You Can Learn Anything

By MJ Ali

Do these sound familiar?

“I just can’t learn this.” “I will never be good at that.” “My brain just doesn’t work that way.”

Our brains are amazing and mysterious things, and if the study of neuroscience has proven anything, it’s that our capabilities are not fixed. When we exercise and challenge our minds, our capacity for learning actually grows to meet those challenges.

This “fixed mindset” is the belief that we’re born with a certain level of intelligence, aptitude and talent, and that it can’t change. Well, that’s a fib.

You can do anything you set your mind to.” “The possibilities are endless.” “The sky is the limit.”

Enter the “growth mindset”. It levels the playing field for everyone to learn as much and as well as they want. It’s a way of thinking that nurtures the flexibility of our minds and different learning styles.

“I’m going to keep practicing.” “I will get really good at this.” “The more I do it, the better I get.”

Grit is that passion, stamina and determination that’s nurtured by our belief that we really can do or learn anything we set our minds to, and can stick with it until we reach our goals. It’s the little engine that can, and does.

This short TED Talk with Angela Lee Duckworth talks about grit in a way we can all understand and relate to. Based on lots of research, Angela shows that it’s not about talent or IQ, it’s grit that determines success.

Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk is embedded in an informative and inspiring article: 5 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset Using Grit and Resilience

Jo Boaler and her students at Stanford have a fun video about learning math. Wait, don’t let the “math” part scare you away! The growth mindset she and her students demonstrate can be applied to anything (including math!).

John Spencer’s YouTube video uses engaging, creative graphics to illustrate growth mindset versus fixed mindset.

Now, don’t get a big head about it, but the more you learn, the stronger your brain gets. Like weightlifting for your gray matter. Find the fun, discover what sparks your passion, and dive in.

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