The following is excerpted from the Deseret News. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

“Grit” guru Angela Duckworth treated BYU students to the first sneak peek of her next book on Tuesday with a presentation at the campus forum assembly that demonstrated the softer side of her famous theory on the psychology of achievement.

Duckworth’s untitled second book will be about situation and circumstance, she said in an interview. The lessons and moral of her mother’s story will be a part of it. She believes the moral of her mother’s story can be about two types of circumstances, those beyond her control and those within her control, and that they can be reconciled.

“As a scientist who studies success,” Duckworth said, “I have come to believe that the only way to live a full and happy life is to hold these seemingly contradictory truths in your mind at once: First, your situation is as powerful as gravity. Second, you can reimagine, and then reshape, your situation.”

She told BYU students they are shaping some of their own circumstances right now.

“One circumstance you chose was coming to BYU,” Duckworth said. “This is a special place, with special people, and an identity and value system that I haven’t encountered anywhere else. BYU is different from every other university because of its unique mission and the people who feel called to serve it. You chose these circumstances, and now those circumstances are shaping you.”

She advised students not to ignore the circumstances within or beyond their control. The ones beyond their control are calls to understanding, she said.

“It’s easy to underestimate how powerful a role circumstances play in the choices a person makes.”

It’s easy to underestimate that in one’s own life, she said during the question-and-answer session, when a student asked her how he should approach his frustrations that his studies so far now appear to have been a detour from what he’s passionate about.


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