Growth-Mindset: A Critical Tool For Becoming World Class In Any Endeavour

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Growth mindset refers to a learning theory developed by Dr Carol Dweck. It revolves around the belief that you can improve intelligence, ability and performance. The opposite, a fixed mindset, refers to the belief that a person’s talents are set in stone. Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students’ attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks. After studying the behavior of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore, they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement. To briefly sum up the findings: Individuals who believe their talents can be developed (through hard work, good strategies, and input from others) have a growth mindset. They tend to achieve more than those with a more fixed mindset (those who believe their talents are innate gifts). This is because they worry less about looking smart and they put more energy into learning. When entire companies embrace a growth mindset, their employees report feeling far more empowered and committed; they also receive far greater organizational support for collaboration and innovation.

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In contrast, people at primarily fixed-mindset companies report more of only one thing: cheating and deception among employees, presumably to gain an advantage in the talent race. The African Child faced with a default fixed-mindset. For an average African child whose immediate environment starting from the home (if any) presents a lot of challenges and obstacles which hinders the child from developing and having the abilities to compete favourably with other children in other developing and developed countries of the world. The child is faced with the deteriorating state of most vital components of the society that are required for onward development. These components include poor education system, too many confusing and misleading religious doctrines, lack of social amenities, poor healthcare system, lack of access to regular nutritious food, and a host of others. Consequently, an African child is bootstrapped to failure judging from what he/she encounters while growing up. These default conditions can be said to be the reason why the African child is resilient when making genuine efforts to survive. This is seen in a handful of people who were only able to push themselves through as much as they could, although there is still some evident signs of fixed-mindset when they are keenly observed. From a Default Fixed-Mindset to a Life-Changing Growth Mindset: My Story. Life for me growing as a youth has been that of a typical African child who has only one choice to make — Survival. Having passed through the basic education system where I was subjected to an outdated education curriculum and is judged based on meeting certain scores according to these obsolete curriculum, the life I met after education was challenging.

Thus, there was a quest of surviving legally which depended solely on my inborn talents, intelligence and cognitive abilities. I have worked for people in various capacities ranging from repairing faulty desktop and laptop computers, typesetting and formatting thesis documents, and other typical business centre jobs, all in the quest to make money for upkeep and taking care of other family responsibilities. These activities have been conducted on the singular belief that they were the safest ways to surviving considering the economic situation of the country. Consequently, as time went on, it became evident that the proceeds of the business centre business was no longer meeting its target of raising enough money. Though I kept trying and believing that it will get better, it never did. Rather, things got worse as the days progressed. Come to think of it, I have to devote my time, the whole day in order to make myself available for prospective customers who may need my services. As a way of getting another means of survival, I had to enroll for a second bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, believing that at the end of it, I will be equipped with adequate tools for survival. To my amazement, in the end of four (4) solid years, it was all the same situation, as there were no jobs where my newly acquired academic achievement could be applied for meaningful rewards.

Fortunately, I stumbled over a social media post which was pointing towards self-capacity building through computer programming. Again, I felt relieved that my quest for survival will soon be consolidated. Going further to research about computer programming I discovered that it required a lot of intra-personal capabilities such as time devotion, passion, self-motivation, self-discipline and a whole lot of others. These requirements threatened my current survival strategy especially when it came to time to be spent while learning programming. Failure is an opportunity to growDecisively, I took the bold step to changing my life through computer programming and learning data analysis, both on professional and world-class standards. Gradually, I started observing that even-though I was lacking enough money to my survival, I was gaining a lot of confidence in my abilities and confidence in doing jobs and still getting money from the time spent and new knowledge acquired so far in programming and data analysis. Growth mindset so far, has made me to acquire super powers which gave me the ability to be one of the Learning Facilitators for Andela Learning Community 3. 0 in my locality where I mentored and is still mentoring new beginners in web development. It has also helped me to get closer to my quest of becoming a world class developer. It is my believe that having a growth mindset and consolidating on it will enable every other African child to have the abilities and confidence to change his/her immediate environment and also have a chance to change the world because it is a wide believe that brilliance is evenly distributed.

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