I had the distinct pleasure of listening to the EepyBird guys share their “discovery” process, and contrary to what many might think, it isn’t one great big aha moment that occurs in a flash. Instead, they described the need for perseverance in reaching success: the need to 1) be obsessive in following your goal, to the point of becoming “the expert;” 2) be stubborn, and don’t give up when things don’t work, because every attempt is a learning experience that moves you forward toward your goal; and finally, 3) be extreme—scale up what you’re doing because quantity can impact quality and allows you to break away from the pack.
Check out the video for today’s Wonder 940: Why Do Some Drinks Sweat? for some fun experimenting with EepyBird. It takes them many, many experiments before they master something. In fact, they recommend giving an idea an initial quick try, and then moving to attempt number 10 where you have something that has potential but still needs a lot of refining. This stage is really the beginning rather than the end. By the time you’ve reached attempt 100, you’ve reached a level of mastery and are really onto your “discovery” and to becoming the expert.
This quality of perseverance needs to be nurtured at an early age. Most things that are worthwhile require a lot of effort. I know that encouraging effort versus rewarding/praising results is important for giving children that boost to keep at it, but I am interested to hear what others think and do. This is certainly a quality that is highly valued in the workplace, and when you think of inventors who face many failures before meeting success (like Edison), I guess we’d be in the dark without their perseverance.
And talking about perseverance, go back to Wonder, #697: How Far Can Butterflies Fly? to learn about the amazing perseverance of these lovely and fragile insects. Perseverance—an important characteristic for children to have when facing many daunting tasks, such as learning to read.
Please share what you do to support the important quality of perseverance in children.