Are children born with fixed passions and interests so that all they need to do is to find them — or do they need to build and develop their passions with the application of effort? How a child approaches this question will make all the difference in his future.
Fixed Interest Mindset vs. Growth/Evolved Interest Mindset
Across North America, children and youth are being taught to “find their passion.” It is presumed “the passions” are fixed and built in, and that after one’s passion is found that everything meaningful will come effortlessly in an endless stream of motivation and fulfillment.
In a paper that is forthcoming in Psychological Science, the authors delineate the difference between the two mind-sets. One is a “fixed theory of interests”—the idea that core interests are there from birth, just waiting to be discovered—and the other is a “growth theory,” the idea that interests are something anyone can cultivate over time.
… “If passions are things found fully formed, and your job is to look around the world for your passion—it’s a crazy thought,” Walton told me. “It doesn’t reflect the way I or my students experience school, where you go to a class and have a lecture or a conversation, and you think, That’s interesting. It’s through a process of investment and development that you develop an abiding passion in a field.”
Another reason not to buy into the fixed theory is that it can cause people to give up too easily. If something becomes difficult, it’s easy to assume that it simply must not have been your passion, after all. In one portion of this study, the students who thought interests were fixed were also less likely to think that pursuing a passion would be difficult at times. Instead, they thought it would provide “endless motivation.” __ The Atlantic
Modern educators like to believe that once a child’s passions are found and engaged, that he will subsequently benefit from an endless stream of insight and energy that will allow him to follow the passions to their proper rewards.
This belief in “the fixed passions” is compatible with modern theories of “self esteem” and the abolition of grades, competence hierarchies, and meaningful competition. In this brave new world there is no need to stratify ideas and theories by how well they work in the real world. Every culture is perfect just as it is, everybody gets a trophy, and if science finds differences in aptitudes and achievements between different groups, then by popular proclamation science must be wrong about that.
The “follow your fixed passion” is also compatible with $1.5 trillion in student loan debt in US colleges — much of which will never be repaid. It is also compatible with a rapidly expanding skills shortage in North America and Europe which — like it or not — will result in having to choose between importing skilled workers from abroad, or a gradual scaling back of local skilled services and industries, leading to increased imports of products from abroad.
How to cultivate a “growth” mind-set in the young, future-psychology-experiment subjects of America? If you’re a parent, you can avoid dropping new hobbies as soon as they become difficult. (Your kids might take note if you do, O’Keefe said.) __ Atlantic
The author of the Atlantic piece excerpted above makes a great point: Your example teaches your child far more about how to approach life than anything you may say to him.
And stop telling your child “you’re so smart!” Children who are told how smart they are will tend to begin avoiding difficult challenges so as not to threaten their “so smart!” self-concept. Instead, praise the child’s effort and work ethic.
The underlying idea here is to teach the child — by example, through story/myth, and by reinforced advice — how to embrace and overcome difficult challenges. This is necessary in order for the child to reach levels of accomplishment that will allow him to both build and discover meaningful and purposeful “passions.”
Without this built-in love of overcoming challenge and solving difficult problems, life becomes one series of dumbed down “educational experiences” after another.
And that is exactly the opposite of what you want for your Dangerous Child.
Bringing up a Dangerous Child is always challenging, often thrilling, and sometimes terrifying. Most of us have come to terms with the reasons we are doing this and the other important things in our lives. But the Dangerous Child has not had our experiences or had the chance to test different perspectives and attitudes against the real world. An essential part of Dangerous Child training is inserting “big picture” concepts regularly, to make the child comfortable seeing his own life from an eagle’s eye perspective.
The ability to step outside one’s own life and observe what one is doing and where one is heading, is invaluable in the discovery of one’s own purpose, or reason for being. This purpose or reason is one’s orienting platform and launching pad to the future.
Here is an exercise from Peter Diamandis meant to help a person to discover personal goals which they would find compelling and sustaining:
Step one: Write down the top three items you are most excited about or get you most riled up (that you want to solve).
Step two: For each of the three problems listed above, ask the following six questions and score each from 1-10.
(1 = small difference; 10 = big difference)
1. If at the end of [a given time] you had made a significant dent in this area, how proud would you feel?
2. Given the resources you have today, what level of impact could you make in the next three years if you solved this problem?
3. Given the resources you expect to have in 10 years, what level of impact could you make in a 3-year period?
4. How well do I understand the problem?
5. How emotionally charged (excited or riled up) am I about this?
6. Will this problem get solved with or without you involved?
TOTAL = Add up your scores and identify the idea with the highest score. This is your winner for now. Does this one intuitively feel right to you? __ Motivating Power
The results of this exercise will be different at age 10 than at age 18. And far different still at the age of 30 or 40. But it is crucial that Dangerous Children begin to think in terms of setting self-motivating goals from an early age.
Jordan Peterson is famous for his emphasis on striving for meaning and purpose rather than striving for happiness.
Peterson’s “self-authoring software” and “Understand Myself” self-assessment will help Dangerous Children and others to learn where they are strong and weak, and to better visualise themselves as they set goals and move into the future.
This type of honest self-assessment and realistic projection of one’s goal-driven efforts into the future, combine to provide one with more realistic maps for navigating their lives.
Dangerous Children master at least three different ways of financial self-support by the age of eighteen. But they will not be content with just being financially self-supporting. They never stop learning and they never stop setting goals.
Should Dangerous Children Follow Their Passion?
Once a youth reaches the place where his future is in his own hands, as long as his “passion” is informed by a deep wisdom inside himself, then why not?
