At times, the views we adopt for ourselves are simply too harsh. Thoughts like, “I will never be smart enough,” are self-created and untrue. There is proven research that shows effort can increase intelligence.
When I was in college, academics were never as high on my priority list as they should have been. I always felt in my younger years that intelligence was a fixed trait. You either had it or you didn’t. I felt more effort could help in the short term, but in the long run, your intelligence would always remain status quo.
I soon realized my thinking was completely wrong….
After graduating from college, my discovery came from a book, Mindset, written by Dr. Carol Dweck. This book would challenge all my prior presumptions.
By applying the principles of this book within my own life, I became a better student, and graduated with a Master’s Degree.
Well, what was it exactly in the book that made such a difference?
Let’s start by dispelling one notion: Abilities and intelligence are fixed. This statement is false. We can improve, we can become better, and there is research out there to prove it.
According to Dr. Dweck’s research, intelligence is a malleable quality, one that can be continually developed. Dr. Dweck says, “It has been found that the brain continues to grow new nerve cells, or neurons, daily, and that this process speeds up when a lot of active learning is occurring.”
So in essence, by using our minds, we rapidly develop new brain cells. As we learn, our brains are actually expanding. Dr. Dweck continues, “While learning, the cells of the brain develop new connections between them, and existing connections become stronger.”
So, not only does learning add to our existing brain cells, but it also strengthens our minds in the process.
Similarly to a physical weight training session, when we learn, we are giving our minds a workout, which leads us to bigger, stronger brains.
It’s so important to understand the research of the mind, because it shows that we all possess the ability to become better students, teachers, and leaders. No matter our prior history, or what we have been told in the past, the research shows it is possible to improve intelligence.
By learning the workings of the mind, and how it can be developed, we can let go of our need for validation. We know that we are a work in progress, so we focus in on constant improvement.
The focus turns inward as we seek to become a little bit better each and everyday.
The keys to unlock your greatness lie within your own hands. It’s up to you to chip away.
Until next week, thanks for reading.
Keep Chipping Away at your Greatness