Code of Success Deciphered: Power of Believing You Can Improve!

I remember struggling during my early school days with assignments, ensuring ‘neatness’ of handwriting and allocating time to revise for multiple subjects. The pressure and anxiety was too much! It made me cranky, depressed and sad because I was fixated on getting top grades on all subjects.

Losing appetite was habitual and so was the feeling of self-worthlessness when I was unable to get my desired grade. Looking back, it was nothing more than a rat race which I was blindly running in- too focused on triumphing ‘now’ and not being focused on ‘yet’.
I belong to a traditional middle class family, where my parents focused their time, energy and resources in ensuring I study well, have the best educational support and resources at my disposal- they were driven by the belief that if I become a high achiever by getting all A’s in my subjects I would be ready to face challenges of tomorrow and become thoroughly successful professionally.

Their ‘Fixed’ mindset drove what they thought was a formula to success and this was passed on to me in form of overburdening expectations to keep up with. I remember fearing to adapt, embracing change seamlessly when a challenge was presented to me. I was comfortable doing what I ‘knew’ I was good at and did not have enough confidence to ‘try’ or ‘experiment’ with new ideas.

When I came across Carol Dweck’s TED Talk session on ‘Power of Yet’– I couldn’t have resonated with it more. The phrase ‘Power of Yet’ is so simple yet so powerful. An experiment was conducted at a high school in Chicago where students had to pass a number of courses in order to graduate, if they did not pass the course- they got a grade ‘Not Yet’ instead of ‘Failed’.

This simple amendment bought fantastic transformation in the student’s mindsets because it acknowledged their learning curve. It gave them hope to succeed in future rather than getting pessimistic about not being good enough.

Growth Mindset VS Fixed Mindset

Children who are raised with a ‘Growth’ mindset embrace challenges positively, they look at them as opportunities to learn, improve and develop further. They have positive attitude towards difficulties and are driven by the belief that they could improve.

However, children raised with a ‘Fixed’ mindset look at challenges as tragedies, it makes them uncomfortable and impacts their mindset negatively. Such children are focused on the ‘Power of Now’– they just to make things work in the current moment and are not driven by what the future may hold and how they can use this challenge as means to develop.

Fixed-mindset individuals may look for shortcuts to succeed in life, they fear failure and would look for people who are worse off than themselves to feel good about how they are doing in life. They run from difficulties and their attitudes towards errors is not conducive. However, growth-mindset individuals believe that their abilities can be developed further and that there is always room for improvement.

They would be more open towards challenges because they treat them as means to discover something new, something that they could learn and adapt to for future. They process errors, they analyze what went wrong and try correcting it.

How Are We Raising Our Children?

We need to question how are we raising our children? Are we pushing them in the same rut of being driven by getting A’s in the next test score? Are we depriving them of the ability to dream big? And instead look around for a constant need for validation?

Look around yourselves- do you not see majority people being driven by a constant need for rewards and recognition? Are they not driven by motives like

‘if I take this initiative I would be perceived as knowledgeable among my peers, perhaps become eligible for a promotion and my overall impression would improve?’

rather than

‘I want to take this initiative so that I can improve my skills, knowledge and learning, it will help me develop better for future and enhance my mindset’.

We need to create a bridge and transition from ‘now’ to ‘yet’. But how can we accomplish that?

Praise the process that children engage in and not their inherent talent or intelligence. Encourage kids to try something new, to explore new ideas and experiment with their creativity. Commend their effort, thinking and focus. Support them in building resilience and perseverance.

It is okay to fail!

Give them the confidence that failures and mistakes have no life-threatening consequences and should be viewed as learning opportunities. Encourage them to improve and this would only happen if we as parents support and reward their efforts and progress rather than valuing actual results.

Raise children in such a way that they have an innate persistence and consistency- groom them for a stronger, more optimistic future. Let their minds be free from biases and preconceived notions and ideas of success. Use words ‘not yet’ and ‘yet’ more frequently. Developing a child’s core DNA to embrace challenges rather than fearing them will make them smarter and capable of striving for further development rather than simply accepting what they ‘can’ and ‘cannot do’.

Merits of growth mindset cannot be undermined, it brings about an inspirational transformation because it alters the definition of difficulty. Rather than giving up when times get tough or feeling dumb about oneself, it teaches us to become steadfast, become smarter and form stronger connections. Every child is capable of this growth, do not deprive them of the beautiful possibilities which are abound the places filled with ‘yet’.



