The assumption that metrics comparing us to an average—like GPAs, personality test results, and performance review ratings—reveal something meaningful about our potential is so ingrained in our consciousness that we don’t even question it. That assumption, says Harvard’s Todd Rose, is spectacularly—and scientifically—wrong.
In The End of Average, Rose, a rising star in the new field of the science of the individual shows that no one is average. Not you. Not your kids. Not your employees. This isn’t hollow sloganeering—it’s a mathematical fact with enormous practical consequences. But while we know people learn and develop in distinctive ways, these unique patterns of behaviors are lost in our schools and businesses which have been designed around the mythical “average person.” This average-size-fits-all model ignores our differences and fails at recognizing talent. It’s time to change it.
Weaving science, history, and his personal experiences as a high school dropout, Rose offers a powerful alternative to understanding individuals through averages: the three principles of individuality. The jaggedness principle (talent is always jagged), the context principle (traits are a myth), and the pathways principle (we all walk the road less traveled) help us understand our true uniqueness—and that of others—and how to take full advantage of individuality to gain an edge in life.
Read this powerful manifesto in the ranks of Drive, Quiet, and Mindset—and you won’t see averages or talent in the same way again.
Todd Rose is the director of the Mind, Brain, and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he leads the Laboratory for the Science of Individuality. He is also the cofounder and president of the Center for Individual Opportunity, an organization dedicated to providing leadership around the emerging science of the individual. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In the Dark Horse Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, bestselling author and acclaimed thought leader Todd Rose and neuroscientist Ogi Ogas studied women and men who achieved impressive success even though nobody saw them coming. Dark horses blaze their own trail to a life of happiness and prosperity. Yet what is so remarkable is that hidden inside their seemingly one-of-a-kind journeys are practical principles for achieving success that work for anyone, no matter who you are or what you hope to achieve. This mold-breaking approach doesn't depend on you SAT scores, who you know, or how much money you have. The secret is a mindset that can be expressed in plain English: Harness your individuality in the pursuit of fulfillment to achieve excellence.
In Dark Horse, Rose and Ogas show how the four elements of the dark horse mindset empower you to consistently make the right choices that fit your unique interests, abilities, and circumstances and will guide you to a life of passion, purpose, and achievement.
If you want to make positive changes in your life and achieve your long-term goals, I can’t think of a better way to do it than to learn how to become more self-disciplined.
Science has figured out a lot of interesting aspects of self-discipline and willpower, but most of this knowledge is buried deep inside long and boring scientific papers.
If you’d like to benefit from these studies without actually reading them, this book is for you. I’ve done the job for you and researched the most useful and viable scientific findings that will help you improve your self-discipline.
Here are just a couple things you will learn from the book:
- what a bank robber with lemon juice on his face can teach you about self-control. The story will make you laugh out loud, but its implications will make you think twice about your ability to control your urges.
- how $50 chocolate bars can motivate you to keep going when faced with an overwhelming temptation to give in.
- why President Obama wears only gray and blue suits and what it has to do with self-control (it’s also a possible reason why the poor stay poor).
- why the popular way of visualization can actually prevent you from reaching your goals and destroy your self-control (and what to do instead).
- what dopamine is and why it’s crucial to understand its role to break your bad habits and form good ones.
- 5 practical ways to train your self-discipline. Discover some of the most important techniques to increase your self-control and become better at resisting instant gratification.
- why the status quo bias will threaten your goals and what to do to reduce its effect on your resolutions.
- why extreme diets help people achieve long-term results, and how to apply these findings in your own life.
- why and when indulging yourself can actually help you build your self-discipline. Yes, you can stuff yourself (from time to time) and still lose weight.
Instead of sharing with you the detailed "why" (with confusing and boring descriptions of studies), I will share with you the "how" – advice that will change your life if you decide to follow it.
You too can master the art of self-discipline and learn how to resist temptations. Your long term goals are worth it. Scroll up and buy the book now.
As a gift for buying my book, you'll get my another book, "Grit: How to Keep Going When You Want to Give Up."
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