitchell (Narrator)
- English (Publication Language)
- 09/08/2015 (Publication Date) – Recorded Books (Publisher)
- Talent is overrated.
- Success is not achieved overnight.
- You achieve success by learning even in the face of failure.
Lesson One: Talent is overrated
Early in life, it seems like some things come naturally to some people – that is talent. However, how many of these people go on to be the best at what they do. There is a vast disparity in those figures. The reason is that talent on its own is never enough.
In fact, it is the less talented people who go on to achieve greater things because they realized early enough that they could not rely on their innate abilities to take them far. Hence, they dedicate themselves to hours of practice and tutelage under experienced teachers.
Professor Gabriele Oettingen found that students who put in more hours of study ended up with more and better-paying opportunities than their counterparts who spent more time daydreaming.
A person that relies on talent alone is more likely to be languid and contented than a driven person. At some point, you have to lose the training wheels, but such a person would prefer not to leave his comfort zone.
Lesson One: Success is not achieved overnight
The hustle is real. Did you know Van Gogh sold just one painting during his lifetime? But by the time he died, he had over 2,000 pictures anyways.
Mike Moore tried to make Big Tobacco take responsibility for many several lung cancer-related deaths, but his attempts were futile for several years. He kept at it until he got them to cough up $100 billion to 46 states to cover for smoking-related medical costs.
Captain James Henry did not learn to read and write until he was 92, but he had a best seller by the time he was 98 years old.
All these people had one thing in common – dedication and grit.
Lesson Three: You achieve success by learning even in the face of failure
The road to success is tough to traverse, which is why not everybody makes it to the other side.
Those that do learn to make the best of the failures that they made on the way and form positive learning experiences from them. Jia Jang left the safety of his tech job and pursued his dream.
He got rejected so often that he eventually started his 100 Days of Rejection project. He got so famous that he got a book deal off his project and has appeared on TED talks.
My Personal Takeaway
After reading this book, I learned that talented people abound, but only driven people reach the peak. Motivated people take risks and take leaps of faith – lose the training wheels.
However, your moves should not be driven by fear but by a desire to get better. Also, you can develop yourself by helping others along the way.
They act as small victories in your way to keep you from getting frustrated on your long walk to success.
Put into Action
- Buckle down and work hard.
- Use failures to your advantage.
- Take calculated risks.
- Take courage in facing the unknown.
- Celebrate small victories.
- Take joy in helping others.
This is a book that anyone with big dreams can learn from. You will always get tempted to rest on your oars and rely on your talents, but the truth is it will never be enough.
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