- INCENTIVES: Our education system is built around extrinsic motivators. Educators and parents default to external rewards and consequences because it’s easy and works short term. Here's the problem with this approach: First, external rewards don’t work forever. There is a limit to how many rewards we can promise and give, and after some time, it becomes repetitive and boring. After the short-term benefit of a reward ends, the child’s motivation typically fades. Second, and more concerning: What are we teaching kids when we promise a reward to get them to do something? Kids who are extrinsically motivated have a skewed notion of how to learn. They do things for the reward or to avoid punishment, rather than for the sake of learning. The good news is that by using the right incentives, we can help kids develop the inner motivation that will push them to keep learning on their own. In this article I share what worked for me as a teacher, and what you can try at home with your kids. Hint: I said no to rewards :) 2. FAILURE: One thing successful people have in common is their ability to try to do something hard, fail, learn from their failure, and then go on to try again. These people didn’t learn this in school. Failure in school is penalized with a bad grade that goes on your permanent record. This makes kids avoid failure at all costs. And yet getting comfortable with failure is what leads to achieving big things in life. Fab Tip: Encourage kids to undertake activities where small failures are a likely outcome, just so they get used to failing. Have them try out for the soccer team even if they’re not that good, or play chess against older and more experienced kids. When kids experience failure in safe environments, they become more resilient. They also begin to realize that there’s something much worse than failing: Not trying because of fear of failure. 3. PRAISE: When offering words of encouragement, be specific so kids know exactly what they are doing well. Don’t just say “good work!” Good work on what? A good rule of thumb: recognize effort, not ability recognize ethics over achievement recognize the process, not the outcome recognize curiosity, perseverance, and a growth mindset over completion of tasks
0-shaped (or O): you read widely, all the time; your reading is regular and balanced, without end Q-shaped: similar to 0, you read around a fluid circle of related interests — but usually punctuated by one particular area you’re going deep on at any particular time, intersecting your regular reading 8-shaped (or ∞): everything is connected; again, as with 0 you read widely and find yourself revolving around certain common areas of interest — but you also find yourself coming back to certain junctures, re-reading the same books through a new lens Z-shaped (or M, or W): you zigzag from one thing to the next, voraciously reading all you can in one area, then moving on to something else! V-shaped: you often find yourself going deep on two things at once, and realizing after a time that they intersect in one common thread; that both rabbit holes lead to the same den F-shaped: you may superficially appear as a T, going both broad and deep — but when you go deep, you tend to branch off and explore new horizontal layers H-shaped: you have multiple separate deep interests, and typically explore them separately, but sometimes find a wormhole opens up and you tunnel between them
"To be mature you have to realize what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family. Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for."
"The biggest fear most of us have with learning to say no is that we will miss an opportunity. An opportunity that would have catapulted us to success, or that will never come again. And most of the time, that simply isn’t true. I’ve found that the first part of learning to say no is learning to accept that offers and opportunities are merely an indication that you’re on the right path—not that you’ve arrived at a final destination you can never find again. If someone is choosing you, it means you’re doing something right. And that is the biggest opportunity you can receive—the chance to recognize that your hard work is paying off. And if you continue to do good work, those opportunities will continue—and improve—over time."