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Why do child prodigies fail to live up to expectations?

Last week at a dinner party, everyone realized they had one thing in common: when we were young, people had predicted great things for us. And then… we’d petered out, only to become normal, disappointing adults. Why?

We can pick up a few clues from How Children Succeed by Paul Tough:

  • Being praised for effort rather than intelligence leads to long-term success. As Carol Dweck shows in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, being complimented for your effort is much better than being complimented on your intelligence. When children are complimented for their intelligence, they learn that failure =

Ready to get lucky?

Joan Didion

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves—there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.

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Can You Learn to be Lucky: Why Some People Seem to Win More Often Than Others by Karla Starr

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