Why Attitude is your Secret Ingredient

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And…I’m back. I find that I need more breaks between posts lately, and I humbly beg forgiveness. It’s been a busy couple of months, and all my stuff has fallen to the wayside because of my new job. Yes, you read that correctly, new job. And hence, this post sort of formed itself.

As we grow up, we are reminded that to achieve success; we need to bolster our intelligence. The students with the highest grades get to be valedictorian and salutatorian,  and universities typically accept candidates with the highest SAT or ACT scores. Being smart is important, but new research from Stanford University says that a positive attitude helps more than your IQ. Having sent two kids off to college, I have to agree.

The mindset-based approach, created by psychologist Carol Dweck, splits all of us humans into two categories. We either hold a “fixed mindset,” or a “growth mindset.” It is which of these that you carry that will determine your attitude and success in school and life. Those people with a fixed mindset believe that “you are who are, and you cannot change. All those folks living with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. Even with a lower IQ, these peeps outshine and outperform those with fixed mindsets because they learn to embrace challenges. They see every stumbling block as a chance to learn something new and incorporate it into their lives. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new. The poor people suffering a fixed mindset believe they cannot change, think about a self-fulfilling prophecy. This thought process creates problems when challenges pop up because they find it hard to adapt. the

So why is this on my mind? Well, I’ll start with the whole dog and pony show of applying, interviewing and getting that new job. I was the little engine that could, and I did! I realized after the first couple of interviews, that although it’s been a while since I worked in my career field, I was merely rusty. But I am also ready. The excitement about being in the classroom again and my passion for little peeps must have come through in my interviews. And now, I will get the opportunity not just to jump the hurdles of my challenges, but to teach a new generation how to go for their goals and succeed.

In my classroom, I have kids who CAN. Although intelligence plays a role, there is also your attitude. You get out what you put in, and positive thinking and good habits create lifelong learners. By building confidence in my classroom, I can expect every child to succeed at their own pace and to level up because they can face the challenge. AS for me, my challenge is to make them love learning and stay positive, even when they have setbacks. Those kids with growth mindsets (and since they’re so small I can foster this in all 18 of them) will learn how to succeed in life. Positive attitude begets positive results. It’s all about instilling confidence.

So how can you apply this approach in your lives? It’s all about how you deal with failure. Every mistake, setback or failure is a source of information. It should be considered instead of failing as something went wrong, and I am equipped to solve this problem. It’s about trying a different approach to get the same end result. Some of my students will be visual learners, some auditory learners, and some will need tactile manipulatives to learn. But those are all ways to success and even intelligence. I believe that anyone’s naturally-inclined attitude can change over time. It just takes a little fine-tuning.

We talk about the importance of living mindfully and being flexible all the time. Research has proven that these ideas are front and center keys to your ability to thrive and grow. Shifting your perspective, living with a positive attitude and having a little patience with yourself can help change your mindset. Slow down peeps, act mindfully and use challenges as learning, growing experiences. It’s all about an attitude check – so go on- check your peevishness at the door, put on a smile and a can-do ‘tude, and live a positive, fulfilling life. I challenge and encourage you.

Stay motivated and caffeinated!

 

 

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