We praise people for being “naturally” smart, too, “naturally” athletic, and etc. But studies continue to show, as they have for some time now, that it is generally healthier to praise schoolchildren for being hardworking, than for being naturally gifted. We know now that to emphasize a child’s inherent ability places pressure on that child to continue to be accidentally talented, which is something that is hard for anyone to control. When the children who are applauded for their natural skills fail, they are shown to take the failure very personally. After all, the process of their success has always seemed mysterious and basic and inseparable from the rest of their identity, so it must be they who are failing as whole people. When students are instead complimented and rewarded for their effort and improvement, they tend to not be so hard on themselves. When they fail, they reason, “Well, I’ll work harder next time.” They learn that they are capable of success, rather than constantly automatically deserving of it, and they learn simultaneously that they are bigger and more complex than their individual successes or failures.

Kate of Eat the Damn Cake, The Stupidity of “Natural” Beauty (via theimperfectascent)

I lost whole years of my life to self-loathing and self-sabotaging because I couldn’t sustain being ‘gifted’.  Don’t make the same mistake.

(via mossonhighheels)

This is so, so important for teachers to understand. I try, in every report card, to focus on effort, not natural ability. And you know what? It makes a big difference in my classroom.

(via sanityscraps)



Anatoli Bugorski might be the luckiest scientist of all time.

While poking around the machine, Bugorski stuck his head inside the accelerator and straight into the path of a proton beam.

As it coursed through his skull, the proton beam burned a hole through Bugorski’s brain. While it was painless, he said he was blinded by a flash “brighter than a thousand suns.”

After staggering away from the machine, the left side of his face swelled to enormous proportions. Later, the skin near the entry and exit wounds peeled away, and Bugorski lost hearing in his left ear. However, this Soviet survived his mind-blowing experience, perhaps because the proton beam was moving at nearly the speed of light.

Despite his good luck, Bugorski eventually lost every nerve in the left side of his face becoming partially paralyzed. The proton beam also damaged Bugorski’s mental capabilities, though not as badly as you might expect. Despite his handicap, Bugorski earned a PhD and is still alive today, proving that it takes a lot more than a proton beam to kill a Russian.