Value of a Growth Mindset

by "Doc"

You try something unsuccessfully over and over and over again, but then you finally accomplish it. After that it comes easy. How valuable is that experience? How valuable is each "failure" and then that final breakthrough? Could it be... priceless?

“There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there is Mastercard.” That tag line is from one of the most successful advertising campaigns ever created. The initial launch of the campaign showing a father and son bonding at the first baseball game together and the word priceless being emphasized and ending with the previously mentioned tag line touched a chord deep within humans. This was not an American phenomenon or even a western phenomenon. The campaign reached over 200 countries around the globe and this idea that some things are priceless resonated in our very soul. Why? What was it that money couldn’t buy?

Instinctively, people know that many of the things they purchase, it is not the item itself that they are purchasing. In the landmark ad, the father wasn’t purchasing the tickets to the ball game, the hot dogs, or the souvenir. No, he was purchasing something… priceless. He was purchasing the bonding experience and time with his son. He was undoubtedly fulfilling a goal or a dream. It may have been a minor dream or a significant dream of his, but it was nonetheless, in all likelihood, a dream he had. That dream was a dream of his but yet it unquestionably had value for his son as well. How many of us have forgotten, put aside, or given up on our dreams? How many of us have spent time and money trying to help our children fulfill some of theirs – no matter how big or small? Why is the Make a Wish Foundation such a powerful charitable organization? Isn’t it because we know what living out a dream means and we know it is… priceless?

In our society, we tend to put monetary value on everything. We know there are things that are priceless, but the reality is we typically spend our two most valuable resources to purchase those “priceless” moments. We spend time. We spend money. Our society values education. Education is priceless. We require students to put in typically at a bare minimum 1,100 hours a year attending a typical public school. Those hours don’t include time doing homework or other out of the classroom work. It also doesn’t include valuable hours some get through summer camps, scouting, 4H clubs, or a host of other educationally oriented private organizations. If you graduate high school you will have spent well over 13,200 hours on something we consider priceless. According to Public School Review, the average per pupil tuition in the United States ranges from state to state but in 2021 ranges from a low of $6,968 to a high of $35,944. From Census Bureau data, the average tuition was $12,201, which amounts to 694.1 billion dollars. We spend time and we spend money on education.

 Of course that investment includes years of studying reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, health, and the arts. To what degree schools do that well is obviously highly variable. My intent here is not to address what public schools do or do not do well. It is simply to point out that any training in anything mindset related is a by-product of anything that may be done in those other subject areas. While training in those other areas is of great value, not spending any money or time on a purposeful and planned mindset training curriculum is a tragic misappropriation of funds.

There are aspects of a thorough mindset training, especially during those preteen years, that are and maybe always will be done abstractly. There are also some habits and skills that are effectively taught in the current structure of education. There is, however, far more that can and should be done to train the mindsets of teens (and even their parents) so they are equipped to successfully navigate healthily and safely the storms of life while also experiencing joy and fulfillment as they set and attain goals or fulfill life-long dreams. It is your mindset that will play the largest part in determining the extent of your dreams and how well you fulfill them.

Not too long ago, I found a notebook I had made while going through my NLP certification with Tony Robbins. In that notebook were dreams and goals I had written down. Thirty-four years later it was fascinating to look back on those. Goals such as finding a wife, having four children, having twins, making an impact on the lives of young people have all been accomplished – yes I dreamed of having twins and I have twins. My wife fits the description of who I wanted to meet perfectly. Other goals that were much more financially specific have yet to be accomplished, but it was also interesting for me to notice that a number of those I have no desire for now, which may partially explain why they weren’t accomplished. They were probably never a true priority for me. Others I am still working on.

Most people simply don't have the "stick-to-itness" to train a growth mindset. Those who do will not find a better curriculum the this one. It is intensive. It takes dedication to complete. Its value… what is the value of having the mindset that puts you in the best position to fulfill you life’s purpose and achieve your goals and dreams… priceless?

Why would we as a society wait to have people do this training when they are adults and have all the responsibilities of adulthood instead of providing the training when the teenagers “job” is to be trained? Teenagers and college students are the ideal age to provide this training. The daily investment is in applying HEAT – habit, emotional, attitude, training. The daily investment in time is minimal, but time is not the issue. Motivation is. Finishing what you start is.

What can be done? Spread the word. Share this article with everyone you can. Get it to go viral. The message is important. Mindset training is priceless, but can be purchased with Mastercard – or visa, or PayPal.

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