Don’t Be Afraid To Be Stupid

In response to the question of whether I’d prefer to have a child that is smart, or a hard-worker.

When I was a child I was neither, and both, at the same time, so I have my own interpretation of what it means to be smart and hardworking, as well as the opposite.

Smart is almost a perfect synonym for intelligent, except with an emphasis on practicality.

Without practicality, intelligence amounts to nothing.

I’d actually rather have a child that is a hard worker, because hard work can overcome almost any obstacle.

Praising a child for how “smart” or “intelligent” they are instead of lauding their work efforts can have the negative effect of teaching them to only value their innate abilities – the ones that they’re that they’re born with – rather than valuing the skills that they can develop on their own, simply through putting in effort. In this type of value structure, any small, or perceived, failure can come to invalidate their entire value as a person.

This is known as a “fixed mindset”.

Ingraining a sense of work ethic and diligence can have the positive effect of potentially imbuing them with a “growth mindset”, through which anything is possible.

To quote myself:

“For years I tried to be smart, but I was never very good at it, so I gave up. That was when I started learning. once you become unhindered by the bondage of aptitude, you are free to explore the world without a fear of failure. You lose the fixed mindset, develop a growth mindset, and are set to accomplish things you never thought possible. DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE STUPID.”

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