“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds”
Gordon B. Hinckley.
I guess this theme carries through from last week’s quote. And I’m warning you, it carries through next week too. And probably the next, and the next. It’s just something that I seem to have to remind my kids all the time, as they moan and groan over chores, homework, and other responsibilities. And generally speaking, I know my kids are pretty good….
But, I really want them to understand the value of working hard. That hard work does pay off. I worry when I see them sit back and assume that others will do for them, or things will fall into place. Yes, at times, that does happen. But you are in a much better position for success if you do the work. And work is required, whether at a low paying job, or a high paying job; whether at the best school in the country, or the worst school. You still need to work. Of course, the rewards aren’t always immediate, but they are there overall.
Another concern I have had recently is a conversation I had with one of my kids who stated that they (I will use “they” to protect “their” identity) don’t want to do the work. “I’m not a hard worker; it’s just not me.”
This conversation bothered me; that this child of mine was not feeling capable of all the things I know they have potential to do – with a little hard work! Especially at this age! “It’s just not me.” How do you even know what is “you” when you are a teenager? Please don’t label yourself in a category at this early stage in life! You have infinite potential! You are of infinite worth! Do you not not know what can lie ahead of you? Amazing things!
I got a promotional email from the company Lumosity this morning (lots of my clients use the program – although it’s still up for debate on how effective it is – but they often have good little emails), and in it talked about growth mindset vs fixed mindset. It said:
Mindset over Matter: How mindset can impact learning
We hold many beliefs about ourselves. Maybe you believe you’re a good friend, a slow runner, a critical thinker, and a mediocre cook. Recent research explores how our mindsets about our intelligence can influence real-life outcomes.
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck researches how having a growth mindset — the belief you can increase your intellectual abilities through hard work and practice — may improve learning outcomes and academic performance.
Professor Dweck’s team surveyed New York City 7th graders, identifying whether students believed intelligence could be increased with effort (growth mindset), or thought it was predetermined and unchangeable (fixed mindset).
The research team then sought to change the mindsets of a group of low-achieving middle schoolers. 91 students took a short course on brain physiology and study skills. Among these students, a test group also studied how intelligence is malleable, while a control group did not.
The student’s mindsets and their grades showed the difference. Student responses to an end-of-year survey indicated that the test group had shifted towards more of a growth mindset. This change correlated to significant improvements in math grades, whereas the control showed no change in grades or mindset.
Why mindset matters
What could explain these striking results? Imagine you believe you’re a shaky storyteller and always will be. When a friend prompts you to tell a story, this belief may cause you to rush and rarely experiment with jokes or delightful details. Your mindset may prevent you from building your story-telling skills long-term.
Believing an ability is “fixed” may leave you unmotivated and easily demoralized by setbacks, according to Professor Dweck’s research. In contrast, adopting a growth mindset can motivate you to put in more effort and overcome tough challenges.
What’s your mindset?
Research on mindset reminds us that what we believe about ourselves isn’t just in our heads: it impacts our actions and accomplishments – how we face challenges and reach our goals.
So next time you tackle a difficult new task, whether it’s public speaking or learning to change a tire, try adopting a growth mindset. We can’t wait to see what you achieve.
I sent my child this info along with a little message. Here is part of it:
Please read this short article (above)….
Then think about the conversations we have had about the need to do hard work and your idea that “it’s just not in you; you are not that kind of person…”. Not only do I not believe that based on my eternal view (the view that the whole point of the atonement is Christ suffered so that we can change and/or grow and improve – so that we can take areas that are weaker and make them our greatest strengths, that He can conquer and help us overcome all fear and insecurities, that He can help us undo our mistakes and show us how to change) but scientific research tells us that what we tell ourselves – the dialogue in our head, the script that we repeat over and over, our actual mindset – impacts our thinking, our ability our outcomes….
I then challenged him to do some growing – both spiritually and temporally.
I think hard work needs to start from a belief that you have the potential, and a belief that hard work will pay off (eventually — which that is the hardest part for most). Hopefully this message will slowly seep into my teenagers’ brains and hearts….