Positive psychologists Shawn Achor and Michelle Gielen share this snippet in their recent Harvard Business Review piece, “Resilience Is About How You Recharge, Not How You Endure”:
“The misconception of resilience is often bred from an early age. Parents trying to teach their children resilience might celebrate a high school student staying up until 3AM to finish a science fair project. What a distortion of resilience! A resilient child is a well-rested one. When an exhausted student goes to school, he risks hurting everyone on the road with his impaired driving; he doesn’t have the cognitive resources to do well on his English test; he has lower self-control with his friends; and at home, he is moody with his parents. Overwork and exhaustion are the opposite of resilience. And the bad habits we learn when we’re young only magnify when we hit the workforce.”
And for any naysayers who dismiss that advice as leaving our kids unprepared for a competitive world, you might note that Achor and Gielen earned their graduate degrees from two of the most selective universities in the world, Harvard and UPenn respectively.