Calculating Your Grit Quotient (GQ): As Reported by Artificial Intelligence (Author Interview)

Tell a little about yourself as the author of Calculating Your Grit Quotient (GQ): As Reported by Artificial Intelligence.

My name is Tom Lough. I was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. After ten years in the US Army, I began a teaching career that spanned high school, college, and university courses, as well as international science teacher workshops. During that time, learned a lot about human nature, picking up a PhD in Educational Psychology along the way.

I have always been intrigued by the ability of one’s attitude to make a difference in one’s achievements. I became aware of this personally in my training for the Olympic trials in modern pentathlon and had been looking for a way to condense this awareness into a single concept or approach. The idea of grit came along at just the right time.

I have also done a bit of writing and learned recently about the availability of artificial intelligence (AI) systems such as ChatGPT to influence, augment, or replace the efforts of writers in many fields. I became curious about AI’s potential and began exploring its abilities. From that effort, the GQ book emerged.

Actually, I’m more of the publisher rather than the author of the GQ book. I leaned heavily on AI to provide most of the content, as I will tell you about in a moment.


What was the inspiration behind using AI to write a book about the Grit Quotient?

For several years, I have followed the grit research and reporting of Angela Duckworth. As a West Point graduate, I was interested to learn that her initial research and findings were developed at the academy. As a member of the 1968 US Olympic Team, I realized the key role that grit played in becoming an Olympian. In short, I became a kind of cheerleader and advocate for her work.

Recently, I had been exploring the potential of the convergence of AI and the just-in-time publishing system of Amazon to transform how the printed/published word could be developed and shared around the world. As part of that exploration, I developed a series of books available on Amazon as examples of how this might come about. See

Then I realized that AI could also serve as a catalyst of sorts to help readers learn about some topics in a more personalized or individualized way. Because the topic of grit was so significant to me, I decided to see how AI would treat it as a book topic. When I saw the various subtopics AI suggested, I got the idea of using them as components of something I ended up calling the GQ or grit quotient.


How does the AI system calculate an individual's Grit Quotient? What parameters or criteria does it consider?

The AI system does not actually calculate an individual’s GQ. Instead, the GQ is based on the self-assigned scores of ten grit-related parameters which were identified by AI. Readers assess the extent to which they are passionate, willing to work, and goal-seeking, as a few examples, and use a scale to develop a score for each parameter. By adding up the ten scores, they arrive at a total, their own GQ.

Sins of the Party: Democrats - The Slave Owners Party (Author Interview)

What motivated you to write "Sins of the Party" and shine a spotlight on the Democrats' role as the "Slave Owners Party" in the 1800s? 

I am a big fan of American history and I have seen some videos of interviews of people off the street being asked what political party was behind the slave trade. More people said it was the Republic party that was behind the slave trade. So, I did not want to write something myself, I wanted people who were there in the 1800s to speak to us and show us what really happened. To read of the arguments to and for slavery is to me such an eye opener and shocking on so many levels.

How did you go about selecting and curating the first-hand accounts for the first half of the book? Were there any accounts that were particularly challenging to include or omit? 

My love of stories helps push me to spend a lot of time researching stories from the past from many resources. The American Slave trade is one of the most brutal parts of our history and I can’t believe how one human will treat another.  There were so many brutal arguments for slavery to continue and what amazed me was how many people in the 1800s believed it was their God-given right to own slaves. I omitted many writings and speeches because I wanted to make this book powerful, moving and easy read so it could appeal to as many readers as possible. Unfortunately, this book could have been thousands of pages long.

The title “Sins of the Party” is provocative. Why did you choose it and how do you believe it encapsulates the essence of the book? 

The title actually came from my son, I told him what I was working on and needed a good title, and while we brainstormed as soon as it left his lips we both knew that encapsulated the essence of the book. It was abundantly clear that in the 1800s slavery was not just supported at a Southern state level but was making so many people rich at the top that the Democratic party that made the rule didn’t want the gravy train to end. The Sin part to me is that when a “sin” is committed there is a victim and that victim was the African-American community.

What were some surprising findings or revelations you encountered while compiling these writings from both sides of the aisle? 

