5 Success-Forging Books Like Grit

Grit by Angela Duckworth is a popular book that explores the concept of perseverance as it relates to long-term goals and success.

In the book, Duckworth argues that grit is a key factor in determining success and offers strategies for cultivating this psychological skill in oneself and others.

If you enjoyed Grit and are looking for similar books to read, here are five options to consider:

Books Like Grit

1. Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

In Mindset, Carol S. Dweck (a Stanford University psychologist) presents the concept of “mindset,” which she defines as a person’s belief about their own abilities and qualities.

According to Dweck, there are two main types of mindset: fixed and growth.

  • A person with a fixed mindset believes that their abilities and qualities are fixed and cannot be changed. They tend to avoid challenges and become discouraged when faced with setbacks, because they see these challenges as threats to their self-worth.
  • On the other hand, a person with a growth mindset believes that their abilities and qualities can be developed through effort and learning. They embrace challenges and see setbacks as opportunities for growth.

Dweck argues that a growth mindset is essential for success in any area of life, because it allows individuals to learn from their experiences and continually improve themselves.

She also discusses the importance of praise and how it can influence a person’s mindset.

For example, praising a person’s effort and hard work can foster a growth mindset, while praising their innate abilities can reinforce a fixed mindset.

Throughout the book, Dweck provides research and examples to support her ideas and illustrates the practical implications of mindset in various areas such as education, sports, and business.

She also offers strategies for developing a growth mindset and suggests ways in which parents, teachers, and coaches can encourage a growth mindset in others.

2. Drive by Daniel H. Pink

Drive discusses the limitations of traditional motivators such as rewards and punishments and presents a new perspective on what truly instigates human behavior.

According to Pink, the traditional motivators, also known as extrinsic motivators, are effective in situations that require simple and routine tasks, but they are less effective in situations that require more complex and creative problem-solving.

In these situations, Pink argues that intrinsic motivators, which are essentially internal desires and drives, are more effective.

Intrinsic motivators include three elements:

  1. Autonomy refers to the desire for control over one’s own life and work.
  2. Mastery refers to the desire for growth and improvement in an area of interest.
  3. Purpose refers to the desire to contribute to something larger than oneself and to find meaning in one’s work.

Pink argues that in order to foster intrinsic motivation and unleash human potential, it is necessary to shift from a focus on rewards and punishments to a focus on the three factors above.

He provides research and examples to support his ideas and offers strategies for creating a work environment that fosters intrinsic motivation.

3. Think Again by Adam M. Grant

In Think Again, organizational psychologist Adam Grant discusses the importance of being open to new ideas and challenges, and the benefits of being willing to reconsider and change one’s own beliefs and assumptions.

Grant argues that individuals and organizations that are open to change and willing to challenge their own assumptions are more likely to innovate and succeed in today’s rapidly changing world.

He presents research and examples to support his ideas and discusses the role of cognitive diversity in promoting innovation and problem-solving.

According to Grant, there are several key factors that contribute to an individual or organization’s ability to ‘think again’ and be open to new ideas. These include:

  1. Curiosity: Being curious and open to learning new things is essential for being able to consider new perspectives.
  2. Humility: Recognizing and admitting one’s own limitations and being open to others’ ideas and perspectives can foster an openness to change.
  3. Psychological safety: A sense of psychological safety, or the belief that one can express their ideas and opinions without fear of negative consequences, can encourage individuals to challenge the status quo.
  4. Diversity: Cognitive diversity, or the presence of a range of different perspectives and experiences within a group, can foster innovation and creativity by providing a variety of viewpoints to consider.

Grant also discusses strategies for promoting a culture of thinking again within organizations and for individuals seeking to foster an openness to change and new ideas in their own lives.

4. Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney

In this book, Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney explore the concept of willpower, also known as self-control or self-regulation.

The book discusses the psychological and neurological mechanisms behind willpower and its role in human behavior and decision-making.

According to Baumeister and Tierney, willpower is a limited resource that can be depleted through use and when we exert self-control in one area of our lives, it becomes harder to do so in other areas.

For example, if we use willpower to resist the temptation to eat unhealthy food, we may be less able to resist other temptations, such as procrastination or anger.

The authors argue that this is because willpower is fueled by the same energy source as other mental activities, and when it is used up, we become more susceptible to temptation and less able to regulate our behavior.

Baumeister and Tierney also discuss the importance of willpower in achieving goals and success, arguing that it’s a key factor in determining whether we can stick to a plan, overcome obstacles, and make difficult choices.

In addition, they suggest that developing stronger willpower can lead to improved mental and physical health, better relationships, and increased productivity.

The authors offer several strategies for improving willpower and self-control, including:

  • Setting clear goals
  • Breaking tasks into smaller steps
  • Using mental imagery and positive self-talk
  • Seeking support from others

They also discuss the role of emotions in willpower and suggest that managing emotions, particularly negative ones, can be crucial in maintaining self-control.

5. Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins

Can’t Hurt Me is a memoir and self-help book written by David Goggins, a retired Navy SEAL and ultramarathon runner.

The book details Goggins’ journey from a difficult upbringing and early setbacks to becoming one of the toughest endurance athletes in the world.

Throughout the book, Goggins emphasizes the importance of grit and the power of the mind in achieving success.

He argues that most people are held back in life by their own limiting beliefs and that by learning to push past these mental barriers, we can achieve extraordinary things.

Goggins shares his own experiences with overcoming adversity and challenges, including his time as a SEAL and his training for ultramarathons.

He also discusses the importance of setting goals and developing a growth mindset, as well as strategies for building mental toughness, such as visualization and positive self-talk.

In addition to offering practical advice and strategies for improving mental toughness, Goggins also encourages readers to embrace discomfort and challenges as opportunities for growth and to never give up, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

Read my full summary here or see more books like this.


Grit and perseverance are often cited as key factors in determining success in various domains, including education, business, and sports.

However, while they’re certainly important, they are not the only factors.

Research has also identified other contributors, including:

  1. Mindset: Carol S. Dweck’s research on the “growth mindset” suggests that individuals who believe that their intelligence and abilities can be developed through effort and learning are more likely to achieve success.
  2. Habits: Building good habits and breaking bad ones can be crucial in achieving long-term goals. James Clear’s book “Atomic Habits” discusses the role of small, incremental changes in shaping long-term outcomes.
  3. Social support: Having a supportive network of friends, family, and colleagues can be crucial in helping individuals overcome challenges and achieve success.
  4. Emotional intelligence: The ability to recognize and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others can be crucial in achieving success, particularly in social and professional contexts.

Overall, while grit and perseverance are important, they’re not the only factors at play.

Read the book recommendations above to understand the topic in more depth.