Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success Part 2

Mindset: The New Psychology of Sucess Part 2
I have been super busy the past few weeks between getting to experience the Pennsylvania Association of Agriculture Educators (PAAE) Summer Conference and going on my first of several visits to future students' SAE projects, both events to which I will be blogging about very soon!  Between it all I have been able to read the second part of my book and I must say it is starting to really get interesting.  The first few chapters were mainly overviews, ideas, and definitions of what both fixed and growth mindset are.  In the next few chapters, it starts to discuss specific stories, studies and examples of how your type of mindset can influence you life and decisions that you make.  My cooperating teacher, Valerie Fry, and I have both really started to reflect on not only how our types of mindsets will influence us both in the classroom in the upcoming months but how it has truly shaped the way our lives are.  Shall we begin? 
Chapter 4: Sports and the mindset of a champion
This chapter  I actually really got into reading about the backgrounds of some of the most legendary sports heroes we know today like Michael Jordan, Wilma Rudolph, Mia Hamm, Muhammad Ali and Babe Ruth!  All of these people who we idolize all started as athletes who were not so hot in their fields.  None of them were considered naturals which what everyone thinks you have to be in order to succeed in sports.  In fact, most sports agents aren't looking for natural raw talent anymore, they are looking for a good player with an even better mindset.  All of these amazing players and athletes got
to where they are today because of their mindset.  A popular movie called A Cinderella Story has a famous line that has stuck with me (see photo to the right for quote).  This is truly the message that this chapter is pitching home (pun intentional)!  It is saying that if your not the strongest, the fastest, or whatever your excuse is; there is absolutely not reason that you cannot succeed if your mind lets you!  Don't let your mindset hold you back!
This chapter also talks about character and what it is deep down.  "Character is the ability to dig down and find the strength even when things are going against you."  This book does a great job of explaining that character grows out of mindset.  When someone wants to work hard and knows that no matter what, at the end of the day, as long as they have put everything into themselves and be able to say "I can do better or we will get them next time with more practice".  This isn't something that is easy to say or something that you want to say.  We would all like to say that we have growth mindset and that we never give up, but we all know deep down there is that one thing that we have turned our backs on.  This is when character has to be learned.  We have to learn to pick up the pieces, move on and try harder.  We have to learn to put our best foot forward even when things are not going for us.  We have to learn to have heart!  When we learn these things is when we will truly have the mind of a champion; a mind focused on growth!  My take away moment: Mindset is MORE important than talent!- I want my students as I go into my adventure to take risks.  If they are able to word hard, be dedicated and have a growth mindset they will have no barriers! 
Chapter 5: Business mindset and leadership
This chapter really made me think.  I am not very good when it comes to business and it is actually a great struggle of mine.  So when I headed into this chapter I was terrified that it was going to be talking over my head the whole time.  Thankfully, it brought it down to my kind of terms and didn't talk so much on the business end but more on how to be a successful leader and not letting your victories over take your mind.  There was a lot of discussion in the book about different CEOs and heads of companies who started out as geniuses in business, who were going to set so many companies on the fast track to success.  Only a few of the stories provided ended that way.  In all the others, these smooth and fast talking individuals who at first were very good at their jobs.  They quickly got caught up in the image and worrying about what would happen to that image if they failed even slightly.  Instead of admitting that maybe their ideas didn't work they wanted, they would sooner lie to investors and the public.  They just want to prove that they are better than everyone else.  They are only concerned about their reputation and have no concerns about the employees or the business itself.  This starts a bigger problem as these great geniuses don't want great teams to support them.  Eventually, the business will get rid of the toxic leader or unfortunately will fail completely.  The real sad part is that these toxic leaders were happy to see the company fail, they would rather see it close because of them than let someone else come along and gain praise for fixing it. 
Thankfully, the past has shown business owners and investors that these fixed mindset leaders will only harm the business.  They are looking for leaders who maintain a healthy sense of confidence.  Usually these are those who didn't set out to be leaders at all.  They didn't want to prove themselves, they just wanted to do what they love and see where it took them.  Leadership is all about growth and passion which is exactly what growth mindset is all about!  Being able to admit, I don't know what I'm doing can someone tell/show me how it is done is crucial in any type of leadership position.  These are people who are focused on how can the entire group better themselves by working there.  Are they able to push their minds and use their creativity to be able to create a new and better idea than the leader has.  In return that leader is able to say "Look, Joe has worked hard and came up with this great idea!"  My take away moment: Great leaders don't use the word me, they only say we! - I hope that I as a teacher, a leader of the classroom, realize this and remember it as I go forward.  I want us as a class to succeed together in this adventure, not just me! 
Chapter 6: Relationships mindsets in love or not
This chapter was all about how our mindset can affect all of our relationships with others; family members, friends and significant others.  We all have had a bad relationship once in our lives.  It may have been a co-worker, a friend, or even a family member.  When you part ways is when your true mindset will come out.  There two things you can think:  1. Revenge:  All you want for that person is hurt and pain for what they have done or 2. Forgiveness: You walk away saying I have a whole life to live and I am not going to let this hold me back, it went wrong and it's ok.  Can you guess which one is the fixed mindset?  Growth mindset people are able to know how to move on and embrace the future because they know that even though it didn't work out, they were able to learn something about themselves because of it.  There is no great relationship without conflicts and problems so you must be willing to learn as you go.  Which leads me to another favorite quote of mine that echoes this books message.  Country Singer, John Michael Montgomery tells us all in a famous song that "Life's a dance you learn as you go, sometimes you lead, sometimes you follow"( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLrnwnNycoQ ).  As people come into and out of your life you need to take advantage of the time you have with them and learn as much as you can about that person because in return you will learn more about yourself.  An important part of this chapter focuses on the friendships we make in our lives.  We need to search out for those that are going to guide us in wisdom, encourage and reassure us, and sometimes praise us.  There can be dangers in praise as I will later read about in the book, but as humans we all need a little bit of praise every once in a while to boost our moral and help us to not give up.  We also need to not worry about finding perfect people to surround ourselves with.  There are not perfect people and if you only look for perfection you will never learn or grow.  My take away moment: Things don't always work!  Forgive, forget and turn to those who you still have! - I will not win the heart of every student along the way.  I cannot let this bring me down.  I will work to become a better version of myself and learn from that of how I can connect better with all students! 
I am looking forward to what the last section of the book has in store for me!  I know that by reading this, it will only make me a better and more aware teacher of both my students' mindsets and my own.  I am already starting to brainstorm about how I can carry these ideas I have learned from this reading into how I can help inform others of how their mindset is key to how successful every aspect of their lives is!
Thanks for reading! 
- Macy


