Updated: Nov 13, 2020
In agricultural science, we were taught that weeds are plants that grow where they are not needed. They hinder the growth and development of crops and they might ultimately kill.
Now, let’s do some mathematics. The fertile piece of land is your mind, and the seeds and the weeds are your thoughts which represent good and bad thoughts respectively. Your mind is a fertile piece of land which harbors the growth and development of any thoughts (seeds/weeds) you constantly let in it. Developing a healthy mind is paramount to every success. A person who constantly thinks of winning has relatively higher chances of winning than a person who constantly thinks of losing. Bad thoughts, which are the by-products of fear, self-doubt and the lack of self-confidence will never let you grow. Good thoughts, whose raw materials are hope, conviction, resilience and confidence will uplift you and make you the best version of yourself. So, be positive and you are one step closer to accomplishing your goals. Some scientific facts prove that the subconscious mind can influence any thought, good or bad, that one constantly retains in one’s conscious mind. Don’t doubt yourself for you are stronger than you think. As Bob Marley said, you won’t know how strong you are until being strong becomes the only option you’re left with. Develop a high sense of conviction, self-confidence and hope, for nothing is impossible if you are committed to doing anything worthwhile.
Carol Dweck, the author of the book entitled ‘’Mindset, the psychology of success’’, gave very captivating ideas about the two (2) different types of mindset which are fixed and growth mindset. Firstly, the fixed mindset is the type of mindset in which people believe that intelligence or mental toughness, skills and other abilities are fixed; they are destined to a limited number of people we call geniuses. People with this kind of mindset believe that investing a lot of effort in something means lack of competence. This, however, is exactly the kind of mindset I have been having since my childhood. I can vividly remember telling people that if I read my books well, my grades would relatively be lower than when I don’t. Despite that flawed concept I had, I will not blame myself for it because I was made to believe that people who study hard are not very sharp and for that reason they need to do more efforts than everyone else. I’ve seen people who tell others that they find it difficult to study or they might say that they can’t spend a lot of time studying. Although some of them work hard, they hide the fact that they are hardworking because people might judge them to be unintelligent if they don’t do well. Success is a pride to most of the people with the fixed mindset because, to them, it shows how worthy they are in the society. Failure, on the flip side, means the lack of competence and as a result, they are afraid to fail. And, when they fail, they always have a list of things to blame and unreasonable excuses which they use as proofs for not doing well.
Secondly, there is the growth mindset. The kind of mindset of which people who possess it believe that intelligence, skills and other abilities are not fixed; they can be developed with passion accompanied by constant practice and hard work. People with this kind of mindset see failure as something to learn from not a proof of incompetence. Failure is an adversity that nobody wants to encounter, but people react to it differently whenever it happens to them. Even those with the growth mindset do not want to fail but they have a more positive approach and interpretation of it than people with the fixed mindset.
Albert Einstein is said to have a very high IQ, yet he worked hard before he could make the phenomenal discoveries the world is talking about today. Did everything work out well for him at the very beginning? The answer is certainly a big NO. In fact, he had once failed an examination. Today, the world is talking about his achievements and not his setbacks.
Jim Kwik, the founder of Kwik Learning, is a brain coach who teaches students, entrepreneurs, educators and C.E.Os how to read faster, brain improvement and accelerated performance. During his childhood, he suffered a severe brain injury which made learning very difficult for him. His friends named him after ‘’the boy with the broken brain’’. He found it very difficult to read and understand. According to him, he could pretend as if he understood what he was taught when he didn’t. Knowing and accepting his weakness, he worked extremely hard to improve himself. Today, he is ranked amongst the top memory experts in the world. He offers online courses in over 180 countries in the world.
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corporation is an American business magnate, a software developer, and a Philanthropist, who’s considered one of the world’s wealthiest people, had his first business fail woefully. He did not give up and he had a great sense of resilience which made him who he’s today.
Thomas Edison had failed 999 times before he could discover the electric bulb. Charles Darwin was considered a failure at school, yet he discovered the theory of evolution.
From the aforementioned success stories, one should understand that failure and setbacks are part of the things that one must go through before achieving anything worthwhile. Hard work is one of the qualities of the most successful people in the world. At times, we tend to see certain achievements as miraculous things, which only the gifted can make possible, but the big secret is passion, consistent hard work, conviction, patience and a great sense of persistence.