If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.
We are all parents. We are all children.
We are parents when we are managing others.
We are children when we are learning and growing.
If we are praising children, co-workers, or friends, we should keep the focus on effort.
If we are handing out awards at work, they should be based on effort.
If we reward effort, results will eventually follow.
If an individual is not seeing results yet, they can be demotivated by seeing others rewarded for results that appear to be “lucky.”
Effort is always within our control.
It is natural to coast when results come easy.
But coasting is a bad idea. We should keep on peddling.
That gives us momentum to scale the next hill.
In addition to praising effort, we should encourage good mistakes.
A good mistake is
· Trying something new with a big upside and small downside that doesn’t work on the first try.
· Making the best decision using available information, even if in hindsight it seems like a bad decision.
· Getting just beyond our comfortable competence level, even when we feel awkward and embarrassed.
We should encourage others to learn from their mistakes, both good and bad mistakes.
At the same time we are playing the role of parents, we are also children.
We should judge our own performance by our effort, not by results.
Focusing on effort is not just a way to feel good about ourselves when the results are lagging.
Even when there are impressive results, effort is more important.
Our goal should be to keep learning and growing.
The more we learn, the more we realize how much we have yet to learn.
Fortunately, the more we learn, the easier it is to learn other things.
We should also welcome challenges, even seek them out.
Above all, we should keep learning no matter how long we live.
Here’s an empowering question: What exciting new thing will you have the opportunity to learn today?
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