In a previous post we looked at Mike Rowe’s advice: “Don’t follow your passion!” But we should be clear that Rowe was talking to today’s average sheltered, pampered, mis-educated young person, with essentially no real world experience or savvy. A Dangerous Child with at least three self-supporting skills mastered and tucked under his belt is in an altogether different category. With his broad range of hard-won competencies, the Dangerous Child has a good idea what to expect in the broader world — and is fairly well set to begin dealing with it.
But for ordinary youth, following their passion is more likely to be a recipe for disaster.
When I say, “don’t follow your passion,” some people get upset because they think I am saying, “don’t follow the goal of being passionate about your work.” But I’m not saying this. Passion is great. I just don’t see a lot of evidence that passion is something existing naturally, waiting to be discovered. It takes hard work and planning to develop.
… we rarely talk about what true passion feels like. The sensation of excitement about a particular idea is often a different sensation than the type of deep passion that drives people into a fulfilling career. Excitement comes and goes. True passion arises after you’ve put in the long hours to really become a craftsman in your field and can then leverage this value to really have an impact, to gain autonomy and respect, to control your occupational destiny.
… there is no special passion waiting for you to discover. Passion is something that is cultivated. It can be cultivated in many, many different fields. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to say, “I don’t know what my passion is.” What does make sense is to say, “I haven’t yet cultivated a passion, I should really focus down on a small number of things and start this process.” __ https://www.theminimalists.com/cal/
In the book, “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway,” Susan Jeffers confronts the paralysing feeling of fear. Fear will stop you before you can get started, or push you to quit when success is just around the corner.
It is not just negative emotions such as fear that can keep you from setting and achieving meaningful goals. The errant pursuit of positive emotions such as “happiness,” contentment, or bliss can send a person on an impossible quest that can tie him up in so many knots for so many years that he never has a chance to understand what he needs to do to build a life of purpose and meaning.
Fear is Overrated, and So Is Happiness
We live in a “touchy-feely” world of safe spaces, entitled perpetual children, and a constant readiness to take offense for perceived “lack of respect” or “cultural appropriation.” Feelings are given precedence over purposeful and considered action across the public sphere — even though only purposeful and considered action can make our world a better place for everyone.
Across the worlds of academia, media, government, social media, and worlds of work and play, emotions are elevated above a broad competence, a competence which would allow people to invent, create, and produce the things that lead to a more expansive and abundant human future.
Emotions are important, of course. But they are secondary to what you actually do, in reality. For example, “self esteem” comes after competence and accomplishment. “Happiness” is a spontaneous response to particular settings or events which usually required a lot of hard work to set up. “Bliss” is a special experience that usually accompanies a serendipitous juxtaposition of outer events and inner awareness and receptivity. Positive emotions often occur at the culmination of a series of unrelated — and sometimes unconscious — achievements which all required action on your part to bring about.
Feelings and Moods Follow Inner Narratives, Dialogues, and Story Loops
We have some control over our moods and feelings, as long as we are aware of the inner voices and competing intrigues which influence emotions below the surface. The extreme example of this underlying moodmaster, is suicidal ideations. Some people easily fall into repeating images of self harm or personal annihilation, which cannot help but result in depressed mood and despair for as long as the images are allowed to repeat.
Less dramatic examples of unconscious mood controlling narratives and story segments dominate the lives of large numbers of people. Daydreaming — which involves the “default mode network” of the brain — can take over the minds of students in study, workers at their desks, writers at their keyboards, and anyone else who has an idle moment that turns into much more than a moment. Sometimes great ideas occur to a person in the state of “mind wandering.” But that only tends to happen to “prepared minds,” which are struggling with a specific problem, and need a little subconscious assistance.
Kekulé spoke of the creation of the theory. He said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail (this is an ancient symbol known as the ouroboros). This vision, he said, came to him after years of studying the nature of carbon-carbon bonds. __ August Kekule (Wikipedia)
For most people, most of the time daydreaming is a waste of time at best, and an open door to self berating thoughts at worst.
People Can Control Their Own Inner Dialogues
It is the goal of cognitive behavioural therapy to replace dysfunctional “inner dialogues” with more positive inner thoughts which predispose to constructive actions and behaviours.
Likewise, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy modifies a person’s mood patterns and inner thoughts by multiple pathways — including an increasing awareness of what is happening deep inside, and the actual alteration of brain circuits involved in the default mode network’s function.
Neurofeedback can also be helpful in altering brain function toward more productive and purposeful habits of mind, but that approach to mood assistance has barely begun to be developed. It holds immense potential for the future.
For mood modification and modulation, it is generally best to view pharmaceuticals as a last resort — although in certain situations, antidepressants and other mood modifying drugs can be lifesaving. All the same, persons should take advantage of any opportunities they can find to become more insightful and aware of their own internal mood mechanisms.
How Do You Learn What You Should Do?
If actions should take precedence over feelings in most situations, how does a person know what he should be doing? That kind of priority-setting is learned over many years of experimentation, free play, and the repeated discipline of making plans and putting them into action across many areas of life. As the child plans, makes predictions, and experiences results after putting plans into action, he builds a portfolio of increasingly refined expectations.
By the time a Dangerous Child is eighteen years of age, he will have mastered a broad range of skills, competencies, and at least three ways of earning a living. He will also have started and run multiple business enterprises of various types, with roughly ten years of business and money management experience before reaching 18.
A Dangerous Child will learn to deal with success and failure, and will learn to distinguish the two at earlier and earlier stages of project development. By doing this over and over again, he will learn to deal with the emotions and social inputs that accompany both success and failure — long before his livelihood and future is on the line.
Dangerous Children also learn many non-financial skills and competencies. Whether an expertise is in the area of lethal skills or non-lethal competencies, each level of accomplishment is embedded within a matrix of responsibility to the family and community.
