Basics, Wellness

Success: What does it really mean and how do we get there?

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The New York Times published a book review of Paul Tough’s “How Children Succeed”. Here’s what we think.

The book review offers a look into the divided understanding of the factors contributing to success as described by the author Paul Tough.

Traditionally, it is believed that the success today depends on cognitive skills – the kind of intelligence you acquire in school, which is measured by I.Q. tests. Skills, like being able to recognize letters and words, calculate, notice patterns need to be developed and practiced from the earliest age possible in order to achieve real success in life.

Paul begs to differ by setting out to replace this assumption with what might be called the character hypothesis. It contributes success to non-cognitive skills like persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence.

Combining his own beliefs and findings of scientists, he follows the paths of two groups of children, from the opposite ends of the financial spectrum.

His discoveries suggest that a perfectly blended character-building combination of autonomy and support is the secret ingredient to reaching success.

Children of the affluent parents were often sheltered, which took their ability to fall, to learn to stand up again.

On the other hand, children from the poor neighbourhoods fell often and hard, however no one offered them support they needed to learn how to fall without breaking and take away the positives from the experience.

When we raise our children, we should remember that allowing them to fail is an important part of growing up and training the resilience. When they do fall, be there to help them recover, grow from the experience and become stronger.

Helping your children develop the non-cognitive skills from the early age will set them up for success in the future, allow them to dream big and make those dreams a reality.

To learn how to become a leader and lead your children by example, complete our Building Your Leadership Skills Checklist.

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