How we are ruining kids with a distorted definition of success

Show notes:

Societal push to give kids leg up, an edge, childhood is race to be best/top, keeping up with the Jones’ kids, early specialization, pushed to decide what you should be before first figuring out who you are

A better path: Early sampling, diverse experience, breadth, interdisciplinary thinking, delayed concentration, ability to integrate broadly, go thru sampling period best prepares kids

Learning things is less important than learning about yourself, growing self-knowledge, consider how much we grow and evolve and discover new things about ourselves; will have many jobs in future not just because jobs and technology changes but because YOU change!

Do experiments: Focus on here’s who I am now, here are my motivations, here’s what I’ve found I like to do, here’s what I’d like to learn, here are the opportunities, which of these is the best match right now? After a while I may switch if I find something better or a better match, short term planning

My Dot Theory: do whatever seems like it would teach you something and allow you to be of service, diverse experiences accumulate, do what’s needed and drawn to at the time, the only plan is to do what is interesting or needed now

Unhealthy definition of success: attaining wealth and status by climbing institutional ladder = know your destination, work hard, nose to the grindstone, stay the course, just do same things as others but better; happiness is reward for staying the course, retire and then have fun

Dark horses value fulfillment, passion, sense of purpose, deeply engaged in what they did; pursuit of fulfillment led them to success & was crucial for their success

Ask why they like activities, grades, score goals, draw

Dark horses were not fulfilled by being excellent at something but by being deeply engaged with their own thing

Importance of what we focus on and value:

· Value urges, following intuition, fulfillment at every step

· Value meandering, detours, breadth of experience, experimentation, and wisdom of deep experience (275)

· Autonomy, flow, passion, freedom to change course

Books: Range by David Epstein; The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle, Dark Horse by Todd Rose, The Element by Ken Robinson

Contact Dr. Jordan:

If you or your young adult resonated with the ideas in this podcast, go to Dr. Tim’s website right now and get his book written for young adults, Letters From My Grandfather: Timeless Wisdom For a Life Worth Living The wisdom in this book will help your teens and young adults to find their purpose, stay on track to create the life they desire, and define success on their own terms.


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