  1. Whew Macy.

    This is great content, but tough to read.

    Consider editing and:
    1) adding a title
    2) using the "return button" to add some white space (maybe even split into two posts)

    be sure to use "Preview' to see what a post will look like before you publish!

  2. Macy,

    I agree with Dr. Foster on all accounts. You did a nice job reflecting on your reading, but it was a bit difficult to follow. I look forward to future posts!

    Dr. Ewing

  3. Hah! Ditto that! I actually saw your post soon after it went up and thought, I need more time so that I can digest :) Your summary, reflection and plan of attack are all really good! This whole idea of "mindset" really reaches beyond the classroom walls and I hope it will help as you are stretched professionally. I'm excited about your plan (of tracking student questions/praise) and how we will work together to teach students (even those tough to reach students)! P.S. I'm really liking the audio version of our book! Until next time!

  4. Not to beat the dead horse, but . . .
    I was a little overwhelmed just looking at all the words in the post before I even read it. Speaking of "before I even read it," after a slight ebay challenge, I do finally have "Mindset" and am hoping to get it read during my "Last Hurrah of Summer" trip which starts tomorrow.
    I look forward to reading your posts throughout your student teaching experience to see how you are helping the students you work with develop their growth mindset.

  5. Your take-aways and analysis of the reading showed that you really understood and enjoyed what you read! I liked how you emphasized your most important points using bolding and underlining to make them easily identifiable.


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