The Story Goes Much Deeper than this General Sketch
But even if we were able to portray the full story, we would not do so in this setting. In time, we will fill out enough details so that interested parties can follow the leads.
The primary goal of The Dangerous Child movement is to build networked islands of competence in a broad sea of dysfunction and — too often — malevolence.
All children should be trained along the lines of Peterson’s 12 rules, but Dangerous Children in particular. This valuable book unlocks a treasure trove of deep learning and insight which required Peterson decades of study and struggle to uncover and elucidate. Writing the book only took a few years. Doing the painful and bloody work required to be able to write the book took decades.
The book is something to read, ponder, and read again. Parents who take the time and trouble to do so will be much better people for themselves, their partners, and their children. But it is children themselves — and especially Dangerous Children — who stand to reap the greatest harvest from internalising the dynamic storm of principles hidden behind the rules.
The following rules will appear meaningless to someone who has not read the book. But to anyone who takes the trouble to read and re-read Peterson’s book, the rules are saturated with the deepest of meanings.
Rule 1 Stand up straight with your shoulders back
Rule 2 Treat yourself like you would someone you are responsible for helping
Rule 3 Make friends with people who want the best for you
Rule 4 Compare yourself with who you were yesterday, not with who someone else is today
Rule 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
Rule 6 Set your house in perfect order before you criticise the world
Rule 7 Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
Rule 8 Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
Rule 9 Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
Rule 10 Be precise in your speech
Rule 11 Do not bother children when they are skate-boarding
Rule 12 Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street
Part clinical psychologist, part philosopher, part popularizer of obscure gems of experience and covert iron bulwarks of reality, Peterson is only 55 years old. He is just now bursting into the global intellectual limelight.
For anyone else from his relatively humble background, such a “coming out” into the treacherous world of modern fame would be potentially devastating. But if you look carefully at all the decades of blistering mind-toil Peterson has done arriving at this point in his life, it will be easier to see the solid bedrock beneath his thinking.
Peterson has largely been in the news for his blazing, outspoken opposition to much of the far-left political agenda, which he characterises as totalitarian, intolerant and a growing threat to the primacy of the individual – which is his core value and, he asserts, the foundation of western culture. __ Guardian
If you have not watched Peterson’s interview with feminist Cathy Newman on BBC, it is worth a look. It has already received almost five and half million views on Youtube, and that number is rising quickly.
Ms. Newman tries repeatedly to put words into Peterson’s mouth, and is soundly rebuffed and corrected each time. Peterson comes across as cool under fire because he himself has fought internal battles over these issues of far greater ferocity than any firepower that a mere feminist could mount.
Children need to be prepared in advance for the hostility they will face from a radical leftist zeitgeist at all levels of society and education. Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules is a powerful tool to aid that preparation.
Dangerous Children master at least three ways of supporting themselves financially by age eighteen. They are expert with a variety of methods of self and group defence. They speak at least three languages fluently, play multiple musical instruments, understand basic banking / investment / finance / trade / taxation, and will be able to make their own way through life and higher education without outside assistance.
Getting To That Point is Difficult, Since Parents Must Learn to Improvise
There is no single curriculum which will serve to educate every Dangerous Child. Nor is there any one single approach to child-rearing, discipline, or talent development that will serve everyone. This means that if parents decide to raise multiple Dangerous Children, they will need to adapt the method to each child as he reveals himself in development.
Parents must be prepared to offer a large number and variety of experiences, experiments, and projects to each child. And they must also be prepared to follow up on particularly promising experiments. Some experiences will cause the child to come alive and want to do nothing else. Such “golden” experiences can be very useful for motivating the child to do other experiments and projects which may not move the child nearly so well, at first.
Young children do not always see the need for variety, particularly when they have discovered something they already know that they like. Using “preferred activities” as rewards for doing more exploratory activities — or for delving into projects whose early stages are a bit tedious — will accomplish multiple ends.
First, using one skill-building activity to motivate another skill-building activity helps reveal to the parent more about how the child’s mind works. This will be useful for future structured explorations into skills training.
Second, piggy-backing on a pre-existing enthusiasm, children discover that new experiments that seemed unexciting at first can turn into experiences that generate a new enthusiasm.
Third, while diverted from the initial preferred activity, the child’s subconscious mind is devising better and more skillful ways to perform the preferred activity, while at the same time learning a new skill consciously.
The early years are quite tricky, since what is very exciting to a two year old can become old hat to a three or four year old. The skills and competencies that are being developed before the age of six or eight tend to be foundational skills. But they are critically important all the same.
Very few Mozarts, Nureyevs, or Michaelangelos reveal themselves before the age of six or eight. Albert Einstein was labled a “slow learner” in grammar school. Several fine symphony orchestra musicians began playing one instrument (often the piano) then switched to another instrument that made them famous. But the musical appreciation, movement training, practise in thinking things through, and the early musical instrument are all critical foundations to later development.
Early enthusiasms should be treated as foundational learning and as motivation for further development. If there is a long-term future in that early gold strike, it should become obvious as the child develops many additional skills, but keeps coming back to the mother lode.
When the child reaches the age of six to eight he will begin to select his own experiments
The prefrontal executive functions do not begin to develop and function well until around the age of seven or eight, for most children. They are not fully developed until adulthood, but by age eight the basic pattern has typically been set for that child.
The executive system is thought to be heavily involved in handling novel situations outside the domain of some of our ‘automatic’ psychological processes that could be explained by the reproduction of learned schemas or set behaviors. Psychologists Don Norman and Tim Shallice have outlined five types of situations in which routine activation of behavior would not be sufficient for optimal performance:[page needed]
Those that involve planning or decision making
Those that involve error correction or troubleshooting
Situations where responses are not well-rehearsed or contain novel sequences of actions
Dangerous or technically difficult situations
Situations that require the overcoming of a strong habitual response or resisting temptation.
