In class my students have been working with various texts related to grit and growth mindset. Yesterday we looked at the above infographic and discussed it. As we discussed the words in the red on the left, students discussed their struggles. One student openly brought up the thought of the “success of others” being an area where he has a fixed mindset. Immediately I thought of the words of my fearless leader.
I thought of how to share those words with my students…
I thought, “A wise man once told me…”
No, too cliché-ish.
Plus, I don’t want the words to inflate the ego of the wise man’s head (aka my principal). We all know he doesn’t need that.
I settled for, “Someone’s dad…”
“Whose dad?” a few the kids responded all the while knowing the dad is the principal.
Then, I looked toward the son of the dad and then back to the student and continued, “Someone’s dad once told me, ‘Your will to be the best is your greatest asset and your worst obstacle.'”
I let the words absorb for a moment, we talked a bit, and then we moved on. This is sixth grade after all, a place where focus is not sustained for great lengths of time. I do wish, however, that my kids could learn vicariously from the lessons that have taken me half a lifetime to learn.
A year and a half after the words above were shared with me, I stop to reflect as I look up at the infographic and realize that each day I make the choice as to how I view the success of others: fixed-something that threatens me OR growth-something that offers lessons and inspiration.
I choose growth. I choose greatest asset. I choose to inspiration. I choose lessons.
In reality, I know I may never be the best, but I do know that I can learn from the best and better myself.
In the words of my indomitable leader on being the best, “BRING IT ON!”
Perhaps I can modify his words,
My will to be the best is my greatest asset OR my worst obstacle. The choice is mine.