You are awesome … two-thirds of kids in school today will end up doing a job that hasn’t even been invented yet … but don’t worry!

February 14, 2019

“Did you know that two-thirds of kids in school today will end up doing a job that hasn’t even been invented yet? That is truly mind-boggling.

And do you know what else? On average, you’ll probably have at least 17 different jobs in your lifetime (but don’t worry, you won’t have to do them all at the same time).

The world around us is changing so fast. It’s no wonder that we sometimes feel anxious about how we fit into it. We question whether we are smart enough. We get a bit scared to have a go in case we look stupid. And sometimes it’s tempting to quit before we’ve even tried having a go at something.

Lots of anxieties and worries can hold us back. So let’s take a look and see how we can overcome them. Because it’s good to be READY. PREPPED. CONFIDENT. ON FIRE! We need to find our confidence to deal with all the changes and challenges that life can bring.”

That’s an extract from the new children’s book by Matthew Syed introducing the “growth mindset” in a way that is practical, understandable and inspiring to kids. And adults too.

Having spent the last year working with the business leadership team of Microsoft, I realise what a difference the growth mindset can make to an organisation. More open, more confident, more innovative, more collaborative, more positive, more inspired.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, describes how the concept is perhaps the most important in turning around Microsoft from a struggling incumbent, surviving on its past glories, to being a forward-looking, future-shaping innovator again.

You can read how he is doing it here.

“The choice is yours” continues Syed.

“As well as standing on podiums, and having my picture in the newspapers, the journey I went on changed me in so many ways. Here are some of the things I learned along the way:

No one is born with a table-tennis bat in their hand, a calculator in their head or Mandarin as their second language.

Getting good at something takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. (In fact, especially not overnight – I’m usually asleep.)

Becoming awesome at something takes time; becoming a world champion takes even longer.

Everyone that learns to become good at something has made loads (and I mean LOADS) of mistakes

No one wants to admit how hard they practise, so don’t believe anyone who tells you they are effortlesslybrilliant or clever. They are very probably lying.

I don’t instantly give up when things get hard. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean that I am rubbish and should stop trying. It often just means I haven’t found the right strategy (the equivalent of Omega and Mr Charters) quite yet.

I can’t be good at everything. I mean, there are definitely a lot of things I could be better at if I actually practised them (I tried to mend my skateboard once, I fixed the king pin but two wheels fell off. DIY skateboard mechanics are NOT recommended). But there are only 24 hours in a day.

Of course, I’m still as likely as the next person to sleepily put my pants on back to front first thing in the morning. I’m only human, after all, but I still find it amazing to think that small decisions we make about whether or not to give up on something difficult can have such a big impact on our lives. It would’ve been very easy in my case to have turned my back on table tennis because I was rubbish at it. And believe me I was bad! But I didn’t. I set my mind to it, persevered, improved my skills and set off on my journey to become the very best I could be.

So, before we look at ways to take on our new challenges, let’s look at what might be holding us back. What might make us give up when things get a bit hard? I can tell you from my experience that overcoming these obstacles can only make you stronger.”

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