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Code of Success Deciphered: Power of Believing You Can Improve!

I remember struggling during my early school days with assignments, ensuring ‘neatness’ of handwriting and allocating time to revise for multiple subjects. The pressure and anxiety was too much! It made me cranky, depressed and sad because I was fixated on getting top grades on all subjects.

Losing appetite was habitual and so was the feeling of self-worthlessness when I was unable to get my desired grade. Looking back, it was nothing more than a rat race which I was blindly running in- too focused on triumphing ‘now’ and not being focused on ‘yet’.
I belong to a traditional middle class family, where my parents focused their time, energy and resources in ensuring I study well, have the best educational support and resources at my disposal- they were driven by the belief that if I become a high achiever by getting all A’s in my subjects I would be ready to face challenges of tomorrow and become thoroughly successful professionally.

Their ‘Fixed’ mindset drove what they thought was a formula to success and this was passed on to me in form of overburdening expectations to keep up with. I remember fearing to adapt, embracing change seamlessly when a challenge was presented to me. I was comfortable doing what I ‘knew’ I was good at and did not have enough confidence to ‘try’ or ‘experiment’ with new ideas.

When I came across Carol Dweck’s TED Talk session on ‘Power of Yet’– I couldn’t have resonated with it more. The phrase ‘Power of Yet’ is so simple yet so powerful. An experiment was conducted at a high school in Chicago where students had to pass a number of courses in order to graduate, if they did not pass the course- they got a grade ‘Not Yet’ instead of ‘Failed’.

This simple amendment bought fantastic transformation in the student’s mindsets because it acknowledged their learning curve. It gave them hope to succeed in future rather than getting pessimistic about not being good enough.

Growth Mindset VS Fixed Mindset

Children who are raised with a ‘Growth’ mindset embrace challenges positively, they look at them as opportunities to learn, improve and develop further. They have positive attitude towards difficulties and are driven by the belief that they could improve.

However, children raised with a ‘Fixed’ mindset look at challenges as tragedies, it makes them uncomfortable and impacts their mindset negatively. Such children are focused on the ‘Power of Now’– they just to make things work in the current moment and are not driven by what the future may hold and how they can use this challenge as means to develop.

Fixed-mindset individuals may look for shortcuts to succeed in life, they fear failure and would look for people who are worse off than themselves to feel good about how they are doing in life. They run from difficulties and their attitudes towards errors is not conducive. However, growth-mindset individuals believe that their abilities can be developed further and that there is always room for improvement.

They would be more open towards challenges because they treat them as means to discover something new, something that they could learn and adapt to for future. They process errors, they analyze what went wrong and try correcting it.

How Are We Raising Our Children?

We need to question how are we raising our children? Are we pushing them in the same rut of being driven by getting A’s in the next test score? Are we depriving them of the ability to dream big? And instead look around for a constant need for validation?

Look around yourselves- do you not see majority people being driven by a constant need for rewards and recognition? Are they not driven by motives like

‘if I take this initiative I would be perceived as knowledgeable among my peers, perhaps become eligible for a promotion and my overall impression would improve?’

rather than

‘I want to take this initiative so that I can improve my skills, knowledge and learning, it will help me develop better for future and enhance my mindset’.

We need to create a bridge and transition from ‘now’ to ‘yet’. But how can we accomplish that?

Praise the process that children engage in and not their inherent talent or intelligence. Encourage kids to try something new, to explore new ideas and experiment with their creativity. Commend their effort, thinking and focus. Support them in building resilience and perseverance.

It is okay to fail!

Give them the confidence that failures and mistakes have no life-threatening consequences and should be viewed as learning opportunities. Encourage them to improve and this would only happen if we as parents support and reward their efforts and progress rather than valuing actual results.

Raise children in such a way that they have an innate persistence and consistency- groom them for a stronger, more optimistic future. Let their minds be free from biases and preconceived notions and ideas of success. Use words ‘not yet’ and ‘yet’ more frequently. Developing a child’s core DNA to embrace challenges rather than fearing them will make them smarter and capable of striving for further development rather than simply accepting what they ‘can’ and ‘cannot do’.

Merits of growth mindset cannot be undermined, it brings about an inspirational transformation because it alters the definition of difficulty. Rather than giving up when times get tough or feeling dumb about oneself, it teaches us to become steadfast, become smarter and form stronger connections. Every child is capable of this growth, do not deprive them of the beautiful possibilities which are abound the places filled with ‘yet’.



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