I finished her book “Grit” today. She refers to “Peak,” which I finished last month. They go together in many ways. I have been reading this sort of stuff since I was young. I worry sometimes that my ideas on this are affected by confirmation bias and selection bias, but I decided that I don’t care because it works.

You cannot define success on any one dimension. It helps to be smart, lucky and good looking, but one thing that holds it all together is persistence, what Ms Duckworth calls grit.

Some people are just more gifted than others, but few of us are working anywhere near our full potential, so grit is necessary to get better.

Almost anybody can succeed in America. I have lately learned that some people consider this statement offensive, but I will never give up on it. For one thing, it is true, for another it is useful. If you look for excuses for your failures, you can easily find them. That is self-indulgent and they way of a loser. If you believe you can succeed, you are probably right. If you believe you will fail, you are right almost certainly.

Let’s talk a little about success. Can you succeed in anything? No. Can you succeed in something? Yes. Success does not mean that you beat others or came out on top. Success means that you have done some things you consider valuable and done so in the pursuit of excellence. Success means that you have put in the time to do some things right.

Success means that you have lived up to much of your potential and done something useful that you are proud of having done. We can all have that.

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