Hold that thought: A self reflection


By Modupe Laja

Twenty-five-year-old Michael was walking to his last class of the day when he bumped into a crowd surrounding the front door of his classroom. Before Michael could express his utter annoyance with the human traffic, he heard their voices.

“You’ve all got 5 minutes left. I said, solve the equation!” was the voice of the middle-aged statistics teacher.

“I can’t do it,” replied a male and female student simultaneously in the classroom, whilst other students remained mute looking elsewhere but the face of the teacher.

No one else replied the teacher and so, everyone watched seconds pass and the face of the teacher slowly morphed into anger. But then something happened.

Just before the 5 minutes was up, and the teacher’s anger reached a boiling point, a female student slowly raised her hand and said, “I can try, sir.”

Which kind of student are you?

When we come across situations, it’s easier for us to say, “I can’t,” some sort of flight mode activation than to say, “I can try.” Rather than make a hasty decision focused on the negatives, why not take a step back and ponder on the positives of putting in an effort.

Have you ever heard of a fixed and a growth mindset? 

These mindsets are crucial as they affect one’s perspectives as well as one’s role in a start-up, organization, company, or business.

Person A with a fixed mindset is set on particular norms, patterns, and ideologies. Whereas, Person B with a growth mindset is willing to try new things, learn from mistakes, and consider possible alternatives and opportunities.

Simply put, a growth mindset requires an open mind, but a fixed mindset is closed-off to a specific way of thinking and doing.

Five steps to having a growth mindset

  • Read books: Identify successful people who have written books such as autobiographies, biographies, or inspirational books. The best way to identify and learn from their mistakes is through these books.

  • Watch and listen: Ted Talks & Podcasts are a good way to open your mind to more possibilities that exist in the world.

  • Join groups: With the existence of platforms like Clubhouse, Twitter Space and much more, you can join conversations that will broaden your outlook on life.

  • Enroll in a course: With communities like Acumen Academy and Your Big Year, you gain an opportunity to not only complete a course which comes with a certificate, but also have discussions with people who can help you grow.

  • Act: Reading, listening and watching are great but if you don’t put everything into action, then it’s futile. You need to act with your new and improved growth mindset.

As you go about your day, planning for the day, tomorrow, next month, or even next year, focus less on the negatives around you and more on the positives that give you the strength to give all these a try.

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