I had always known the Civil War was about freeing slaves but to read the fierce fighting for the right to own slaves, to treat them as property, and to even dare say that this was the best for the African American community was astonishing. It really showed me that as humans we really can justify anything if it benefits us enough. Also, when someone stands up in bravery to speak out against evil there will be a fight and that is what the Republican Party did at that time, they stood up.

In the second half of the book, the narrative shifts to a more personal account of a fugitive slave from 1847. How did you come across this account, and what impact do you believe it has on the overall message of the book? 

I compiled another book last year called “American Slave” and I researched writings from former slaves. In that research, I kept some of those writings that I did not put in that book. I specifically chose a story from a fugitive slave because he was at the time of his writing in danger of being captured and brought back down south to his master and most likely would have been killed in a horrific way. I wanted to give this former slave a voice in the future and remind people how awful it was to be a slave and warn us to be careful who we put in power because that has serious consequences if we vote unwisely.


What inspired you to share your journey and expertise with the public, given your personal experiences in the British Special Forces and battling PTSD?

I am one of the lucky ones. To go through what I have, to be that low, and to turn it around in a natural way like that is almost unheard of. Several close friends were not so lucky and decided this life was not for them. They are my inspiration, and everyone suffering. It's a calling, and I need to expose and inspire my journey to others, to give them drive, give them hope, and show that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

"The War Inside" is a powerful title. Can you elaborate on the significance behind it? 

The title came naturally to me. The war only starts on the battlefield, for many there is a never-ending war in the mind. 

How important was it for you to make the content relatable and accessible to readers by intertwining personal stories with advice and strategies? 

It was a necessity, it needed to be an easy read, well-structured and straight to the point. These warriors struggling badly aren't going to read a novel. They need something they can relate to, navigate easily, and get what they need on the spot. This book provides that. 

How has your background in the British Special Forces influenced your approach to healing and dealing with PTSD? 

It has given me a winning mindset, to carry on even when times are tough. ‘If you're going through hell, keep going’ (Churchill). I now use my background as a platform to promote positive mental change and be a visible example of what coming out the other end of the tunnel can be like. 

Why is understanding triggers vital in the realm of mental health, and how can one begin to identify and navigate them? 

Knowing when you are going to snap is vital. You need to leave said environment and enter a safe space. Depending on the circumstance, that place can vary. The book helps guide you on this subject, with identifying what causes you to snap; this is mostly linked to past traumas. Finding the answer for this is often one of the final steps to recovery. Once the answer is found, recovery time increases rapidly.

What advice do you have for those who feel isolated or misunderstood in their struggles with mental health challenges? 

Get outside, Practice breathing techniques. You can change a mood instantly with this. You will be misunderstood, if someone hasn't experienced what you have or suffered from mental health themselves, chances are they can't relate. Seek positivity, search Tony Robbins (he is on YouTube). Keep pushing. 

Addiction Recovery Lifeboat: A Workbook to Develop Practical Skills to Navigate Your New Life With Ease (Addiction Recovery Lifeboat Supplies 2) (Author Interview)

Andrew, congratulations on the release of your book "Addiction Recovery Lifeboat Workbook." What inspired you to write this comprehensive guide?

Thank you so much! Writing the "Addiction Recovery Lifeboat Workbook" was inspired by my own personal journey of overcoming addiction and finding lasting sobriety. I wanted to create a comprehensive guide that could serve as a roadmap for others who are on their own recovery journey, offering them practical tools and insights to help them succeed.

The description mentions that you're a "seasoned survivor" of addiction. Could you share a bit about your personal journey and how it led you to write this book?

My personal journey with addiction spanned two decades, during which I battled alcohol addiction. It was a challenging and often painful experience, but it eventually led me to a place of sobriety that I've maintained for over the last 20 years. This journey of transformation and my dedication to helping others in their recovery are what led me to write this book. I wanted to share the wisdom and lessons I've gained through my own struggles to inspire and support others in their recovery efforts.

The first chapter of your book, "Setting Sail," aims to dispel common myths about addiction. Can you discuss one or two of those myths and why it's important to address them?

In the first chapter, "Setting Sail," I aim to dispel common myths about addiction, such as the misconception that addiction is a moral failing or a lack of willpower. It's crucial to address these myths because they can perpetuate stigma and prevent individuals from seeking help. By debunking these myths, we create a more compassionate and understanding environment for those in recovery.

