Angela Duckworth on Building Grit

Learn how you can build the habits of perseverance from an award-winning psychologist and MacArthur genius.

Course Details

  • Price: $100 $45
  • Availability: On Demand
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Access: Unlimited

What You’ll Learn:

  • Assess your level of grittiness using Angela’s grit scale and pinpoint areas for improvement
  • Build a Goal Hierarchy to clearly identify your top-level goal
  • Complete an interest inventory to uncover your animating passions
  • Craft a 4-step plan to implement Deliberate Practice in your life and master a new “hard thing”
  • Develop your Growth Mindset by reframing challenges
  • Understand the connection between optimism and grit


The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence called “grit.” This course will introduce you to research-grounded insights and practical strategies to become a more gritty person—someone with the perseverance to power through difficult circumstances and drive change in the world. Taught by Angela Duckworth, a MacArthur Genius winner, bestselling author of Grit, and University of Pennsylvania psychologist, you’ll learn strategies to set the right goals, uncover your interests, implement deliberate practice in your daily life, cultivate a growth mindset, and find purpose in your work so that you can continue pursuing difficult challenges.

Through a series of video lectures, Angela will bring the lessons from her New York Times bestselling book and TED talk to life, offering stories and findings particularly relevant to social change makers trying to do hard things. She’ll also share research-grounded insights relevant to everyone from entrepreneurs to parents to athletes to students to business people who are trying to live up to their full potential—and help others do the same. She’ll share practical tips and strategies to develop more grit in your daily life and you’ll gain a set of exercises and supplemental resources to start applying these lessons right away. 

Format and Timing

  • Individual Course: This course is a series of videos and exercises you can work through on your own.
  • Platform: Udemy (+Acumen developed this course. We host this course on the Udemy platform.)
  • Timing: You can work through the materials at your own pace. There are no required times for you to log in. Your access does not end.

Course Syllabus

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SECTION 1: Introduction to Grit
  • Video 1: Welcome to the Course from Angela Duckworth
  • Preparation: What You’ll Need
  • Video 2: The Difference Between Grit and Talent
  • Video 3: Characteristics of Grit Paragons
  • Video 4: An Example of a Grit Paragon
  • Exercise: Quick Check for Understanding
  • Video 5: Who Can be Gritty?
  • Video 6: Goal Hierarchies
  • Exercise: How Gritty are You? Use the Grit Scale
  • Exercise: Build Your Goal Hierarchy
SECTION 2: The 1st Building Block of Grit: Uncovering Your Interests
  • Video 7: The Connection Between Interest and Grit
  • Video 8: The Connection Between Play and Passion
  • Video 9: Practical Tips for Uncovering Your Interests
  • Exercise: Interest Inventory
SECTION 3: The 2nd Building Block of Grit: Deliberate Practice
  • Video 10: The Deliberate Practice of World-Class Experts
  • Video 11: Case Study: What Differentiates a Spelling Bee Champion
  • Video 12: Practical Strategies to Implement Deliberate Practice in Your Daily Life
  • Exercise: Plan Your Deliberate Practice
SECTION 4: The 3rd Building Block of Grit: Purpose
  • Video 13: The Connection Between Grit and Purpose
  • Video 14: Find Meaning in What You are Already Doing
  • Video 15: Job Crafting
  • Video 16: Find a Purpose Role Model
  • Exercise: Job Crafting Journal Prompt
SECTION 5: The 4th Building Block of Grit: Hope
  • Video 17: The Connection Between Grit and Hope
  • Video 18: Growth Mindset
  • Video 19: Lessons from a Teach for America Study
  • Video 20: Practical Tips for Cultivating a Sense of Hope
  • Exercise: Strengthen Your Growth Mindset
SECTION 6: Lessons on Grit for Social Entrepreneurs
  • Video 21: Debunking Myths Around Grit and Poverty
  • Video 22: Concluding Lessons for Social Entrepreneurs
The course already started. Can I still enroll?
You can enroll up to 2 weeks after the start date of the course.
When will the next course be offered?
We offer our courses a few times a year. Sign up for our emails to be notified of the next time the course will be offered.
Do I get a certificate for this course?
You will earn a Statement of Accomplishment if you complete 5 of 6 assignments, including the final assignment, by the last day of the course.
How do teams work?
We recommend you find friends or colleagues for your team that you can meet with in person each week. Each team member should register for the course individually. You’ll then be able to form your team on the NovoEd platform once the course begins.
Do I have to complete the course with a team?
While we believe taking the course with a team will give you the best experience and chance of completing the course, it is possible to complete the course individually if you wish.
What should I expect from the assignments?
You will create a Life Map, develop your own personal story, integrate it into a larger presentation, and record your presentation for feedback from your classmates. You should allocate at least one hour a week to complete each assignment.

Supported By

Angela Duckworth is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the Founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development. A 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, Angela has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Currently, she serves as a faculty director for Wharton People Analytics, an initiative that helps organizations adopt the latest insights from social science research. Her first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted as an immediate New York Times bestseller.

What People Are Saying

"Three cheers and five stars to Angela Duckworth and +Acumen! Angela’s clear, compassionate videos provide coaching and cheer us on. Hope-filled, optimistic and evidence-based, this online experience meets and supports us wherever we are on the path to interest, practice, and a sense of purpose “beyond self.”

Lael Lyons, Consultant, Training + Communications + Design Thinking