If there is one event that I like the most in the academe, that would be the graduation day. That is one of the occasions that most people would really remember and value. I can speak for myself at least – the recollection of how it feels to be walking on a red carpet, wearing that black gown, and with the spotlight towards you is indeed a sweet memory. I have also attended the graduation of my students, my siblings and a few loved ones and the mood has always been joyous. You will see bright faces facing the audience with pride and honor, and no matter how boring the names might be, it’s always a heartwarming experience.
Aside from all the fancy stuff in it, what I’ve always been looking forward to is the commencement speech. You will hear a lot of encouraging words empowering the new batch, sharing them some hope, and equipping them with the mindset that they need to survive in the next chapter that they are about to enter. You feel a burning sense of passion for talent, skills, and attitude that brings success and witness how a path of hope seems to open for the young generation twho are about to enter life as professionals.
You Can’t have a Static Mindset in a Dynamic World
According to psychology, a person’s belief system plays a big part in one’s abilities because it serves as a fuel that can influence his behaviors towards success. According to Carol Dweck in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, a “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way. A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Between the two, the latter promotes passion for learning while the other always seeks approval.
Today, where everything is fast-paced, and change is inevitable, having a strong courage to face rejections and failures is important together with a teachable attitude – these are the drivers of success.
Establish a Growth Mindset
Starting with the end in mind is great, but that’s not all about it. Along the road, you will experience twists and turns that may sometimes blur that clear vision. Start by having a growth mindset by following these tips:
Take Courage to Get Started
It’s still true, “a journey with a thousand miles begin with a single step”. Unless you take your first step, you won’t get anything done. It’s always hard at the beginning but once you’re there, you will feel much better. No sailor has reached an island without launching it’s first sail.
Embrace the Journey
On the course of your journey, you will get into unfamiliar places – those that are outside your comfort zones. Accept that those are parts of the journey and along the way, you might need to encounter new experiences that will equip you with the skills that you may not have yet. Accept the fact that occasional failures may happen but don’t be harsh to yourself and consider them as part of the learning process.
Celebrate Small Successes
You will not encounter failures all the time. Along the way there are small victories which may not actually look exactly like how you envisioned success (or a portion of it) but are still considerable as small wins. Give yourself small rewards and check where in your long-term goals would these qualify as a stepping stone. Remember that no labor is vain, and everything is a part of the big picture that you have in mind.
Focus on Opportunities, Not Problems
Your mindset when in front of roadblocks matter. If you see these obstacles as opportunities for growth instead of problems, you will be able to deal with them differently. Remember that opportunities encourage creativity and resourcefulness. These allow you to think more logically and practically in front of different scenarios and focus on what can be accomplished rather what can stop you from accomplishing things. Try not to complain and focus your energy on the steps that you can take to overcome these roadblocks.
Surround yourself with people who can give you constructive criticisms. You will need honest opinions from your peers from time to time as a check and balance and to see from a different perspective. Try to also observe how people act on similar situations as your and learn from them.