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"Not Yet" mindset: Increasing motivation and perseverance

Posted on November 5, 2016 at 9:52 PM Comments comments (874)
A couple of weeks ago, I saw a TED talk by Dr. Carol Dweck on the "power of not yet." She describes that a "not yet" mindset encourages students to approach novel and complex tasks with enthusiasm and grit. Her research was inspired by a high school in Chicago that was giving out scores of "not yet" to students who had not passed a course. A "not yet" score implies there is a learning curve and the person just has not reached it yet, rather than the negative connotations of a fail such as "I'm nothing. I'm nowhere." 

In Dweck's early research, she observed that when 10 year old students were given problems that were slightly too hard for them, those who reacted positively made statements such as "I love a challenge," or "I was hoping this would be informative." Those children understood that their "abilities could be developed," stayed engaged, and hence had a growth mindset. Such children process errors, learn from it, and correct it. Students who feel negatively--that it's tragic, catastrophic, their intelligence is up for judgment & they have failed, disengage.

She advises parents and teachers (1) to praise students for their efforts, strategies, focus, and perseverance rather than intelligence or talent. She describes that when her and scientists from the University of Washington teamed up to create a new online math game that rewarded effort, strategy, and progress rather than the typical game that rewards only the right answer, they got more effort, perseverance, engagement over longer periods of time, and strategies, on really difficult problems. Second, she advises (2)  that just utilizing words "yet" or "not yet," give students a confidence booth and increases persistence.  

To watch or read the TED Talk this is the link:

Motivation and Life

Posted on November 27, 2010 at 4:59 AM Comments comments (218)
Motivation gives purpose and direction to behavior. It stimulates energy in people and propels people to not only take action but to stay committed to a job, a role, or goal and to exert persistent effort in attaining that goal.
So ask yourself, what are you committed to creating? What is the vision you have for yourself, for your life? Areas you may set goals in can include your relationship with your self and others such as friends, family, counselors, and mentors, health, money/finances, career, education, spirituality/religion, service, extra curricular activities and whatever else matters to you.
Once you set your goals, allow yourself to be guided by your vision and not by how you feel in the moment. For instance, you may be struggling with depression and perhaps you have decided to tackle your depression by getting moving. More specifically, you have decided that you will wake up early every morning and take a shower. But one morning, you wake up really tired, sad, and/or apathetic. You just don’t feel like getting out of bed that morning. But in that moment, you have a choice. You can choose your actions based on how you feel in that moment or choose actions that are guided by your VISION.
Sometimes this takes PRACTICE. We have all made promises and goals to ourselves and broken them many times. But rather than blaming and criticizing yourself, which will probably cause you to feel bad, shrink, and give up, just notice what happened and recommit. Move on. That moment is gone and a new moment is here.  Choose again.
Be kind and forgiving to yourself, and know that the path you are on is perfect for you and the journey your soul is on. We are all here for a reason and rather than question and doubt the PATH you are on, awaken to it, be conscious to it, be alive in it, and have faith in it because the universe does not know time and space. The only moment you have is now. The past is gone and the future is not here. So, honor your Path by realizing there is no where to get to as everything that matters is happening NOW. The journey is PRESENCE and DIRECTION is more important than speed. 
Yasi Shamtoub, M.A.