3 min read

The Self-Driven Child

The Self-Driven Child

By William Stixrud, Ned Johnson

This is a book for parents, but also perfectly helpful for adults who'd like to understand how our brain serves us to be self-driven. After all, we are our own parents when we are grownups.

Actionable Takeaways:

  • Set electronic devices screentime limit
  • Exercise and meditate everyday
  • Let go and have a plan B mindset

The Book in 3 Sentences

To be self-driven, one needs to

  1. Keep a growth mindset
  2. Create a self-driven environment
  3. Avoid being stressed

The Book Has Taught Me

  • How the brain works when you learn, respond and stress. How to facilitate the development of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus
  • The methods to avoid stress
  • The healthy and productive ways of working

Get the book from ➡️ Amazon UK

Highlighted Notes

What is "self-driven" growth

The internal drive to perform better. Being autonomous rather than being driven from external pressure.

Why stress is bad

High stress or chronic stress will

  • Inhibit the prefrontal cortex (rational decision-making and self-control)
  • Stimulate the amygdala (defending mode, the animal instinct)
  • Weaken hippocampus (memory and learning)

Become "Self-Driven"

Growth Mindset

Motivation comes from within and does not depend on the praise and commendation of others.

Self-determination Theory

  • Autonomy ⬅️ Intrinsic motivation, willingness to pursue challenges
  • Competence ⬅️ Achievable goals, being proud for oneself for small progress
  • Sense of belonging ⬅️ Support and love

Dopamine ⬅️ Interest + expectation

Flow ⬅️ Challenging tasks + focus

How to avoid being stressed

  • Avoid passing on or being exposed to "second-hand pressure"
  • Every time you replay a scene in your mind, it will have less of an impact
  • Exercise: aerobic > anaerobic. Dancing, yoga, martial arts, horse riding, fencing, drumming, rock climbing.
  • Social support
  • Music
  • Eat well and sleep well

Repetitative training (break down time and tasks)

Stay away from electronic devices and social media

  • Remedy: plan on electronic devices usage; get back to nature.
  • Avoid multi-tasking
  • Plan B mindset: gives you a better understanding of the problem and a chance to relieve stress

Let go of yourself

  • Encourage yourself as you would your best friend; don't use self-demeaning language to yourself.
  • Switch to a positive rephrasing. The feeling of loss of control often comes from catastrophic interpretations.
  • When in trouble ask yourself: Is it a big problem, or a small one? What is the worst that can happen if Plan A fails? What about a Plan B?