Benchan Book Review #2: Originals by Adam Grant

You might notice this month’s book is similar to last month’s book, because they’re by the same author. I really enjoyed Give & Take by Adam Grant, so I decided to read his new book, which is called Originals. It’s not quite as interesting, to be honest, because the topic is a bit less centralized than in his previous book, but there are a lot of great takeaways.

You can find the book on Amazon in both English and Japanese.

My favorite part of this book is the section on raising good children.

Adam Grant talks about how we can raise moral children and encourage moral behavior, and the answer is a little counter-intuitive, especially if you are familiar with Mindset by Carol Dweck.

Who is Dweck?

Dweck is a really interesting thinker, and in her book she discusses the idea that by praising children’s intelligence, we make them lazy. If we tell a child they are smart, they internalize the idea they have natural skill and as a result don’t try as hard. However, if we praise a child’s effort, they internalize that their success is a result of something they did, not some magical skill they were born with.

What does Grant say about this with regards to morality?

Grant does not disagree with Dweck, but he suggests that the teaching of morality is fundamentally different from the teaching of grit. When we tell a child they did a good thing, they understand the action in the context of what happened. However, when we tell a child they are a good child, they internalize that they are good, or moral, and extend this thinking to other situations. They think “I’m a good girl. Would a good girl do this?” Children who are praised for good actions, on the other hand, can rationalize bad actions and still consider themselves good.

A great book for anyone interested in thinking about thinking individually and being better!