From the Principal

Success: Is it in our heads?

“What if changing your mindset was the key to changing your life? And the key to transformation could be accepting that, yes, you can be busy but you can also make important steps towards reaching your goals and dreams” –  Sophie Scott, ABC News.

Changing the way we think about our life and our circumstances is more than navel gazing, it can actually make a significant difference in how successful we are and how fulfilled we are.

Perception = Reality = Perception.

Our habits of mind have been shown to have a dramatic impact on how we operate in the world and how we deal with circumstances. Like physical training, training our minds to focus on seeing the opportunities in our world and developing the discipline to think appropriately about these opportunities can make a great difference in the quality of our lives.

“Better is possible. It does not take genius. It takes diligence. It takes moral clarity. It takes ingenuity. And above all, it takes a willingness to try.” — Atul Gawande Better: A Surgeon’s notes on Performance.

Carole Dweck’s work on the positive mindset and the studies on developing resilience have shown that a positive state of mind can turn what seems impossible to some people into manageable goals in others. Attitude really does count and it can manifest itself in the physical as well as in a person’s psychology.

In a study by Fabrizio Benedetti, a professor of physiology and neuroscience at the University of Turin, patients were either openly given medication by a doctor or given medication through an intravenous line. What they found in the patient’s response to treatment was remarkable and consistent, Dr Crum said. “When patients were aware of the treatment and expected to receive a benefit, the treatment was highly effective,” she said. In fact, patients with anxiety reported a 25 per cent improvement, while those with Parkinson’s disease and high blood pressure achieved 15 per cent improvement. In other words, it was their mindset, not the reality and facts, which was key to how their bodies reacted.


Improving Your Outlook

  1. Keep moving forward and don’t focus on how difficult life can be.
  2. Alter your reactions to life’s frustrations.
  3. Take time to relax.
  4. Do activities you’re good at.
  5. Avoid media that causes negative thinking.
  6. Try humour.
  7. Get good at being rejected. Rejection is a skill.
  8. Use positive words to describe your life. The words that we use have a lot more power than we think.
  9. Don’t let yourself get dragged into other people’s complaints.
  10. Make someone else smile.

Alia Crum’s TedX talk: Change your mindset, change the game

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