“The Leftovers” is an intriguing, though depressing, new show on HBO, and last night was its second episode.

The first thirty seconds of the show demonstrated a key to motivation and grit (perseverance) — I wish the clip could be found online, but no such luck. Two FBI agents were sitting in an office, and one told the other that his kid wanted to quit soccer and wanted to know if he should let him do it. The other agent asked him, “Is he any good at it?”

His response:


Plenty of research has shown that competence (self-efficacy) is a key to motivation and perseverance — if you think you can do something, and to it well, you tend to want to continue doing it. This is one of the key reasons behind helping our students develop learning strategies to help them figure out new challenges and why we need to emphasize that effort is the key to success, not natural intelligence.

You can read more about this topic and the research behind it at:

More Understanding Equals More Interest & Intrinsic Motivation

Three Critical Elements Sustain Motivation is from Scientific American.

Two Secrets to Staff Motivation is from Justin Baeder.

I’m adding this post to The Best Posts & Articles On “Motivating” Students.