Kismet

Inspiring Insight

Posts tagged ‘perseverance’

A Force to be Reckoned With

John Force is an NHRA drag driver. He has over 144 victories and is a major player in his field.

As a child, he overcame childhood polio. As a young adult, he raced for twenty years and failed so miserably that he became the butt of jokes.

But he never gave up.

Most of us attempt something a few times and throw in the towel after a few failures.

What are you passionate about? Can you endure hundreds of fails? Public mockery? If you enjoy the process, (the learning and growth) instead of focusing on the end game, it takes care of itself.

“How Children Succeed” (Con’t) Featured

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Mini Bell Peppers (2 peppers = full day  of Vitamin C!)

Here is a continuation of my notes on Paul Tough’s research regarding “grit, curiosity, and the hidden power of character” as it pertains to children:

  1. Grit  p. 74

“Duckworth realized self-control has limitations. She believed that a passionate commitment to a single mission and an unswerving dedication to achieve that mission are more relevant when it comes to inventing something new or creating an award-winning (movie)/project. She called this characteristic grit.”

She created a 12 (now 10) question survey that turned out to be a remarkably accurate predictor of success.

It was more accurate a predictor of graduation rates for West Point than their own assessments.

  1. Quantifying Character

Levin, Randolph, Seligman and Peterson narrowed a set of strengths that were indicators of life success and happiness:

  • Grit
  • Self-control
  • Zest
  • Social intelligence
  • Gratitude
  • Optimism
  • Curiosity

They then created a “character report card”

Much confusion among educators regarding “character” – is it moral? Is it “performance character?”

  1. Affluence

Wealthy families may have “helicopter” parents (parents who hover over their kids as they do homework, sports, etc) but that does NOT mean they are spending quality family time together. In fact, many high-achieving, wealthy families are not closely bonded.

  • Madeline Levine, psychologist in Marin County, says that wealthy parents are more emotionally distant than any other parent from their children
  • Intense feelings of shame and hopelessness in their kids
  • Levine was inspired by Suniya Luthar, psychology professor at Columbia Univ who did a comparison study between low-income and high-income households.
  • Found 22% of wealthy kids suffered elevated rates of depression and clinically significant symptoms
  • 35% of affluent kids tried all four substances (alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana and harder illegal drugs
  • 15% of poor kids tried all four
  • Dan Kindlon, assistant professor of child psychology at Harvard, also found an emotional disconnect between wealthy kids and their parents
  • These parents were overly indulgent in their children’s bad behavior
  • Parents making more than $1 million said that they were far less strict than their own parents
  • A little hardship – discomfort – is good for children!
  • This is an issue in private schools – telling parents they are not parenting properly means you are criticizing your employers (clients)
  • A school like Riverdale (expensive, private – graduates include Chevy Chase, Carly Simon, etc) is not meant to help raise the ceiling, but to raise the floor = give kids a high probability of nonfailure.
  • They do not develop grit

 

  1. Discipline  p. 86

KIPP used to practice a lot of disciplinary action (some of which Levin regretted)

SLANT – stand up, listen, ask questions, nod, and track – taught at KIPP 5th grade

Code-switching – you must learn and practice proper behavior for the museum, college interview and nice restaurants

Rich kids at Riverdale wear casual clothes and slouch

Kids at KIPP are taught to have good posture and track teachers…formal speech

The administrators of both schools disagree on this point – what should students be taught?

 

 

Hustle

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Carrot and Stick

 

You want it.  You work for it. You fail to secure it.

You still want it. You work again. No go.

You’re persevering! You’re trying! What’s wrong?

Perhaps it’s time to create it yourself?

 

 

 

Persevere!

As a teacher, I have many different types of students:

talented, but not diligent,

talented and diligent, and

not naturally so talented, but diligent

I do not have any untalented and non-diligent students.

It is the diligent students who meet the most success. There really is no substitute for hard work, self-discipline and care. With facts and “knowledge” readily available at our fingertips (Internet), it is not “knowing data” that will lead to success, but knowing how to use that data and knowing how to interact with people that will lead to achievement.

Grit is proven day by day, hour by hour, and on a consistent basis.

What will you be dedicated  to – every day – in 2018?

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Drawing practice #55 – Lower right corner – acrylic paint is not so great on black ink.

Faith

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When it seems hopeless, envision this:

A man in his forties, dressed in his best gray suit, sits alone at the table. His eyes are on the door. Gorgeous flowers wrapped in cellophane stand stiffly in a vase of water.  He’s anxiously waiting for her.

Does she show up?

