Successful People Constantly Improve Themselves By Learning

Successful People Constantly Improve Themselves By Embracing The Learning Process

Anyone who has accomplished something extraordinary has just put in the time and effort to learn, while others did not. The people who built this world are no smarter than you are.

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Have you ever wondered how some people seem to constantly be improving themselves? If you're one of those people, good for you! If you're not, you can be.

It all comes down to your perspective about learning.

As we get older, we tend to lose our sense of wonder and curiosity. We grow into the same habits at work and at home, and we lose our willingness to learn new things but that doesn't mean we lose our ability to.

Carol Dweck has studied why some succeed and others don't. She coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the beliefs people have about learning. If you understand that skills and intelligence can be developed (in other words, that you can get smarter by putting in the effort), then you have a growth mindset. People with growth mindsets tend to embrace challenges, persist regardless of obstacles, and naturally view effort as the way of achieving mastery.

When they fail, they see it as a learning experience and a reason to try again. These people also end up achieving more.

On the other hand, those who have fixed mindsets tend to perceive intelligence as static. They avoid challenges, view effort as relatively useless, and may give up when they encounter obstacles.

When they fail, they see it as a reason to quit. These people tend to achieve less than they potentially could.

The truth is that intelligence and abilities are indeed adaptable and can be improved upon. Dr. Dweck and many other neuroscientists are finding that the human brain is capable of learning so much more than we ever believed. When we learn, we build more and more connections in our brain, so learning becomes easier over time. It can be hard to get over the learning curve when trying to understand a new concept or learn a new skill, but humans are particularly good at picking up new things. A lot of us just don't try in the first place because we dread the process, or we believe we're just not cut out for it.

The good news is, you can develop your mindset from a fixed one to a growth one. You can decide to learn purely for the sake of learning or to be more intelligent or skilled than you were before. You can change the way you think about your own abilities. You can challenge the boundaries of what you thought you could do and see those boundaries expand or vanish.

I'm not necessarily talking about learning in the context of school. Obviously, we all attempt to learn when we have to.

I'm talking about learning for yourself.

Learning for the grade is a whole other process than learning to learn. But why would anyone do this? Well, people are happier when they're working towards a goal. In addition to that, actually achieving the goal is a satisfying and invigorating feeling. By working towards a new skill, such as learning a new language or instrument, we feel this innate sense of purpose in our daily lives. It's that feeling that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning. Because you know that with each day, you're improving yourself in some way (no matter how small). And you're excited to see what you will become.

Lately, I've been fascinated by the idea of teaching myself new things, whether it be something as random as juggling or as useful as investing in stocks, and I've noticed that my perspective on learning has started to change. I know that no matter how amateur I am at something right now, I can and will be better and more skilled eventually. I'm confident that I'll get over the hump at some point, and instead of feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, I'm learning to enjoy the process of getting there.

It has opened my mind, encouraging me to try new things and venture out of my comfort zone.

You don't have to have some innate gift or talent to be successful. And it doesn't matter how long it takes you to learn something. In fact, you might realize that once you let go of your fixed mindset by embracing the challenge and putting in effort, you'll be surprised at how fast you'll make gains. What matters is that you're working towards a goal, and when you get there, you'll agree it was 100% worth it.

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27 Things To Do With Your Friends When You're Bored

A little bit of fun for any season.
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I am sure many could relate: you are texting or sitting around with your friends and no one knows what they want to do, everyone is bored, and everyone is flat out of ideas that are actually realistic and achievable. Boredom makes an appearance at it's finest moments... always.

Here are 27 things you can do with your friend in just about any season (some are exclusive to a particular season) when boredom takes over!

1. Find a local coffee shop to try out.

2. Or better yet, find a local restaurant that you’ve all been wanting to try.

3. Go shopping at each others' favorite stores.

4. Tie balloons with positive messages inside of them to random places in your town to uplift a few souls.

5. Cook a homemade meal for a homeless person and deliver it.

6. Get crafty and create a time capsule that you and your friends can open after (x) amount of years.

7. Make your own sushi.

8. Plant flowers in little pots for your homes.

9. Road trip to random local cities and do some exploring.

10. Have a photo shoot.

11. Buy or create a blank page’s journal filled art, writing, sketches, and pictures of your friends that can be used as a memory book.

12. Visit a pumpkin patch.

13. Go stargazing in the middle of the night with a blanket and a few midnight snacks.

14. Go to a haunted house.

15. Go to a movie with the group.

16. Have a giant sleepover with board games, snacks, movies, and crazy pajamas.

17. Have a game night with the peeps.

18. Have a gingerbread making contest.

19. Have a bonfire when it gets cool outside.

20. Make homemade ice cream.

21. Search on maps for the nearest natural spring or river and go swimming or canoeing.

22. Take a camera, your group of friends, and stroll around town taking pictures of your adventure.

23. Use the pictures you take on your adventures and create a photo wall in your home.

24. Have a "Madea" movie night.

25. Throw a themed party.

26. Write letters of encouragement to children (or adults) in hospitals.

27. Look up random keywords on YouTube for possibly some of the best videos ever.

Cover Image Credit: aurimas_m / Flickr

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What It's Like Being An Introverted Leader

Different people lead differently.

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When you think of the qualities a leader or someone in a leadership position should have, being out-going is often mentioned. However, I don't think that always has to be the case. I've been a part of many different leadership opportunities and programs, yet I'm still the same socially awkward hermit I've always been. Being out-going and extroverted doesn't qualify someone to be a good leader, just like being shy and introverted makes you a bad one, it's about your skills.

When I went to a leadership program at a summer camp, I often heard that I didn't talk very much or I was too quiet and shy for a summer camp entertaining kids, I should have been more talkative. I'd also get a few counselors coming up to be that when they were in the same program I was in, they were also the same things I was and not to worry about it. Even now, I'm still quite and relatively shy person, but that doesn't discredit my ability to be a good leader, or anyone else's.

In my high school ASB (Associated Student Body) class, we took a fun personality test to find out what kind of leaders we were; someone who likes to be in charge, be in the spotlight, more organized, or stay in the background. I got someone who likes to be in the spotlight, which was a surprise to me too, but thinking about it, it makes sense. I'm not overly out-going, but given the right motivation, I don't mind going up to people and striking up a conversation.

I can also say that at some point I have possessed all four of these personalities or traits over the course of my different leadership roles. The reason I'm even bringing this personality test up is that it definitely shows that there are different types of leaders out there, and not all of them have to be extraverted. I tried to find the one I took but couldn't find the exact one, but if you're interested there are a ton of different ones out there.

Over time, I've learned and worked on many valuable skills, like conflict resolution, time management, actually listening to what others have to say, and more. I keep myself up to date with my surroundings and what's going on in the world, and I still meet and hang out with people, when I have time. People grow and learn on their own pace, we should let them without overly critiquing them.

In the end, whether someone is out-going or not shouldn't determine the ability they have to be a good leader, sure in some cases it's better to more extraverted, but it's not a make or break trait. So long as they have their mind in the right place and know how to handle different tasks and situations, it doesn't matter.

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