Tag Archives: perseverance

Teaching Kids Happiness and Innovation (Guest: Mike Ferry)

BTRadioIntWhat is it, really, that creates and sustains happiness in ourselves and in our children? Listen in to this program from our archives as Mike Ferry, banking on his research and experience in working with young people, offers valuable insights into this important and fascinating topic.

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Some define happiness as a positive by-product of success. In other words, if you are successful enough, you’ll be happy.

Teaching Kids Happiness and InnovationBut that definition doesn’t square with the fact that there are plenty of folks who have the appearance of success, yet they are NOT happy. Evidence and research at this point indicate precisely the opposite position: Happy people tend to be successful people, and they conduct their lives and relationships in a manner that is sustainable and consistent with their closest-held values.

Author and teacher, Mike Ferry, defines happiness as an optimistic, communal and disciplined perspective on life. Every part of that definition makes sense; it’s worth sharing with our children as a major lesson in life.

Happiness and Innovation Mike FerryIn this valuable and informative program, Mike discusses authentic happiness and how it can be combined with innovation and a growth mindset to give our children a strong base, a platform for managing life in a world containing more than its share of challenges. Mike’s here also to suggest how we can encourage our kids to develop and demonstrate other valuable attributes like gratitude, perseverance, mindfulness, purpose, tolerance, collaboration, faith and creativity. All of these will contribute to their happiness and a life well-lived.

Mike’s in-depth research and his years as a middle school teacher and father of four all come together in a book that’s the focus of this program. It’s entitled, Teaching Happiness and Innovation. (28:50)

http://www.happinessandinnovation.com

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


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GRIT: The Breakfast of Champions (Dr. Daniel Trussell)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere is considerable conversation about the need to address non-cognitive skills in our educational system and one of the most frequently mentioned non-cognitive skills is the acquisition of Grit. Duckworth, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist and a preeminent researcher on Grit, describes this trait as high motivation or passion focused on a long term goal pursued with diligence and perseverance, despite the obstacles and even during times of boredom.

In their book Grit to Great, Thaler and Koval ascribe attributes of Grit with a clever acronym:

Guts
Resilience
Initiative
Tenacity

While the value of developing Grit has only recently been scientifically investigated, it is not a new concept. Indeed, Grit has been considered a desired trait and reinforced to children for centuries. Its resurgence in the educational system is part of an attempt to level the socioeconomic field by teaching success strategies to children as they move through the educational system.

Educational standardization, a product of the No Child Left Behind era which many now view as a drill and kill mentality for academic performance, is increasingly sharing space with developing empowerment and success through personal responsibility and free will. Grit, like success in life, is not tied to IQ, talents or socioeconomic status, but to a skill set that levels the playing field.

You Have to Fail to Succeed

The “you have to fail to succeed” attitude from parents and educational systems is gaining momentum as an integral part of creating an environment that fosters success as adults. Success requires diligence, perseverance and tenacity.

Duckworth asserts that talents, intellect and a strong supportive social and home environment are insufficient for long term success. A “Yes, I Can” approach goes a long way even when a child wants to throw in the towel.

Perseverance builds resilience, which helps us continue to pursue a difficult challenge. Suffering through a difficult challenge is not only inevitable but necessary for achieving success. Confusion, frustration and even feeling overwhelmed often come with the territory.

Tenacity keeps us on track toward a goal even through the tedious or boring aspects of reaching mastery. Langer has found that one component of high life satisfaction is openness to new experience. Creatively approaching a seemingly insurmountable barrier to a highly prized goal enhances the development of grit. Finding interesting or novel ways to approach a problem balances the suffering and builds resilience, persistence and self-discipline.

Wait Just a Minute!

While many parents and school systems have jumped on the bandwagon to support academic persistence over academic achievement, others are raising concern. Opponents argue that emphasizing non-cognitive skills like Grit in an educational system denounces creativity , reduces diversity of interests, teaches conformity without question and focuses on narrow behavioral expectations rather than motive or desire. Some assert that reinforcing Grit can lower well-being if a child is expected to persist toward an unattainable goal or a goal of which they have no interest.

While there is merit to each of these concerns, let’s look back to the Duckworth definition of grit. Grit is accessed when one is highly motivated or passionate about gaining mastery over a skill or reaching a long term goal.

Duckworth describes a household rule in a recent article called the “Hard Thing Rule.” Family members choose one hard thing and work deliberately and consistently toward mastery over the chosen skill or activity for a specified period of time. They don’t give up or stop midstream, even if they have become bored or experience feelings of being overwhelmed. After a specified time, like a semester or a year, the family member can reassess their level of interest and negotiate to stop pursuit if they no longer have interest in the activity.

As parents, we all want our children to grow into successful, productive contributing adults. The question remains whether reinforcing Grit belongs in the home, in the educational system or in a combination of both environments. ###

DTrussellbookDaniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at drdanieltrussell@gmail.com. [website]

 

 

Teaching Kids Happiness and Innovation (Guest: Mike Ferry)

BTRadioIntSome define happiness as a positive by-product of success. In other words, if you are successful enough, you’ll be happy.

Mike Ferry photo 3But that definition doesn’t square with the fact that there are plenty of folks who have the appearance of success, yet they are NOT happy. Evidence and research at this point indicate precisely the opposite position: Happy people tend to be successful people, and they conduct their lives and relationships in a manner that is sustainable and consistent with their closest-held values.

Author and teacher, Mike Ferry, defines happiness as an optimistic, communal and disciplined perspective on life. Every part of that definition makes sense; it’s worth sharing with our children as a major lesson in life.

THAIBookCoverIn this valuable and informative program, Mike discusses authentic happiness and how it can be combined with innovation and a growth mindset to give our children a strong base, a platform for managing life in a world containing more than its share of challenges. Mike’s here also to suggest how we can encourage our kids to develop and demonstrate other valuable attributes like gratitude, perseverance, mindfulness, purpose, tolerance, collaboration, faith and creativity. All of these will contribute to their happiness and a life well-lived.

Mike’s in-depth research and his years as a middle school teacher and father of four all come together in a book that’s the focus of this program. It’s entitled, Teaching Happiness and Innovation. (28:50)

(To listen to Mike’s phone presentation, “Teaching Happiness to Your Children This Summer,” follow these instructions: Dial 641-715-3589; enter Access Code 328425#; Reference Number 4#. Normal long-distance rates apply.)

TO LISTEN, use the player below or left-click the link. To access the file right-click and “Save Link as …” to save to your audio device), CLICK HERE FOR LINK


(START/STOP Audio)