011: Angela Duckworth: Associate Professor


Angela Duckworth, Associate Professor of Psychology at Penn, not only studies grit, she epitomizes it. She has doggedly researched the concept for a decade. Despite what may appear to be over the top determination, even obsessiveness, those with the quality are unusually down-to-earth. They’re that rare breed who has their head in the clouds but their feet on the ground. Which, surprisingly, means that Spartan Race co-founder Joe Desena may not be so crazy after all.


  1. Sustaining passion and endurance over time (years) is essentially the definition of grit.
  2. People who are gritty have a cognitive mindset to focus on things that they can change.
  3. They are positive and optimistic.
  4. Always remember that no great human achievement exists that doesn’t have thousands of hours of work behind it.

Panel Notes:

Searchable Terms: grit, psychology, University of Pennsylvania, professor, success, obsession, passion, Edison Gene, marshmallow test, The Duckworth Lab

Resources/Mentions: The Duckworth Lab www.duckworthlab.com

*This is a sampling of our Spartan Up! podcast episodes. For the most recent episodes, and audio episodes, please visit www.spartanuppodcast.com