Grit and determination

October 27, 2012 · 1 min read

In her talk at YC Startup School, Jessica Livingston said in essence that determination is a startup's greatest virtue. She broke determination into two parts: resilience and drive. "Resilience keeps you from being pushed backwards. Drive moves you forwards."

Reading this, I was struck by the similarity to the analysis of "grit" by Dr. Angela Duckworth, which she defines as "perseverance and passion for long-term goals". Like Livingston, Duckworth says that you need both parts: perseverance in the face of setbacks, and the passion to focus intently on one big goal over the long term.

If this intrigues you, watch this TED talk by Duckworth introducing the concept:

For more on what it takes to do great work, see this roundup of the research by Eric Barker.

These days I do most of my writing at The Roots of Progress. If you liked this essay, check out my other work there.


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