Month: September 2012

How to Praise Your Kids

Praise is a tricky thing, because at first glance it seems so easy. You say “Attaboy,” or “Awesome job,” give a pat on the back, and everything’s great, right?
Uh, wrong.
Science is showing us that when it comes to praise, kids operate like light switches. Certain types of praise switch kids on by boosting their motivation …

How to be More Creative

This is the single best speech on creativity I’ve ever seen. It’s from Jack White, rock star and former upholsterer. I love this because it shows that creative work is not about magic and mystery. It’s about designing an environment that helps you make new connections in the brain you already have. (The whole clip …

How to Begin a New Skill

Of all the key moments in talent development, the most important and mysterious is the first ten seconds. The first few swings, the first notes, the first stumbly tries. It’s a tenuous time, because it’s a psychological fork in the road. Either you get the Good Feeling (“Hey, this is kinda fun!”), or the Bad …

The Coach in Your Head: How to Get Better at Self-Talk

How to Coach Your Kid

I recently got a letter from a reader named Mike Polonsky that shines a bright light on a persistent question a lot of us deal with: what’s the best way to coach your own kid?
Because if we parents are honest, we know that we are, more often than not, pretty crummy coaches. We want to …

How to Be Ready for the Big Test

Life is made up of tests: the championship game, the final exam, the crucial presentation, the big recital. In those moments, we naturally tend to focus on the externals of our performance. Were we successful or not?
However, I think it might be more revealing to focus on the foundation: the days of preparation leading up …