Educators in the United States have been seeking ways to increase students’ test scores. One popular theory states that the best way to improve children’s ability is to puff up their self-esteem because high-achievers tend to have high self-esteem.
However, researchers have found that simply building children’s egos breeds many negative traits: indifference to excellence, inability to overcome adversity, and aggressiveness toward people who criticize them.
Now, I place high value on praising people, especially children. But I also believe that you have to base your praise on truth. Here’s the approach I use to encourage and lead others:
- Value people
- Praise effort
- Reward performance
I use that method with everyone, including myself. And no matter where I fail or how many mistakes I make, I don’t let it devalue my worth as a person.
As the saying goes,
“God uses people who fail—cause there aren’t any other kinds around.”
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
2 Timothy 1:12
Which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
You cannot stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” Joseph Goldstein
“Throw kindness around like confetti.” Sark
“Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means that you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.” Unknown
“Happiness is not what makes us grateful; it is gratefulness that makes us happy.” Marci Shimoff
Leaders Leading Leaders
Need something to get you through the week? Read on for 11 inspirational, literary quotes to tie you over until the weekend.
1. “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”—Alice in Wonderlandby Lewis Carroll
We often forget how far we have come. Use Alice’s wise words as encouragement to keep going.
2. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” — The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald
Contrary to Alice’s motto of looking forward, Fitzgerald reminds us to remember our pasts as we progress into the future.
3. “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”—Paradise Lost by John Milton
Remember to stay in the present and live in the world immediately around you–not in your thoughts.
4. “Not all those who wander are lost.” The Lord of the Rings by J. R. Tolkien
If you feel lost, confused, and like you’re running in circles, fret not. You can wander for a reason, even if just to find yourself.
5. “I know not all that may be coming, but be it what it will, I’ll go to it laughing.” —Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Life will throw us curveballs. There’s no reason we can’t catch them and keep running.
6. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Only assholes do that.” — Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
A daily reminder that wallowing never gets you anywhere that exactly where you already are.
7. “It is better to look at the sky than live there.”—Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
Dreaming is an easy way out of real life. We need to remind ourselves of that when our heads start drifting up into the clouds.
8. “If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” — Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Tolstoy echoes the Buddhist philosophy of achieving nirvana right where we are.
9. “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” — The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Don’t undermine your efforts. You never know whose lives they might be changing.
10. “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” — Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Rowling gently reminds us that we are defined by nothing but what we choose.
11. “My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” — David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Waste no time, but enjoy every moment to live the fullest life you can every single second.