Genius, pt. IV

Some months ago, I talked with my adult students about grit, which I have learned and believe is one of the things that separates people who succeed and people who don’t. In “The Geography of Genius,” I think Eric Weiner found out the same thing when he was in his second place of genius, China.

He discovered that “geniuses possess a steely determination, a willingness to start over again and again.” He mentioned one study where researchers looked into the length of time children plan on playing musical instruments and found that “the single biggest determinant of their performance was not how much they practiced, or any innate ability, but simply their degree of long-term commitment. Those in it for the long haul played better than those who were not, even if the short-termers practiced more than the others.”

This plan of taking something up and committing to it for a short or long time struck me because when I first started teaching English in Japan, I was surprised by how some people would be disappointed that they didn’t improve a lot after coming to my lessons for some months.

It was as if I was supposed to make magic, but achieving a goal quickly seems like a trend. I don’t know if my observation is right but it seems to me like schools are getting more students based on how quickly they can help them pass an exam or get very good scores. Even in Inari-juku we have a program that will teach junior high school students junior high English in just three months!

It’s very fascinating.