Beyond Brilliance: The Power of Purpose for Gifted & Talented Learners

Gifted and talented learners possess exceptional abilities that set them apart from their peers. However, the path to realizing their full potential can be riddled with challenges, and one critical aspect that often goes overlooked is the development of a strong sense of purpose. Let’s delve into the significance of cultivating a sense of purpose for gifted learners and explore how it can positively impact their educational journey and future contributions to society.

Who is a Gifted Learner?

According to NAGC, the National Association for Gifted Children’s definition of giftedness, students with gifts and talents perform—or have the capability to perform—at higher levels compared to others of the same age, experience, and environment in one or more domains. These students often demonstrate high levels of creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. While they possess immense potential, a significant number of gifted learners remain underachievers.

70% of Gifted & Talented students remain underachievers for life. 

This is due to a variety of factors like narrow ways of identifying giftedness, lack of personalized development of the gifts and talents etc. One of the most prominent being a lack of challenge in their educational environment. When gifted students are not sufficiently stimulated, boredom can creep in, leading to disengagement and a decline in academic performance.

Too Much Focus on Academics

Another contributing factor to the underachievement of gifted learners is the excessive emphasis on academic advancement. While excelling academically is important, it should not come at the expense of developing a broader sense of purpose in life. Gifted students need opportunities to explore their passions, interests, and potential contributions to society beyond the confines of a traditional classroom.

The Importance of a Sense of Purpose

Especially as gifted students enter their teenage years, they begin to grapple with questions about their role in society and their future career development. This is where a sense of purpose becomes crucial. Victor Frankl, in his renowned work “Man’s Search for Meaning,” eloquently states, “A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the ‘why’ for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ‘how.'”

In other words, having a sense of purpose provides a powerful motivation that can help gifted learners overcome challenges, boredom, and underachievement. It gives them a reason to persevere, learn, and grow.

Research Supporting the Importance of Purpose

Recent research conducted by Yeager (2014) supports the idea that promoting a prosocial, self-transcendent purpose can improve academic self-regulation among students. This research suggests that students with a sense of purpose beyond themselves are more likely to persist even in tedious learning activities. These activities lay the foundation for their future contributions to the world beyond the self.


In conclusion, fostering a strong sense of purpose can be a game-changer for the Gifted & Talented learners. It empowers them to channel their exceptional abilities toward meaningful and impactful endeavors. By recognizing the importance of purpose in education and life, we can ensure that gifted learners not only excel academically but also become future leaders and contributors to society, taking the world forward. 

Mastering the Art of Being a High School Superstar: Insights from Cal Newport’s Book

Today college admissions is an overwhelming race. You are expected to achieve the highest grades, participate in various extracurricular activities, and maintain a busy schedule that can often leave you feeling burned out. Cal Newport’s book “How to Be a High School Superstar: A Revolutionary Plan to Get into College by Standing Out (Without Burning Out)” hits the nail on the head regarding how to approach the college admissions process holistically.

The examples presented in the book are from the mid-2000s, the competition for college admissions has only increased since then. However, the advice presented in the book is still highly relevant today. One of the key aspects of the book is the importance of under-scheduling. Newport emphasizes the beauty of having free time and using it to focus on your one or more deep interests, rather than constantly overcommitting and being overwhelmed by a hectic schedule.

The book encourages you to be “interesting” rather than well-rounded but run-of-the-mill. Colleges want to admit students who have unique and fascinating interests and experiences, rather than those who participate in a long list of generic extracurricular activities. The key is to pursue a few interests deeply, rather than trying to do everything and becoming a jack of all trades but a master of none.

High school and the life beyond is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s important for you to stay sane while running the marathon. You should take care of yourself mentally and physically, rather than sacrificing your health and well-being for the sake of productivity. Burnout is a real risk when you try to do too much, and it’s crucial to maintain a healthy balance between school, extracurricular activities, personal time, and pursuing deep interests. 

Newport advocates for you to be a “relaxed superstar” who has free time to focus on your interests and doesn’t sacrifice sleep to maintain a busy schedule. Sleep is essential for both academic success and mental health, and sacrificing it for the sake of productivity is not worth it in the long run.

In addition to pursuing deep interests, Newport also encourages you to pursue “wow” accomplishments. These are achievements that truly innovate, even in a small way. Innovation should take the world forward, even in the slightest way, and these accomplishments are the ones that will truly make you stand out in the college admissions process.

