I was playing a version of ‘Snakes and Ladders’ with my daughters over the weekend. After my daughter landed on the ‘square’ that cause her to go all the way back to the start of the game twice, she got so angry that she said, ‘ I give up! I don’t want to play anymore!’
That pattern of behavior got me very worried as a father. To me, the most important ingredient for future success is NOT top grades, high IQ or in-born talent. To me, the most important ingredient for success is RESILIENCE, the attitude of ‘ Never Giving Up’ and ‘ Never Say Die’.
It is this ‘never say die’ attitude that has been the main factor of my own success. After I lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in my first few failed businesses and in the stock market when I first started, I refused to quit, no matter how painful or hopeless I felt. It is this resilience that allows me to enjoy the wealth and success I have today.
So, having a daughter who says that she gives up after getting two setbacks in a game, really worried me. I knew that if I did not change her pattern of thinking, she will end up like so many ‘losers in life’ who quit after a failed marriage, business, investment etc…
So, I gave her the whole motivational seminar (free for her ) on how ‘Winners never quit and quitters never win’. I told her the story of how Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before perfecting the light bulb and that there are NO FAILURES, ONLY LEARNING EXPERIENCES.
I convinced her to continue playing the game although she was last at the time. Guess what? She lost the game but asked to start a new game. During the new game, she came out the winner. Hopefully, it as a lesson that she will never forget and forever shape her destiny.
I feel that instead of focusing so much on teaching children how to solve complex math problems and to do hundreds of assessment problems that have no bearing to future success in life, schools should focus more on teaching children emotional intelligence skills like ‘resilience’, ‘compassion’ and ‘Integrity’. This is why I have chosen to create a program ‘ I Am Gifted! Camp to focus on these essential life skills
I read an article recently about a Singaporean JC student who scored 7′A’s for ‘A’ levels but was so depressed that she was suicidal. She was depressed because she aimed for 8 ‘A’s and only got 7. She missed a distinction in one of her scholarship papers.
I feel sad for her that even though she may have a very high IQ and top academic results, she will probably not be able to achieve much success in her future career, relationships and finances if she does not develop AQ- Adversity Quotient. Do you feel that children nowadays may be technologically superior and more knowledgeable, but may have become too soft (strawberry generation) and unable to take setbacks and hardship? Here’s a favourite quote from one of my heros…