“Success is a lousy teacher”. Bill Gates the richest man on the planet said once.
Success does not teach you so much as failure; in moments of success there is celebration, whereas in moments of failure there is learning,
Once upon a time in a village there was a wrestler with strong body. He feels happy and proud whenever the villagers praise him for his muscles and that made him to go into comfort zone and he stopped practicing regularly. He always expected every passerby to acknowledge his strength. One day a guru was passing thru the village and he did not notice this wrestler and the wrestler was upset. He stopped the guru in his tracks and caught him by the hand trying to push the guru to ground. In a shift reaction the guru was able to twist the arm of the wrestler and pushed him down. Suddenly the wrestler felt weak and came down to his knees and asked the guru what is wrong with him. The guru replied that he did not fail till now and he avoided refining his wrestling skills since he went into a comfort zone. “Without sweating and fighting fit to improve new skills every day you possibly won’t learn anything new except what you already know” said the guru.
What is the lesson we can learn from this? Most of us put a tremendous effort trying to avoid the possibility of failure by not even trying once.
According to Dr. Carol Dweck, professor at Stanford University, we have a mindset problem. Dweck has done a tremendous amount of research to understand what makes someone give up in the face of adversity (difficulty) versus strive to overcome it.
It turns out the answer is deceptively simple. It’s all in your head.
If you believe that you cannot do a thing then you won’t even try. If you believe that your talents are fixed, then you will try to avoid failure at all costs because failure is proof of your limitation. We all go thru a routine that we are used to everyday and never challenge or use our brains to improve upon some of the things we do on daily basis. Just try a different routine today and learn what is the new results you got.
Students with fixed mindsets would rather not learn new language such as English and adjust to low life or jobs that come their way.
Some company owners or heads of some institutes with fixed mindsets will surround themselves with people who agree with them. They feel smart when they get it right. It reinforces their sense of competence and they feel comfortable that way.
But if you believe your talent grows with persistence and effort, then you seek failure as an opportunity to improve. People with a growth mindset feel smart when they’re learning, not when they’re flawless.
Ask any national or international sports person or any successful person how he reached that levels. You will surely get to know that they failed several times before succeeding but they kept learning from the failures so they can do better next time.
A growth mindset is the secret to maximizing potential. At skills nest trainings I give my students tasks above their ability to bring them out of the comfort zone and make them learn things that enable them to adjust to corporate world.
Want to increase your own performance? Set high goals where you have a 50-70% chance of success.. Then, when you fail half the time, figure out what you should do differently and try again. That’s practice. And according to recent studies, 10,000 hours of that kind of practice will make you an expert in anything. No matter where you start.
I set a goal of transforming the mind set of students in Godavari districts and bring them at par to national and later international competency levels. That is a high goal for me now. I’m realizing the pain of the inefficient systems/resource crunch surrounding the students and how that is not allowing them to learn new things. Hey, but I’m trying out methods to overcome the problems for my students. Are you with me? Let me know your thoughts.