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Effort vs. Results

Most children believe that receiving high marks for a test / exam serves as an indication of their intelligence and by extension, their propensity for success. Most adults believe the same thing.

That’s because we’ve managed to brainwash them (and ourselves) into believing that good results on a standardised assessment equate to a great, truly meaningful achievement. We coddle them and reward and award them and heap mountains of praise on them (often) for doing something not entirely remarkable. 

When they leave school and enter the real world, they’re surprised to learn that nobody really cares about their academic performance. The marketplace rewards grit, determination, courage, creativity, resilience, purpose, focus and relentless commitment – all things that don’t get measured or celebrated in school.

Their marital problems don’t disappear because they graduated with the highest score in the school or the province. They won’t find purpose simply because they could remember and write down more facts than anyone else.

The environment they will live in will reward them for what they can physically do; based on the value they bring to the table, not what an average or median or some other statistical string of numbers says they can do.

Results are numbers on a page. And numbers don’t define a human being.

It’s our duty to praise effort more than we praise the supposed indicators of intelligence. Because effort will always trump every other perceived advantage.

Let’s stop telling children what we think they are worth; let’s allow them to discover their worth.

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