Monday, 10 September 2007

Strangely perhaps, while success is something we are all searching for, academics have found that money, promotion and other material rewards achieve less pleasure and engagement than intrinsic motivation. Lack of passion, commitment and engagement makes for worse performance and if we focus on rewards people can become disconnected from the pleasure of the activity itself.

In his book “Affluenza: how to be successful and stay sane”, Oliver James explores the fundamental difference between children in China and children here in the UK. In China, up to four years old, children are surrounded by kindness and infant-centred nurture. At four, however, it is a different story! Extremely strict training is the rule with public humiliation of any bad behaviour.

Despite all this children in China are committed to their parents, their communities and to their values. Perhaps because parents combine strictness with love and understanding. The challenge for those of us who care about the fundamental decline we are seeing in standards, behaviour and discipline is how do we do it here?

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