Overcoming innate impulses can be almost impossible in children whose prefrontal executive functions are not well developed. In some research, executive function is up to 90% heritable. Compare that to IQ which is up to 80% heritable in mature adults.
Another perspective on the brain’s executive functions:
In the Harvard working group, executive functions primarily consist of working memory, inhibitory control, and mental flexibility.
So You Can See Why Parenting Very Young Dangerous Children is Such an Arduous Task
Parents of Dangerous Children must provide the executive function for the very young child, while exposing the child to the formative experiences and skill-building experiments/projects that will assist in the robust development of the child’s own executive functions. For most reasonably bright, healthy, and balanced children, all of this takes place almost automatically, within an environment of love and playfulness — for the very young child.
Most of a Dangerous Child’s schooling after the age of eight or ten is self-monitored and self-supervised (to a point), development of executive functions within the critical window of ages five to eight is crucial. But just as crucial is the development of basic skills and competencies which facilitate executive function training during the sensitive period.
In The Robinson Curriculum, students are taught to teach themselves
While the subject matter, can be mastered with or without a teacher, the student who masters it without a teacher learns something more. He learns to teach himself. Then, when he continues into physics, chemistry, and biology—which are studied in their own special language, the language of mathematics—he is able to teach these subjects to himself regardless of whether or not a teacher with the necessary specialized knowledge is present. Also, he is able to make use of much higher—quality texts — texts written for adults. __ Teach Them to Teach Themselves
From that “sink or swim” experience, it became very clear that the children could indeed swim very well. They learned early to teach themselves.
For Most Bright Children of Disciplined Parents, Executive Function Develops Almost Automatically
But that is no reason to ignore the process. Before the age of four or five, one does not attempt to teach executive functions directly — not before the sensitive period has had time to truly begin. But foundational skills can be taught. More on that later.
11 Micah gets going at 06:30, when most classmates are still sleeping off a late night of video games and social media.
Micah Amezquita is not like most sixth graders.
The 11-year-old recently started his own trash-can-toting business to make money so that he can start saving for college and become an aeronautical engineer.
His fledgling business, Curb Cans, provides the service of taking garbage and recycling bins to the curb and back again on trash day. Every Tuesday morning, Amezquita heads out in his neighborhood between 6:30 and 8 to take care of business before school.
Like most small businesses, Micah’s operation started slowly, and is building gradually. He is hard-working and positive, and is not afraid to set goals and follow through on them. These are qualities that most successful businessmen share.
Traits that Parents Should Encourage
1. Early Maturation — Early maturation puts people in the position to socialize with older, more established people. From mentorship to business dealings, a young mature person has more potential of being welcomed by successful people, resulting in exposure to real world dilemmas and an aspirational lifestyle early on.
2. Perseverance — Perseverance. Persistence. Tenacity. Whatever word you want to use, this trait is the most important to have if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter who you are or what company you started, I can guarantee that you’re going to face some low points and have days when you feel alone. When those days come, it’s the determination to reach a high point again that will get you to achieve your goals.
3. The Ability to Put Things in Perspective — Childhood adversity helps entrepreneurs keep things in perspective. When you think about it, experiencing real-life hardship makes all the other problems in life seem minute in comparison. Well, when running a startup you always need to keep things in perspective. From missing your target sales numbers to having key employees leave, problems will always arise and require you to put them in perspective not only for yourself, but your team as well.
4. Having Self Control — Playing off the ability to put things in perspective, childhood adversity most likely drummed up some extreme internal emotions that may never be provoked again. Although too much childhood adversity has correlation to opposite traits of these, most of the entrepreneurs that I know who faced something early on are able to express an incredible level of self-control. Making sacrifices, having difficult conversations, and locking in on your goal are all aspects that I’ve seen exemplified by successful entrepreneurs first hand. Source
Successful Small Business Ideas Vary With Time and Place
For many years, children could make extra money with a newspaper route, babysitting, a lemonade or cupcake stand, or other such modest and traditional endeavours. Times have changed, governments are more intrusive, and successful childhood entrepreneurs need to learn to work around the obstacles and red tape.
But sometimes it helps to look back at the money-making niches that earlier generations utilised:
To earn money, people:
1. Caught and sold fish, clams, and crabs
2. Made homemade fudge and sold it
3. Sold newspapers on the corner. Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself.
4. Started a lunch truck/wagon
5. Grew, picked, and sold berries
6. Road work
7. Shoveled snow on roads
8. Multiple part-time jobs, including housecleaning
9. Chopped wood or harvested driftwood
10. Made and sold handwoven baskets
11. Mowed lawns and other kinds of yard work
12. Door to door sales of things like shoes or sewing notions
13. Made deliveries for stores
14. Made and sold quilts
15. Sold homemade baked goods, like bread or pies
16. Sold eggs for 25 cents a dozen
18. Rented out rooms
19. Mended or altered clothes
20. Washed windows
21. Would purchase produce and re-sell door-to-door
22. Sold apples
23. Loaded coal
24. Piecework sewing
25. Sold homegrown produce
In every case it was a simple matter of looking around to see what people needed, what they wanted, what made them feel good about themselves and about life.
If people could coax money out of cash-strapped people in a depression, teaching a child to start and run a business in today’s perpetual Obama recession should be a snap!
