Are Asians really better than Americans at math? In standardized math tests, Japanese students consistently score higher than their American counterparts. The myth is that Asian students are simply better at math than American students. A recent study dispelled that myth. Researchers gathered a group of Japanese and American first grade students and gave them a difficult puzzle. They were not interested in who solved it, but simply how long the students lasted before giving up.
American students gave up after 9.47 minutes (on average). Japanese students lasted 13.93 minutes before giving up (on average). That’s an average of 40% longer. Maybe Japanese students are better at math simply because they don’t give up as easily. Success is a derivative of persistence.
A decade ago, Anders Ericsson and colleagues at Berlin’s elite Academy of Music did a study with musicians. With help of professors, they divided violinists into three groups: world class soloists, good violinists, those unlikely to play professionally. What they discovered was fascinating: all of them started around same time and practiced roughly the same until age of 8. At that point, practice habits diverged.
Researchers found that by age of 20, the average players logged 4000 hours of practice. The good violinists logged 8000 hours, while world class violinists logged 10,000 hours. Persistence is the magic bullet to success. Do you want to see success in your life? Work hard at it, and never give up. If you persist, you’ll see success.
Thanks to The Circle Maker for sharing these stories with me.
image courtesy of http://www.freedigitalphotos.net