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CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET FOR EXCELLENCE

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Let us ditch all things that limit or narrow our scope of not only our selves, but of our world too.

Team LR in consonance with nature in this month of October is on the replenishing, regeneration and regrowth mission we promised you in our last Newsletter. So we are sharing this piece that will enable us work on how to discipline and motivate our inner self while “shedding all the things” that can limit our horizon.

 

We are on a mission to drop the “baggage” and begin to harvest the new improved us…

 

Ask the butterflies….they sure know how to drop the baggage. This image is courtesy of Dreamstime.com

 

CULTIVATING A GROWTH MINDSET FOR EXCELLENCE

 

“I keep telling you the future isn’t set in stone. It’s not all decided yet. The future is just what’s down the road we decided to walk on today. You can change roads anytime. And that changes where you end up.”

 

― Catherine Ryan Hyde, Chasing Windmills

 

The human mind is like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand. Herein lies the basic psychology of a growth mindset. Achieving Excellence is thereby considered as the icing.

 

“The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.” (Carol S. Dweck) and achieve!

 

Have you ever asked yourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

When actually the question should be; who are you not to be? Below are some steps towards unveiling the excellence in you.

1* Discern your fixed mindset “voice”.

 

When you decide to take on a challenge or a potential life-transforming task towards excellence, what voice murmurs deep within your heart. A perennial fixed mindset voice might say: “What if you fail? —you’ll be a failure”, “this is not your area of competence, you are not gifted in this area”, “Why don’t you protect yourself and keep your dignity?”.

 

Perhaps as you begin your project and you meet a hurdle, the voice could press on; “See? You’ll never be great at this. Give up now”. “It’s not natural to you, no need to force it. This is a waste of precious time and resources; why not stay with what you are best at?”.

 

To develop a growth mindset towards excellence in everything you set out to do, you ought to learn the art of discerning this voice and not allowing yourself be trapped under the giant feet of it’s negativity. Discern. Decide. Make a choice. Choose growth.

2* Know that you have a choice.

 

The choice is ours to make. Image courtesy of Dreams.com

 

In almost all areas of life, when you take on a new thing, task or set out to achieve set goals, you could be confronted with challenges, setbacks, failure and criticism. How you react and interpret these challenges and setbacks is your choice. One fixed mindset interpretation could be: “I’m not a math person” or another says “I’m not a natural athlete.” But the growth mindset’s small voice will counteract: “When the world says, ‘Give up!’ Hope whispers, ‘Try one more time”.

 

These challenges, criticisms and setbacks are not commands to quit. Rather these are indicators asking you to step up. Change your game.  Ramp up your strategies and effort, stretch yourself, and expand your abilities. As Louis Pasteur observes “Chance or fortune favours the prepared mind”.

 

So as you face challenges, setbacks, criticism and failure, listen to the fixed mindset voice and…

 

 

3* Learn to Talk back to it with a growth mindset voice.

 

Talk back to you know who and you know what. Image courtesy of Dreams.com

 

 

Randy Pausch in ‘The Last Lecture’ states: “The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something”.

 

Whenever the fixed mindset says: “What if you fail? —you’ll be a failure”

 

Talk back to it with a growth mindset: “Most successful people had failures along the way”.

 

Albert Einstein the Nobel Laureate in Physics and the worlds most famous scientist, could not even read until he was seven years of age and his grades in school were consistently poor. He was initially mistaken to be retarded.

 

So really think about: Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, JK Rowling, Nelson Mandela, Thomas Edison, Akio Morita; they all rose from the furnaces of failures to glorious breakthroughs. ‘I keep telling you, and it’s  time to keep telling yourself too, the future isn’t set in stone. It’s not all decided yet. It is in your power to decide now’.

 

Thomas A. Edison aptly puts it: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

This is growth mindset talking back.

 

Then…

 

4* Write the vision

 

Write it down…Image courtesy of www.mcis.org.za

 

Writing down a vision is not a rigid checklist, but a purposeful path that can be adjusted, refined and fine-tuned as the process unfolds. Writing down the vision brings clarity, makes your efforts measurable, realistic, sets actionable benchmarks and enables you celebrate the small successes. This can provide motivation and determination to plunge on, even in the midst of anticipated difficulties.

The personal vision statement is turning your dreams, principles, values and insights into a roadmap for success. It also frees you from educational and cultural conditioning.

 

“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now”- Alan Lakein.

 

With a growth mindset, all you need is the plan, the written vision (the roadmap) and the courage to press on to the finish line.

What then are your personal vision statements? What do you visualize? Write the vision down and…

 

5* Take the growth mindset action.

 

The voice you heed to becomes the choice you live with. ‘We are our choices’ says Jean-Paul Sartre. JK Rowling re-affirms too “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”. Whatever choice you make, makes you. Take on the challenge wholeheartedly, learn from your setbacks and try again. No matter what your ability, talent, giftedness is, effort is what ignites that ability, talent, giftedness and turns it into accomplishment.

 

Beat all odds. Liberate your mind. Image courtesy of Felix Abrahams Obi, a photographer, wordsmith and Healthcare journalist. We thank you for this picture that aptly captures the essence of this article

 

6* Practice patience: Practice hearing both voices, and practice acting on the growth mindset.

 

Cultivate smart friends. In our networked society, to be connected is to be talented. There are many hubs of distributed intelligence. Tap into a hub.

 

“Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid you weren’t good at? Make a plan to do it.” Take action. Take the growth mindset action. Now! Yes, you can!

 

Do always remember to…

 

Run with the Vision

 

There are no shortcuts to excellence. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” (Aristotle). Shoot for the stars!

 

Cultivate grit, deliberate repetition with reflection and refinement. This is building up a long-term passion and perseverance. Learn to love what you do, put in your best self.

 

Cultivating a growth mindset for excellence, is to tell yourself always: “Just make up your mind at the very outset that your work is going to stand for quality… that you are going to stamp a superior quality upon everything that goes out of your hands, that whatever you do shall bear the hallmark of excellence” (Orison Swett Marden). This generation awaits you.

 

 

The future isn’t set in stone. It’s not all decided yet. Is there something you have been pushing aside? Is there excellence gnawing at your heart, waiting for its birth? What are you waiting for? This is your hour. Act now!

 

Many thanks Rev. Father Micheal Achile Umameh who led the LR editorial team this week, to prepare and serve us this uniquely motivational meal.

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