Kids Need to Build Skills and Competencies to be Successful Child Entrepreneurs
Learning the skills of business is something that takes place both before and after the business is underway. All kinds of practical skills should be learned and mastered before the child even begins to sort through business ideas. Budgeting and money management come before starting a business. But the more practical skills a child instinctively knows, the more versatile his entrepreneurial ventures can be.
There is no need to re-invent the wheel here. Groups and organisations exist for teaching practical and useful skills to children:
Clothing & Textile Science – Learn basic sewing skills, personalize clothing, make clothing from patterns and more. Projects range from first-time beginners to advanced clothing design and construction masters.
Cooking Projects – Beginner to Advanced levels. Learn about cooking, nutrition, food safety information and get creative with recipes of all kinds, including baking breads, meal planning and grilling.
Gardening & Plant Science – Learn how to grow your own vegetables and preserve your own food through canning and freezing methods.
The Natural World – Learn how to explore the outdoors by learning about plants, trees and insects that live in the woods, streams and fields. Learn trapping, fishing and beekeeping.
Shooting Sports – Learn safe use of guns and basic archery.
Mechanics – Learn about small engines, tractors and machinery operations.
Woodworking – Learn how to use various woodworking tools along with basic tools to build wood projects.
Here is useful list of helpful life skills for kids from Survival Mom:
create a shopping list
find the best deals
use a microwave
read nutrition labels and know what’s good and what’s not
prepare, serve and store food to avoid spoilage
cook a well-balanced meal
know which kitchen tools and equipment to use for which tasks
make a weekly or monthly budget and stick to it
use an ATM
open, use and balance a checking account
apply for a credit card and use it responsibly
save up to buy a desired item
set aside money for charity
keep track of important papers
how to use a debit card
pay monthly bills, including utilities
complete simple repairs when needed
sew on a button
mend a seam
fold and put away clothing
follow fabric-care labels
do laundry, including treating simple stains
wash and dry items by hand
pack a suitcase
able to clean the house
find the circuit breaker and use it
locate and use water and furnace shutoffs
use a fire extinguisher
perform basic first aid
fix a running toilet
do laundry, including treating simple stains
use all household appliances, like loading the dishwasher the right way
basic auto maintenance
check tire pressure
check oil level and add oil if needed
check washer fluid and add more if necessary
arrange routine maintenance
add air to tires
produce documents if stopped by police
know what to look for in buying their first car
Other Life Skills
change a mailing address
register to vote
how to vote
who to call and what to do in emergency situations
basic first aid or CPR
how to apply for a job
how to select proper clothing for an interview
what to look for in a first apartment
who to contact to turn on utilities
where to have a document notarized
how to use public transportation
A large number of quasi-functioning adults have not mastered these skills. And many others may be able to do the tasks, but cannot be bothered for the most part. This natural ignorance or laziness on the part of much of the population opens up huge niches for child entrepreneurs to meet unmet needs and desires.
The lists above barely scrape the surface, but parents can begin to get the idea. Humans have an infinite number of unmet needs and wishes. The person who can supply those things economically in a timely fashion is apt to get more business than they can handle. At that point, the child entrepreneur will learn to delegate, utilise independent contractors, or learn to deal with “employees.”
Sure, parents and child-entrepreneurs will need to learn to jump any governmental hoops that they cannot avoid altogether. But there is no need to dump the bodies of over-zealous government functionaries in abandoned coal mines in order to co-exist with absurd government rules and regulations. A bit of forethought and cooperation between child entrepreneurs, their parents, and sympathetic businesspersons should provide the working space needed to survive in an age of government over-reach.
Dangerous Children Master at Least 3 Ways to Support Themselves Financially by Age 18
Most of the niche business ideas mentioned above will not provide reliable and consistent financial support for an independent adult over time. But they will provide invaluable experience in budgeting, handling money, devising business plans, dealing with people, and developing resilience in business.
At the same time as they are building their business skills-experiences-reputations, they are also learning needed academic lessons, developing Dangerous Skills and Competencies, acquiring helpful credentials, developing emotional resilience, and making a range of plans on different time scales for their futures.
After age 18 Dangerous Children will use their financial independence to build their base of operations, to further their education in the professions and other highly skilled sectors, to travel and learn new cultures – languages – ways of life, to raise families and new generations of Dangerous Children, to liaise with other Dangerous Children to form Dangerous Communities, and to otherwise work toward an abundant and expansive human future.
We are living in an age of impractical and perpetually incompetent adolescents of all ages. Children typically go through school and graduate from high school or college with no practical skills or experiences. Whatever parents may be thinking when they send their children off to be abused by institutions, the results are turning out very badly.
Here at the Dangerous Child Institute, we are merely seeking to provide an alternative approach to education and child-raising that provides children and youth with a lifetime confidence based upon stacked competencies — beginning very early in childhood. Most people are not ready for us. All the more reason to get started.
… grit is hardly distinguishable from conscientiousness, one of the classic Big Five traits in psychology. The study, which included a representative sample of U.K. students, measured grit against conscientiousness. Grit, researchers discovered, accounts for only an additional 0.5% of variation in test scores when compared with conscientiousness. IQ, on the other hand, accounts for nearly 40%, according to Plomin.
Schools in the Anglosphere are spending a lot of money in an attempt to increase the level of “grit” in children. But what is it that needs to be bolstered, and what part does a child’s genes play in “grit?”
Grit is Persistence, Motivation, Conscientiousness, Focus, Impulse Control, and more
The author of a best-selling book on grit, Angela Duckworth, is stepping back from some of the hype that has been propagated in her name.
