I, like many of you, shutter when you hear youth say, “I can’t”. There is just this visceral response in me that wants to grab the nearest set of pom poms and say, “You can, you can”.
But sometimes motivation is more than that. Sometimes it requires picking up youth responses in a little more strategic way. Enter the world of optimism. Optimism is not always about the world being rainbows and daisies (love me some rainbows and daisies though) but it is about hope for great things to come and it can be learned.
Several years ago a man by the name of Martin Seligman decided he was going to study what optimism really meant. He noticed that optimistic people tended to be more resilient and have higher levels of well-being so he wanted to understand what the heck was really going on. So, between his research and my personal experience this is what I want to encourage you with today.
Let’s say your child just came home with a bad grade on a Math test. They may react (internally or externally) with one of two general types of responses:
1. “I suck at math”
2. “I didn’t do well on the story problems of my math test today”
The first statement is GENERAL and PERMANENT.
The second statement is TEMPORARY and SPECIFIC.
How are they feeling after the first statement? …if it’s me, like I never want to even try to do math again.
How are they feeling after the second statement?….more motivated on what to work on in order to do better next time.
So, when youth respond to failure, teach them to use words that respond SPECIFICALLY and TEMPORARY and you will increase their motivation and optimism over a life time of performances.
When youth respond to success, teach them to respond GENERALLY and PERMANENT (“I’m good at math”) and they will crystallize their own gifts and skills in order to do great and mighty things.
Both of these are affirmed in the TPX Skill in the Higher Power Mind Confidence LESSON.
Dear God, I pray that whoever reads this gets a word or idea that will armor youth with the world changing power of the mind. Amen.