"Charting Your Course" talks about setting SMART recovery goals. How do these differ from the generic goals people often set when they decide to quit an addictive behavior?

SMART recovery goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They differ from generic goals in that they provide a clear and structured framework for individuals to set objectives that are realistic and attainable. This approach helps people in recovery to have a clear plan and direction, making their journey more manageable and successful.

Bedtime for Nightmares

Prepare to embark on a mesmerizing literary voyage with "Bedtime for Nightmares," a captivating children's book thoughtfully crafted to resonate with both adults and teenagers. Within its pages, the profound theme of mental health takes center stage, inviting readers to delve deep into the intricate realms of the human psyche.

This remarkable work serves as an introspective odyssey, where the darkest corners of our being are given voice and expression through mesmerizing rhymes. With poetic finesse, the narrative unravels, offering a unique perspective on the complexities of our inner worlds.

The Lost Chapters of Humanity on Earth (Author Interview)

Introduction: Can you give us an overview of what "The Lost Chapters of Humanity on Earth" is about, and what inspired you to write it?

The Lost Chapters of Humanity is about exploring all of the theories and remaining questions pertaining to human existence and activity on Earth.  It also explores the biological, psychological, and metaphysical aspects of what it means to be human.

Journey Through Theories: You cover a range of theories in your book—from The Big Bang to Creationism and The Theory of Genetic Memory. How did you decide which theories to include?

I view all the existing theories as pieces to one big puzzle and I believe there are still missing pieces.  In the book I attempt to connect the pieces to see the bigger picture and discover the wholes left remaining.  To see the full picture, I had to consider everything from well established and accepted theories of science and devout beliefs of various religions to lesser known and controversial fringe and conspiracy theories.

Interdisciplinary Exploration: Your book merges scientific theories with philosophical ideas. How do you see these two disciplines interacting, and why is it essential to consider both?

I made a point in my book about this very issue.  Disciplines such as science and math seek to quantify the physical and tend to define reality in terms of tangibility.  Philosophy focuses more on the metaphysical which extends reality beyond the limitations of tangible.  In my book I discuss the senses, whether or not there are only five, and that the reason our current understandings full short is because math and science study and quantify only one sense, touch.  To be tangible is to be touchable.

Paying Tribute to Thinkers: You mention your deep respect for innovative and controversial thinkers like Nikola Tesla, Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Charles Darwin. How have these individuals influenced your thinking?

Every word I read or conversation I have influences my thinking.  My mind is always seeking, not answers, but more questions.  All of the great thinkers of the past who left their theories for us to consider didn’t leave us with conclusions.  They left us with proposals and more questions.  We come to our own conclusions.  Personally, I rather continue to question and explore than to conclude.  I believe that all the great thinkers before me continued to question everything right up to their deaths.

Who is Nika Nikoubin?: A Bloody Las Vegas Hotel Story (Author Interview)

Nika, your book is not only an autobiography but also delves into cultural experiences and mental health. What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired to write this book for several reasons. Firstly, I wanted to share my true story, especially after a highly publicized case that had many inaccuracies in the media. Secondly, I'm passionate about advocating for mental health and hope to spark important conversations. I also aim to provide a platform for people who have faced similar challenges, including Persian women, and promote open dialogue. Lastly, I wanted to expose readers to Persian culture and increase awareness and understanding.

Your book starts with a dramatic moment in a Las Vegas hotel. Can you give us some context around what happened that night without giving too much away?

I want to emphasize that what you may have read in the media doesn't necessarily reflect the full truth of the situation. I encourage readers to explore my book for a comprehensive and accurate account of that night's events, as a summary wouldn't do justice to the complete story.

Moving from Iran to the United States must have been a big change for you. How do these different cultural landscapes play into your book?

In my book i talk about beign an “Enigma”: I delve into the profound transformation that occurred as I transitioned from Iran to the United States. It's a journey from the distinct cultural landscape of Iran to the diverse environments of small-town Lubbock, Texas, and then California, Las Vegas, and Dallas. This shift in cultural perspectives and experiences has made my understanding of nationality quite complex, as I've had the privilege of exploring various cultural viewpoints and regions throughout my life.