The consequences of hasty applications of grit in an educational context are not yet clear, but Duckworth can imagine them. To be sure, it’s not that she faults these educators — in many ways, she says, these are the best in the field, the ones who are most excited about trying innovative new ways of helping their students succeed. But by placing too much emphasis on grit, the danger is “that grit becomes a scapegoat — another reason to blame kids for not doing well…
… Grit, as Duckworth has defined it in her research, is a combination of perseverance and passion — it’s just that the former tends to get all the attention, while the latter is overlooked. “I think the misunderstanding — or, at least, one of them — is that it’s only the perseverance part that matters,” Duckworth told Science of Us. “But I think that the passion piece is at least as important. I mean, if you are really, really tenacious and dogged about a goal that’s not meaningful to you, and not interesting to you — then that’s just drudgery. It’s not just determination — it’s having a direction that you care about.” __ Questioning Grit
Duckworth is the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur genius grant. She gives TED Talks, has written a bestseller on grit, and has made a good career from promoting “grit” in all its ambivalence.
But it is time to “deconstruct” grit so that we know what we are talking about, and can apply the relevant concepts to helping children develop their potential as individuals and members of various work, social, and civic groups. We know that executive function and personality play as large a role in success as IQ, and that all are strongly influenced by gene expression.
Previous research has shown that a child’s personality can predict a significant, although modest, proportion of the differences between children’s grades at school. For example, a link between conscientiousness and school achievement can explain around 4% of the differences in children’s grades.
… whether or not a person has more or less grit is substantially influenced by their DNA – and explains around a third of the differences between people’s level of grit. We showed that grit is highly similar to other personality traits, showing substantial genetic influence and no influence of shared environmental factors.
… the big Five personality traits – mainly conscientiousness – explained 6% of the differences between exam results of the 16-year-olds in our study. But after controlling for these personality traits, grit on its own did little to influence academic achievement, explaining only an additional 0.5% in people’s GCSE results. __ Conversation
The above comments and research results help somewhat in untangling grit. We know that IQ is up to 80% heritable and executive function (including conscientiousness) is up to 90% heritable. Twin studies suggest that personality is 40% to 50% heritable in the early years, and more so as a person ages.
Grit is usually seen as a combination of self-discipline and persistence / determination. But as Angela Duckworth herself points out, “passion” when seen correctly is a vital part of “grit.” Humans are not robots. They are driven — and drive themselves — by emotion. On top of passion, a sense of purpose is often overlooked when discussing “grit.” For grit to mean anything at all, a person must be “gritty” about something, some purpose.
So if the purpose is unclear, and the passion is weak and opaque, what good is grit?
Additionally, grit can be counter-productive when it fails to adapt to the nuances of particular situations. Persistence, determination, purpose, and passion are important, but they all must be modified somewhat at times by self-discipline, another pre-frontal executive function that is up to 90% heritable. And self-discipline must be informed by wisdom, which is a combination of cognitive aptitude and the ability to learn from one’s own and others’ experience.
The Dangers of Jumping on Popular Bandwagons
Dangerous Children are taught contrarianism, which helps them to avoid the oft-fatal error of bandwagon riding. For example, the mainstream was carried away by Angela Duckworth’s book, Ted Talks, and other contributions to the grit crusade. But since every concept contains multiple errors and pitfalls, carrying any monolithic theme too far without examining all of its components and ramifications, is certain to lead one to overstep himself into a quagmire.
Dangerous Children take grit for what it is, a useful — although ambivalent — trait that parsimoniously incorporates several important aspects of ultimate success.
Grit: Nature vs. Nurture
As mentioned above, IQ is up to 80% heritable, executive function is up to 90% heritable, personality is roughly 50% heritable early in life, and so on. Passion is part of personality, and persistence and conscientiousness are part of executive function. All of them are shaped by intelligence as influenced by experience.
Purpose is the vision, or the guiding light. Purpose utilises all of the above, but contains something extra — something that comes from the turbulent currents and possibilities within the “real world” as the child’s mind sees it. This is where the “community IQ” and “community executive function” influences the child’s intelligence, character, personality, and sense of purpose — via experience, and via genetic and epigenetic mechanisms.
It is impossible to untangle nature from nurture, and neither should be denied its role in the weaving of the character, personality, and life trajectory of the child.
Dangerous Children Do Not Care for Ideology or Crusades
To the extent that “grit” has become a crusade in education and pop psychology, the idea is ignored here at the Institute. But to the extent that the word can be used as a trigger to release a child’s unique orchestra of purpose-supporting strengths, it is invaluable.
The human mind drifts from state to state, from intention to chaos to intention again. The self-management of most intelligent minds can be very difficult unless the flexibly tough integrity is built in from the earliest age. Genes and gene expression will vary between individuals, but all minds can be reinforced and empowered to some degree of increased self-discipline, purpose, strong character, success-promoting personality, and enhanced aptitude across a wide range of competencies.
Modern education and psychology have missed the boat, largely out of a sense of political correctness and groupthink. But there is no reason why you or your children should ride the same bandwagon over the abyss.
The word “reactive” implies that you don’t have the initiative. You let the events set the agenda. You’re tossed and turned, so to speak, by the tides of life. Each new wave catches you by surprise. Huffing and puffing, you scramble to react to it in order to just stay afloat. __ ActivePause
The default state for most humans is the “reactive state.” Coasting in cruise control, people typically spend time waiting for something to react to. This can be true for the surgeon on call, the soldier on sentry duty, the fighter in the ring, the cop on his beat, or students in a classroom. Waiting, reacting, waiting, reacting . . .
When I started out fighting professionally
, I was a very reactive fighter. I used to get beat up a fair amount in the first round, and then typically come back to win in the later rounds (or, I’d just lose, ha).
I was known as a “slow starter”.
