Paul Tough's book How Children Succeed is one that fits in well at all three of my blogs and the Standing Out Facebook page. I intend to write the review at Cultivating Awe, but for now I'd like to talk about two things. First, if you have children or are acquainted with parents or grandparents of children, Paul's book is a must read. Second, Paul's book is steeped in academic research and science. While this might give intellectuals a warm and fuzzy feeling, it's just not that important to me when it comes to understanding how this philosophy helps kids succeed*.
Why read? How Children Succeed guides us through how characteristics like perseverance, curiosity, self-control, grit, optimism and conscientiousness make a difference in young people's lives. That's why.
In regards to the research and science...if you were born on Mars and had just moved to Earth, the research would be of value. Or perhaps if you were just starting out in your first career it would be of value. Or if you are one of those old adults who after years of going through life on cruise control, just decided to tune in, it would be of value. I suppose if you are an academic contrarian it would be of value as well.
I've read thousands of books. Most are non-fiction and most deal either directly or indirectly with people's success. You'd be hard pressed to find even one of those books that didn't talk about a successful individual having perseverance. Same for self-control, optimism and grit, although grit would mostly fall under perseverance. I simply do not need the results of scientific investigation to tell me the how and why of Steve Job's success. Or if you've gone through life paying even the slightest bit of attention to, well, life, Paul's work here translates to not-so-common, common sense. I just don't have to dive into reams of scientific research to know how important the characteristic of curiosity is to the young adult bent on succeeding in business and life.
I love the tone that Paul Tough sets in this book. It's natural and humanistic which for me, duct tapes the content to my conscious...think Heath Bros.
*I very much appreciate Paul's diligence in including the research and actually find some of it most fascinating.How Children Succeed