You openly discuss living with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. What do you hope readers will gain in terms of understanding mental health through your experiences?

I aim to raise awareness among those who may not be familiar with these conditions. Through my book, I offer an unfiltered and genuine perspective on what it's truly like to live with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. My hope is that readers will gain a deeper understanding of mental health through my personal experiences.

There seems to be a cinematic quality to your story, especially with the opening quote. Have you considered turning your life story into a movie or a documentary?

It would be intresting to see my book adapted into a movie or documentary. I believe it's a narrative that resonates with many individuals, shedding light on the unique intersection of living with mental health conditions and navigating a diverse cultural background while also addressing the challenges posed by negative media coverage.

What message do you want readers to take away after reading “Who is Nika Nikoubin? A Bloody Las Vegas Hotel Story”?

I hope that readers take away a deeper understanding of individuals living with mental health conditions, like mine and gain insight into Iranian culture. Additionally, I want them to realize that media reports don't always present the complete truth, and I hope they come away with a better understanding of the genuine story.

Understanding Superhero Comic Books: A History of Key Elements, Creators, Events and Controversies

This work dissects the origin and growth of superhero comic books, their major influences, and the creators behind them. It demonstrates how Batman, Wonder Woman, Captain America and many more stand as time capsules of their eras, rising and falling with societal changes, and reflecting an amalgam of influences. The book covers in detail the iconic superhero comic book creators and their unique contributions in their quest for realism, including Julius Schwartz and the science-fiction origins of superheroes; the collaborative design of the Marvel Universe by Jack Kirby, Stan Lee, and Steve Ditko; Jim Starlin's incorporation of the death of superheroes in comic books; John Byrne and the revitalization of superheroes in the modern age; and Alan Moore's deconstruction of superheroes.

The Other Global Pandemic: The Narcissistic Politician: What You Need To Know and Why You Need To Know It

This book offers perspective, knowledge, and understanding of the always prevalent, yet rapidly expanding, challenge of dealing with narcissistic people in life. The normalization of narcissism is occurring on a global scale with their toxic behavior appearing to be the answer to so called “woke” ideology. Everyone must understand the effect of allowing those with egomaniacal and self-grandiose malignant narcissism to be any part of ones life. The outcomes are almost never positive.

The Other Global Pandemic: The Narcissist: What You Need to Know and Why You Need to Know It

What You Need to Know and Why You Need to Know It

This specifically relevant narcissist reference book is not intended to be a view into the dark and unsettling aspects of life in the web of a narcissist.
This book will open you up to the possibility of successfully managing a narcissist in your life. And not just in your interpersonal relationships.
You will see that often the only value a narcissist can truly bring to most people's life is their imminent departure.
But what do we do if they are seemingly growing in power everywhere? Exposing more and more people to their overt and dominant traits:

  • No longer hiding their gaslighting
  • Barely constraining their lack of compassion, remorse, and/or contrition
  • Pathological lies in the wide open, about anything
  • Sociopathic, often cruel for no reason, argumentative for the argument's sake
  • Selfish, greedy, self-centered, egotistical, megalomaniac, vainglorious, smug, reactionary to name a few.

We must learn how to handle their constant presence. Globally.
Their existence is now more obvious, and everyone is feeling their arrogant disdain.
Their borderline personality disorders are no longer hidden out there, buried within the dark chasms of their private lives.
Their behavior is becoming more acceptable. Not to me.
So this is what you need to know about narcissism and why you need to know it. Because saving yourself and others has never been more important than it is today.
This book, from my life experience and the diagnoses of professionals, offers you perspective, knowledge, and an understanding of the narcissist.
They have always been quietly prevalent. The past 8 years have seen narcissists rapidly evolving in every society. Presenting the growing challenge of dealing with narcissistic people in daily life.
Unfortunately, the normalization of narcissism is occurring on a global scale with their toxic behavior appearing to be their answer to so called “woke” ideology.
Everyone must understand the effect of allowing those with egomaniacal and self-grandiose, malignant narcissism into your life. It can be mildly irritating or the cause of PTSD.
Remembering that the outcomes of experiencing narcissism are almost never positive. Most can be avoided.
Here is how you do it...