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Permanent Beta in 2015: We Are All a Work in Progress

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In the book The Start-Up of You, author Reid Hoffman uses the term permanent beta, which means to always be starting and to forever be a work in progress. As we look to start another new year, it is a good time to not only think of what resolutions we might want to make to improve ourselves but to remember that we are all works in progress.

You probably have already made great strides in improving various aspects of your life, simply by trial and error, if not by purposeful resolution. Gifted children are often hard on themselves, as they can have great expectations from within to accomplish great things. They also are often pressured from outside by peers, teachers, and family members to excel, exceed, and surpass.

This time of year might be a perfect time to stop and find satisfaction in progress made to date. Think of things you have wanted to do better or ways you have wanted to improve yourself. Perhaps you were afraid of public speaking but have found yourself less afraid to do that through practice. Perhaps you tried to increase your time spent jogging/exercising and ended up running a short race for fun. Or perhaps you were forced to do community service through your school or other organization, ended up loving it, and started your own community service for a related group or issue. Celebrate however you have grown over the past year or years; remember you are a wonderful work in progress, and help our gifted students realize their ongoing potential as well.

We’d love to hear your personal stories of growth whether they happened intentionally or accidentally. I’m sure others would too. At any rate, have a wonderful 2015 full of better and better betas!

All the best,

Dr. Barbara Swicord, Ed.D.
Executive Director, National Society for the Gifted and Talented (NSGT)
President, Summer Institute for the Gifted (SIG)

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