Why Growth Matters More than Grit

Grit ensures you stick to your goals, but what if your goals don’t align with your full potential?

Alexandra Piedoux
3 min readFeb 21, 2020


Success isn’t money. Success isn’t fame. Success isn’t merely climbing the top of the corporate ladder. Or achieving “entrepreneur” status. Or even being the best at what you do.

Maybe you’re a renowned scientist. Or a heart surgeon who saves lives. Or a published author. Maybe you’re the president of a nonprofit organization dedicated to liberating young girls from illegal sex trafficking. Very impressive; few would disagree.

But what makes these individuals truly successful is not their skill, their talent, or their unbridled passion for what they do. Even passion is not enough to make you succeed. In her prominent novel, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, thought leader Angela Duckworth recognizes passion as a vital ingredient of grit, which she defines as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals”.

But she deliberately emphasizes that passion without perseverance is no recipe for success. In fact, it will inevitably lead you to fizzle out. So what does keep the gears turning?

While Duckworth offers one theory, the theory of grit, I believe there’s more to it.

Genuine success is not merely unwavering commitment to a cause, through thick and thin. Though there’s a lot to be said for that, too.

Genuine success is most aptly defined by growth. Elaborating on Duckworth’s ideas, grit certainly builds a strong foundation upon which one can foster growth, but it alone is not enough.

Humans Are Dynamic

Humans are a dynamic, ever-changing species. Our lives aren’t static. To treat them as such, by proclaiming that success is a destination that we reach, rather than a constantly evolving practice, is a disservice to everyone.

Success cannot wholly be measured by how much money we make, how much we produce, or how good we are. While these are often great indicators that we are successful, that is not always the case. To infiltrate young minds with this distorted version of success, based solely on money, productivity, and skillset, robs them of the opportunity…



Alexandra Piedoux

Exploring science communication at the intersection of environment and mental health, dabbling in mindfulness ☀️ Instagram: @apiedoux 🌱