In other articles in this blog I have stressed the importance of ‘purposeful practice’ to success in almost any activity. [http://www.langmaidpractice.com/blog/purposeful-practice/]I have made it the centre of my educational and training programmes so strong is my belief in its efficacy. Now strong corroboration of its importance comes from the latest review of the factors underlying success in New Scientist, 6 March 2014.
Alongside purposeful practice, there are a number of other things you can do to be successful. The first is to find and follow a passion, something you love and are passionate about. You are much more likely to succeed if you do. In this respect dreams matter; try to find and follow one. Next, try to avoid cognitive fixity, becoming too sure of anything, particularly the idea that you know the right answer! It seems indisputable that mental flexibility offers strong support to a successful career. Also willpower, grit and determination play their part as does the ability to defer gratification – to wait for your reward.
You might say that there are no surprises here, but these capabilities form a very small part of our educational curriculum – although you might learn them from taking part in sport or social activities, or sticking at maths or grammar even if you are not good to start with. The author also goes on to suggest that the idea that all that matters is IQ – as recently suggested by Mayor of London, Boris Johnson – is completely wrong. Even IQ itself is malleable and can be dramatically increased by coaching, a stable environment and a nurturing atmosphere.
It is little short of a tragedy that our politicians ignore all empirical evidence that children do best if encouraged to develop their abilities rather than if forced to tackle subjects they might not have much propensity or motivation for.
You can read the full article here. It is well worth the trouble!