Overall, the book emphasizes the importance of having an enjoyable high school experience, rather than exhausting years that drain the life and spark out of you. One of the key takeaways from the book is the idea that being “interesting” is more important than being well-rounded. It’s crucial for you to find a balance between school, extracurricular activities, personal time, and pursuing deep interests. The college admissions process is about much more than just grades and extracurricular activities – it’s about finding unique perspectives and meaningful experiences that showcase who you are as a person. Pursuing deep interests is the best way to cultivate these qualities. This doesn’t mean that you should neglect your academics or extracurricular activities – it simply means that you should prioritize your passions and pursue them in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, there is no better advice in the world than to be the best version of yourself, rather than trying to fit into a mold of what you think colleges want. Pursuing deep interests, having free time, and cultivating unique experiences are the keys to standing out in the college admissions process, and in life. You do you!

Starting Early: The Key to a Successful Career Design and College Admissions Journey

Starting your career design and college admissions journey early can provide you with a number of benefits. It allows you to take control of your future and make informed decisions about your education and career path. In this blog, we will discuss why starting early is important, and how it can help you achieve your goals.

The first benefit of starting early is that it allows you to explore different options. By beginning your career design and college admissions journey early, you will have more time to research different majors, careers, and colleges. You can also take advantage of opportunities such as internships, job shadows, and college visits, which can help you gain a better understanding of what you want to do in the future.

Another advantage of starting early is that it allows you to build a strong foundation. When you start early, you have more time to take relevant courses, build strong relationships with your teachers and counselors, and participate in extracurricular activities that align with your interests. This can help you to stand out to college admissions officers and make you a more competitive candidate.

Starting early also allows you to plan ahead and manage your time effectively. When you start early, you can set realistic goals and create a plan to achieve them. This can help you to avoid last-minute stress and ensure that you are well-prepared for the college admissions process. Furthermore, starting early can also help you to avoid procrastination, which can be a major obstacle to success.

Starting your career design and college admissions journey in 8th or 9th grade can provide you with a number of benefits. It allows you to explore different options, build a strong foundation, plan ahead, manage your time in high school effectively and take advantage of resources that are available to you. With early preparation, you can increase your chances of achieving your goals and reaching your full potential. Remember, the earlier you start, the more opportunities you will have to make informed decisions about your education and career path. Starting in 8th grade gives you a head start and ample time to explore and make informed decisions about your future.

Passion Projects: The Secret to a Strong College Application

Passion projects are a great way to showcase your interests and talents to college admissions officers. They are a unique way to demonstrate your creativity, initiative, and dedication to a particular field or interest. By participating in passion projects, you can accentuate your college admissions profile and increase your chances of getting accepted into your dream school.

When it comes to college admissions, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. With so many applicants vying for a limited number of spots, it can be difficult to make yourself stand out. This is where passion projects come in. They allow you to showcase your unique skills and interests in a way that sets you apart from other applicants. For example, if you’re passionate about photography, you could create a portfolio of your work and submit it as part of your college application.

Passion projects also demonstrate your initiative and dedication. By taking on a passion project, you are showing that you are self-motivated and driven to pursue your interests. This is a trait that college admissions officers look for in applicants. Additionally, by completing a passion project, you are demonstrating that you are capable of setting and achieving goals, which is another important trait that colleges look for in applicants.

Passion projects can also help you explore potential career paths. By participating in a passion project, you can gain hands-on experience in a field that interests you. This can help you determine if a particular career path is the right fit for you. For example, if you’re passionate about writing, you could start a blog or write for a local newspaper, which can help you explore the field of journalism.

It’s important to note that passion projects don’t have to be related to your intended major. In fact, college admissions officers often prefer to see a variety of interests, as it demonstrates that you are a well-rounded individual. However, if your passion project is related to your intended major, it can be especially beneficial, as it can demonstrate your dedication to and preparation for that field.

When creating a passion project, it’s important to remember that quality is more important than quantity. Rather than trying to create several projects, focus on creating one high-quality project that you are truly passionate about. This will demonstrate your commitment to the project and make it more impressive to college admissions officers.

It is also important to document and present your project in an effective way. A well-presented and well-documented project can make a huge difference in the eyes of college admissions officers. A well curated portfolio of work will give college admissions officers a better sense of your skills and interests.

In conclusion, passion projects are a great way to accentuate your college admissions profile. They allow you to showcase your unique skills and interests, demonstrate your initiative and dedication, and explore potential career paths. By participating in a passion project, you can increase your chances of getting accepted into your dream school. Remember to focus on quality over quantity, and document and present your project in an effective way. With the right passion project, you can set yourself apart from other applicants and make a lasting impression on college admissions officers.