So, in a fight, I was reacting more than anything. I’d react to my opponents punches and takedown attempts, then later try and mount my own offense.
I did this because in the back of my mind, I didn’t want to get tired early on, then pretty much be a punching bag in the later rounds due to fatigue. __ Chad Hamzeh
What Chad learned as he progressed in fighting, was that the right kind of proactive exertion in the beginning rounds of a fight can pay dividends toward the middle and the end.
Most “self-defence” training is oriented around reacting to an attack. By honing the reflexes, one can react far more quickly, appropriately, and effectively, than if one does not train his rapid subconscious reactions to unexpected provocations. And there is no getting around the fact that the unexpected happens — life is full of surprises!
On the other hand, taking a broader, more aware, less emotion-laden, and more “proactive” approach to potentially hazardous situations, can deliver results that are closer to optimal.
. . . the image we associate with “proactivity” is one of grace under stress. To stay with the previous analogy, let’s say you’re in choppy waters. Now, you look more at ease. It’s not just that you anticipate the waves. You’re in tune with them. You’re not desperately trying to escape them; you’re dancing with them.
It would be great to dance with the rhythm of life, using the ebb and flow of events as a source of energy. __ Proactive vs. Reactive
This is the essence of Dangerous Child training for dangerous jobs and environments. Not only is the Dangerous Child better prepared for the situation, he is using broader and higher forms of dynamic thinking and moment to moment planning — before things start going sour.
What I call the proactive mindset is the human ability to engage the more evolved neural circuits, and perform a sort of due diligence to improve the quality of the information that we get through the reactive mindset. I am not talking about ignoring our more primitive reactions, far from that. I am talking about building up on these primitive reactions. Instead of reacting impulsively, we use the reactive impulse as a starting point for a more sophisticated process that helps us respond more effectively to a given situation. __ Beyond Reactive
Here is the idea of “proactivity” as described by author Stephen Covey:
Underlying the Habit of Proactivity according to Covey are:
The ability to set goals and work towards achieving them.
Creating opportunities, not waiting for them to come your way
Taking conscious control of your life
Understanding the choice you have in engineering your life
Applying your own personal principles and core values in making decision
Having imagination and creativity to explore possible alternatives
Realizing you have independent will to choose your own unique response.
Do not mistake “proactivity” with a constant wild flailing around merely to have an impact. That is mindless dissipation of resources and potential. Sometimes proactivity takes the form of quiet contemplation and resolution. Sometimes proactivity involves beating the crap out of someone who has long deserved worse. It depends on the circumstances — and having the savvy to know what is best at the time. And, once knowing, then doing.
Proactivity and Reactivity are reflected in both strategy and tactics. The “element of surprise” is often a result of the conversion of proactive strategy into proactive tactics.
We will be looking at proactive tactics and strategy from the standpoint of education, child-rearing, local defence, regional defence, networked defence, politics, innovation, and more, in the future.
The modern bureaucratic mentality — which rules most governments, universities, media, government lobbies, NGOs, and other cultural institutions — is largely reactive in an opportunistic, knee-jerk way. It is important to learn how to anticipate and take advantage of this tendency in most large institutions.
There is no such thing as a fair fight, especially when a small bunch of mice are in conflict with mad herds of rhinoceri. Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late (or early) to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Denying essential human nature — that men can be powerful and dangerous and this should be harnessed for good — is a recipe for tragedy. This is why some of us rail against feminism so much. We don’t hate women. We don’t care about “manspreading.” We care about this.
Underemployed, disrespected and frustrated men drive terrorism, mass shootings, gang warfare, you name it. But railing against guys for “toxic masculinity” clearly hasn’t worked. So why not try something new? Why not celebrate what makes men unique instead of trying to turn boys into girls? Why not harness that power and set men back to work? To make America great again, we need to rescue our lost generation of young males… __ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/02/how-to-stop-mass-shootings/
Humans are natural born killers. Why? Because in order to survive, their ancestors all the way back through the mists of time, had to learn to kill. They killed in order to eat, in order to keep from being driven off their hunting grounds and water supplies, to keep other tribes from stealing their women and children, and to protect themselves agains predators — human and animal.
Suddenly — according to skankstream culture — men are supposed to forget that they are men. The feminised, dumbed-down skankstream wants boys and men to behave like castrated eunuchs, to abandon their natural and healthy, survival-supporting Dangerousness.
… Men must be allowed to compete. To fight. To shoot things. Today’s man-punishing, feminised culture is creating killers by suppressing these urges. We have to stop it.
The confusion and alienation that so many young men feel today drives some to drop out of society completely and to retreat into pornography and video games. But others — the less stable, less supported, less able to cope with their natures — become progressively more angry until they explode in rage and pain.
The media trash-talks everything men love: guns, booze, boisterousness, drugs, sex and video games. Economic pressures are relentlessly stripping away male spaces like the traditional pub, where blokes can drink and bond. Social pressures are opening up male-only golf and social clubs to women, destroying what made them precious and essential. __ http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/10/02/how-to-stop-mass-shootings/
The author of the excerpted piece above, Milo Yiannoupolos, is openly gay, but still a staunch defender of men and manliness — against the destructive and relentless attacks by the skankstream culture, the consensual delusion.
The black man who killed 9 students in Oregon, and the white boy who killed 9 Christian worshipers in South Carolina, were alienated by skankstream culture, and left no healthy outlets to express their normal male aggression. And so their aggression became twisted in paranoia and foul ideology until they themselves became twisted puppets and caricatures acting out other people’s misplaced aggression.
Whether it is possible to save a person from the deforming effects of the skankstream culture — once they have been so badly twisted and bent — is debatable. What is certain is that boys and youth should never be allowed to fall under the influence of such perverse cultures as the skankstream cathedral — or the Islamist abomination. Otherwise, one must expect a certain number of mindless killers to emerge.
