The bridge between having dreams and actually realizing them, according to one researcher, is just a little bit of writing.
of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson recorded what happened when 700
students did a short writing exercise over the course of two years, reports Anya Kamenetz over at NPR.
Students were asked to think about important moments from their past
and then, with those memories in mind, write out a plan for achieving
their goals and strategies for overcoming obstacles.
found was shocking: "ethnic and gender-group differences in performance
among the students had all but disappeared" after two years.
how could such a simple exercise have such a profound effect on academic
performance? Kamenetz offers a possible explanation:
believes that formal goal-setting can especially help minority students
overcome what's often called "stereotype threat," or, in other words,
to reject the damaging belief that generalizations about ethnic-group
academic performance will apply to them personally.
powerful to be able to learn from the past, identify obstacles, and set
goals — to really know what you want. But don't underestimate the "act
of writing," Peterson tells NPR, as it is "more powerful than people think.