I am now coming to the end of week two of my master’s degree in Advertising & the Creative Economy and I want to ask myself, how do I feel about it?
Every morning begins with the daily commute and, well, I hate trains. I really hate trains. I hate the person who decides to bring their ‘portable’ bike on during rush hour because they want to get healthy and cycle some of the way (but they don’t fool me), the person playing ‘bubble Shooter’ for the entire journey who I always wonder how they ever have any power left on their phone, the guy who insists I smell his new deodorant straight from the spot it was applied to, the guy who never holds on, the kids doing pull-ups from the bars, the recorded voice telling me “this train is for Cockfosters” (childish giggle), the 10, 000, 000 people that seem to get on when you’re getting off at the next station. Overall, more often than not, it’s a fairly horrendous experience.
Really though, the problem is not train or the people (at least entirely), it’s me. I wake up and the first thing I do is step into a situation that makes me feel uncomfortable. The crowds, the heat, the length of the journey. None of it is easy, but nothing is ever easy. So how do we get through it?
In the 2 weeks I have been at Kingston University, I have learned a lot. I have been given a lot of really good advice and information, but there is one word that has stuck out to me from every mentor. Mindset!
We all know stories of people overcoming adversity through hard work and resilience; tortoises beating goliaths, hares winning American Football scholarships even though they are much smaller than the average player – but how much of a difference does your mindset really make to your success?
Dr. Carol Dweck, author of ‘Mindset’ states “In a fixed mindset students believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are just fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb. In a growth mindset students understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort, good teaching and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it” (Wikipedia 2016).
Now, when I climb inside that cramped, sweaty, red and white box of hell, I try to keep a growth mindset. I try to realise that this is a good time to do something constructive like read, if I can get my book between me and some guys armpit.
Wikipedia (2016), Carol Dweck. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carol_Dweck (Accessed 06 of October 2016)