Mindset from a Youth Perspective by Maya Kuppermann

Posted: May 3, 2012 in Monday Morning Message
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Almost all students want to do well in school. Although it is desired, it cannot always be achieved easily. This is why, when I started learning about the idea of mindset, I quickly realized how powerful and helpful this fairly simple idea could be.

 Having a growth mindset means that a person “believes that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work-brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Virtually all great people have had these qualities.”(Dweck) Having this mindset helps us learn and increases our chances to succeed, it opens our minds to the idea of success and unlimited potential and it consciously and subconsciously makes us work harder at things that are more challenging.

As a student, having a growth mindset for my very challenging sophomore year at school has been essential to my success, not to mention my sanity. Having a growth mindset has made me a better student, has helped me with my other passion, dance, and has even made me behave more kindly toward my family and get into fewer arguments.

This year, school has been more academically challenging than any other year, and there have been many times that I have wanted to just give up and stop trying. But because of having the growth mindset, this year has been much more manageable. Each time I have a really difficult math test coming up or I am having a hard time grasping new material, instead of just believing that I will not be able to get it because I am just not smart enough, I know that as long as I put in the time and effort I will be able to succeed. For example, math has always been one of the easier subjects for me until this year. Because of the increase in difficulty in math, it has been imperative that I have a growth mindset and realize that I can succeed in that class through hard work and motivation.

 Having the growth mindset has also helped me with my passion outside of school, dance. I have been dancing since I was four years old and it has always been my a great joy for me. But dance is not easy to conquer. There is a constant need for impThriverovement and everything must be extremely precise. Because of this, dance can sometimes be frustrating. Again, the growth mindset can make a big difference. Knowing that with hard work and dedication almost anything can be accomplished, recognizing that I will have to work hard if I want to improve, and knowing that improvement will not happen on its own has helped me so much in dance. Now, on days when I know I have not danced my best, instead of just being upset about it, I go home and do stretches and exercises and practice. This way, I am helping myself improve in dance and I no longer feel upset about days that do not go well.   Instead, I am using these “bad days” to figure out where I am going wrong and the best means of improving.

Because of the more positive attitude that comes with having a growth mindset, I have been much happier at home. I have been able to have more fun with my family and not get so easily irritated with them. Having the growth mindset helps people’s lives in many ways and, as a student, it can do wonders. Imagine what the next generation could accomplish if everyone applied the growth mindset.

About Maya:  

Maya is a high school sophomore in the Sacramento area who has focused her sophomore project on the Mindset theory.

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