We hope she does…

And if she doesn’t? Imagine him crestfallen. Imagine his disappointment. What would you want to say to him?

***

Next, a young teenage boy is at a fast food restaurant. He orders a #4 (cheeseburger, fries, and a drink) and a #6 (chicken nuggets, fries, and a drink). He takes them to a booth and spreads them out, neatly. He waits, nervously looking at the door every time it opens. People come and go. He checks his watch four times. Thirty minutes later, he realizes she (or he) is not coming. He throws it all in a bag and heads home, dejected.

Wouldn’t you tell him he will find that special someone someday? Wouldn’t you urge him to not give up on the good in life?

Well, we’re all rooting for you, too.

 

Producing

Maya says, “Don’t get discouraged!”

You gain a follower. You are so happy! And then you lose one. Or two.

You play in a tennis tournament and make several unforced errors that cost you the match. 

You stutter and stammer during the most important business meeting of the year. You’re sure you didn’t clinch this deal. 

The feeling of disappointment is hard for you to shake. 

Recently, a couple was found guilty of stealing from Amazon.com: $1.2 million! Was Jeff Bezos was up late at night, worrying about it? Was he fixated on this one event, wondering why? No. He’s got the holiday shopping season, Whole Foods and new centers to build and maintain. He’s got “people” (lawyers) to handle the problems. He stays on-task. 

This pertains to work and relationships: focus on progress (which leads to the ultimate goal). The subscriber count, the meeting and the competition are just one metric in each sphere of work. 

Keep on keeping on!

 

Tae Kwon Do

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When I was a teenager, my sister, brother and I studied Tae Kwon Do with the late, great Chung Kim. It was one of the most challenging endeavors I’ve ever done because the studio was very “old school.” Classes were not designed to entice kids to join and have a “good time.” It was all about self-discipline and focus. We had to do knuckle pushups if we made a mistake. We free sparred grown men. We practiced, breathed, and lived according to the tenets of CIPSI:

Courtesy (respect)

Integrity (ethics)

Perseverance

Self-Control

Indomitable (unconquerable) Spirit

I remember the physical pain of knuckle push-ups, sparring, and sit-ups. I remember silently crying because I failed a belt test or failed at something else. It was more painful than not. It was more frustrating and frightening than not. But in the end, my siblings and I earned our 1st degree black belts.

There was a hearing impaired couple – man and wife – who were practicing in the studio. I watched them, mesmerized. It was already so hard! How did they do it? People are amazing. If person set goals and believe 100% in themselves, they will accomplish their goal. I saw this first hand in the dojang and I see it every day in my students.

Every important lesson I’ve learned in life bloomed in that stinky studio. Focus on what you’re doing. Control your mind and your body. Visualize your goals. Work hard. Never quit.

Never quit!

Master Kim, thank you for leaving such a valuable legacy.

 

 

Hesitation

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It was a pitted day

where little was fit or fulfilled,

peace and calm rose as sunset

but not too rightly willed

a desire to escape (!)

from noise, doubt and sorrow

I began the screen event

with little thought to morrow

but conscience tugged at my brain

here sat the binder full of work

you promised me  – the voice said –

this endeavor you would not shirk

 

 

The Compost in My Garden

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compost [kom-pohst]

1.a mixture of various decaying organic substances, as dead leaves or manure, used for fertilizing soil.*

Every green thumb gardener knows that her garden needs rich soil in order to grow bright, brilliant plants. Compost enriches soil but it is stinky and takes time to degrade and cultivate. The compost of my life’s garden (thus far) consists of (but is not limited to):
  • Kids taunting me with “chink” when I walked home from school
  • Every grade I ever received other than an “A”
  • my first heartbreak
  • the deaths of my grandparents, sister-in-law and friends
  • breast cancer and the six surgeries that followed
  • every awful job and boss I ever had
  • every workout that pushed me to the brink of insanity
  • the police officer at my high school football game who hatefully asked me if I speak English
  • scooter/car accident right before my wedding (I had to wear a leg brace under my wedding dress)
  • my mentor’s suicide

 

Let us not dwell on our past, but let us celebrate our survival. It is pain and loss that molds us into the strong people we are.

 

 

Resources:

*Dictionary.com

unsplash.com

 

 

Falling…

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I fall 1,000 times, I get up 1,001.

There’s a saying I like, although I might change two of the words:

“Winners do what losers won’t.”

I prefer: “Successful people do what the Unrealized won’t.” It’s more wordy … a bit clunky, but I don’t believe anyone is a “winner” or a “loser.” Some people have embraced courage and run with it.  Some people are still working on their courage.

Go on. Get up. Help make the world a better place. We need you.