5 reasons why pressuring our kids into sometimes-dangerous overachievement may be completely unnecessary – in today’s Burger Bite:
Kids feel more pressure to achieve than ever before.
- As it turns out, there’s little evidence that being a childhood high-achiever guarantees future success. The landmark Terman Study of the Gifted followed a group of 1,500 “gifted” children from the 1920s on and discovered that most of the youths judged in primary school to have the greatest potential did not achieve at the highest levels of career or society after all.
- In the book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell points out that more important than where you go to school or what grades you achieve the amount of passion and time you put into an activity will determine true achievement. And the level of commitment that will propel a high-achiever through Gladwell’s estimated 10,000 hours of practice toward mastery is much more healthy when driven by inner passion rather than outside pressure.
- Gladwell also points out that there is a limit to how helpful circumstances can be as success factors. Like a basketball player’s height, once a person is tall enough, smart enough, skilled enough, etc.to give them a legitimate place in their field, success is mostly determined by that passion and practice.
- In The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School, author Alexandra Robbins offers this “‘Quirk Theory’: Many of the differences that cause a student to be excluded in school are the same traits or real-world skills that others will value, love, respect, or find compelling about that person in adulthood and outside the school setting.” Overachievement can have the effect of leveling these differences to fit a kid into someone else’s mold, ultimately reducing desirability and fulfillment in adulthood.
- In his book The Success Principles, Jack Canfield shares this 2003 statistic: 20% of America’s millionaires never set foot in college; 21 of the 222 Americans listed as billionaires never got their college diplomas; 2 of those billionaires were high school dropouts.
Chris Everheart is author of the thriller
THE LEAGUE OF DELPHI
- Overly Unachievable (chriseverheart.com)
- The 10,000 Hour Rule (optionsanimal.com)