The Dangerous Child method is designed specifically to channel normal male (and to a lesser degree, female) aggression into healthy and constructive channels — the way human aggression was always meant to be channeled.
Children must learn exquisite control and inner discipline, as they grow and develop. The practise requires daily mind-body training that becomes ever more sophisticated over time. The training is intermeshed with play, from the beginning. As the child’s aptitudes and healthy inclinations emerge, training is increasingly individualised.
Dangerous Children are filled with purpose from their earliest moments — as are all children. But Dangerous Children are not stripped of their purpose by the skankstream, as most children are. As a Dangerous Child develops, his purpose grows more tangible and actionable.
Dangerous Children are the opposite of the neutered drones, the perpetual adolescent incompetents, that skankstream schools, media, governments, and other cultural institutions tend to spew out on a daily basis.
Dangerous Children know that they are Dangerous. They know that they can kill — if necessary. But they are too busy building their lives, building networked Dangerous Communities, building foundations for a more abundant and expansive human future. They have no need nor desire to spread chaos, sorrow, and hardship across the landscape out of some skankstream-induced misshapen compulsion to relieve their own inner pain by causing pain to others.
Dangerous Children are not destructive. It is the ordinary human cannon fodder — constantly spit out by the broader skankstream — that is allowing the human future to be destroyed by a dysgenic Idiocracy as well as a “democratic” idiocracy.
The human future can only be created and protected by something that stands apart from the skankstream mainstream culture. The framework for networks of internetworked Dangerous Communities and Dangerous City-States requires careful — but expeditious — assembly.
Shadow economies, shadow infrastructures, and shadow governments of a relatively ad hoc nature must be devised, capable of hiding in plain sight — but ready to emerge should disaster and widespread catastrophe strike. And at the rate the skankstream idiocracy is going, such catastrophes could happen unpredictably and chaotically at almost any time.
Resilience, anti-fragility, competence, broadly-based skills, and the purpose of working toward an expansive and abundant human future, must be integral to the Dangerous Child project.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too early or too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Purpose can be seen as our need for there to be meaning to our actions. We want to feel that when we do something, there was a reason and that it may have some greater meaning. __ Source
Dangerous Children grow up with a strong sense of purpose, by virtue of how they are raised. Persons who reach adulthood without a significant sense of purpose — or with a counterproductive sense of purpose — will have a difficult struggle finding a meaningful purpose at that late stage.
For children to develop a meaningful sense of purpose, parents will need to utilise natural instincts — such as the tendency of young children to imitate family members — and the early love of learning that virtually all children must possess. Early instincts must be converted into lifelong habits, such as a lifelong love of learning, a love of solving difficult problems, a habit of inventing new ways of meeting human needs, a sense of adventure and discovery, habits of achievement and building, and a sense of inner and outer harmony.
All of the above habits-to-be-cultivated go hand in hand with the dangerous skills that Dangerous Children will master. But for the entire constellation of habits and skills to add meaning to the child’s life, they must be linked together by a sense of purpose — or interlocking senses of purposes and consistent goals.
A sense of purpose must have depth, and the ability to face difficult problems, if it is not to die in the face of overwhelming challenge.
A sense of purpose goes hand in hand with optimism. Optimism itself is closely related to “optimise” etymologically. In order to optimise one’s life or one’s world, one must have worked out a sequence of goals of different time range — short, medium, and long.
Purpose, optimism, resilience, challenge, and a sequenced plan — with allowances for contingencies — all play a part in a meaningful life. Most bright humans without an immediate challenge will tend to find one.
Some people promote optimism as a cure-all for everything. To be fair, the linked article on optimism provides a few ways of developing optimism. But it isn’t that easy for many people, in many situations.
This short article provides a few more helpful hints on developing optimism, and links the ideas of optimism and purpose.
If children have not been trained to love difficult problems or puzzles, they may turn away from a challenge that seems too daunting. It is up to parents and connected persons to imbue the love of a difficult challenge into the child. Otherwise, entire generations can be lost, and a civilisation put in danger of extinction.
But if children have adopted purposeful habits of achievement and problem-solving, they are more likely to persist against daunting challenges.
We must also consider motivation, and how natural drives and motivations can be recruited to serve the child’s greater purpose and long-term goals.
So, what exactly is motivation? The simplest definition that I have found is: “a reason for doing something” (Macmillan Dictionary). In other words, motivation is what causes us to act – to do what we do.
… We do the things we do (act) to fulfil either a ‘need’ or a ‘want’. Needs are things that are necessary for our survival, development, and ongoing well-being; wants are things that we can actually do without. Simplistically, a person walking across a stretch of arid desert ‘needs’ adequate water to survive; the same person, feeling the heat of the sun, may ‘want’ a drink of chilled water.
In some cases, our actions may be impulsive and spontaneous, completely unplanned. At other times, they may be deliberate, measured, and quite intentional. When we act impulsively, we are reacting to things like feelings, habits, conditioning (from training), fears, and pain. Deliberate actions are likely to be a result of thoughts, values, beliefs, and choices. __ http://freezapnuggets.com/wordpress/?p=906
Our natural instincts and drives must be knit into a larger fabric of habits, goals, useful dispositions (optimism), and sense of purpose.
If we have worked to build an integrated set of good habits, motivations, dispositions, goal network, and sense of purpose — we are more likely to persevere to the end.
It should be repeated that all of these ideas are taken into account in The Dangerous Child Method. Although each Dangerous Child will require a different sequence of training — and different training content — the important core ingredients will be included for each one.