For those of us under-blessed with sizeable grey matter, it’s easy to wallow in a self-pitying cesspool and believe that the smarty-pants among us will always be the ones who will succeed.
But research from Stanford University may just up the mojo factor.
Psychologist Carol Dweck’s most recent study has unearthed a veritable HR nugget that suggests that attitude is a better predictor of success than IQ.
She’s discovered that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories – a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Sounds like a bit of souped-up mumbo jumbo, doesn’t it?
People with fixed mindsets believe that they are who they are and can’t change. A few wee problems then arise when they’re faced with challenging situations, because these blessed control freaks may feel overwhelmed and therefore go into shutdown mode.
Just cause you’re brainy, doesn’t mean you’re confident. Growth mindset peeps intrinsically believe they can improve with effort, embrace difficulties and in fact, treat them as opportunities to learn something new. They’ve got that old ‘glass half full’ mentality.
According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. OK, that sounds a bit bloody harsh.
A clunkier, but more kindly explanation may be along the lines of ‘something didn’t work, but because I’m an ace problem solver, I’ll review my methods and have another crack at it’.
Regardless of what category you’re in, she believes everyone can fine-tune a growth mindset by following a few simple strategies.
Like some cheese with that whine?
We all feel like losers sometimes. And often, we are. But don’t let that shit get you down.
Walt Disney was sacked from one of his first writing gigs because he ‘lacked imagination’ and JK Rowling’s first Harry Potter manuscript was rejected from no less than 12 publishers. Suck it up and power on.
Someone will always be smarter, hotter and more popular than you. And it’s OK to dislike them (a lot), but take a leaf out of Ms. Swift’s book and shake it off.
Empowered people pursue their passions and don’t give a flying falafel what other people think. Some may think you are a loser, but who says they’re in charge?
Don’t be a gunna-ninja. You’re not just gunna do anything. People with a growth mindset aren’t braver than others, they just let a lot more slide.
They don’t sweat the small stuff and certainly feel fear, but overcome it with action. And they’re prepared to be flexible even if the poop hits the proverbial.
Go for best, then better it
Push yourself, even when you’re feeling crap. The mind is a neuron-laden masterpiece – if you constantly visualise a positive result, it will eventually happen (except for possibly winning Lotto).
In the wonderfully inspiring words of karate legend Bruce Lee, “There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you.”
Woah! A little extreme, but you get my point.
Need more motivation? Greet the morning humming this 70’s gem and you’ll be fist-pumping all the way to Legendville in no time.