It is easy to think when it comes to success that those who are smart and have a clear sense of what they want will leave the rest behind. I was in the grip of these messages until I met Amir, a Googler from the Google for Education team. A conversation with Amir convinced me that success is less about intelligence and more about the attitude one has. That being said, I am not here to discourage you from gaining more knowledge but to tell you that there is more to success than just being smart.
Here are Amir’s recommended strategies that will fine-tune your growth mindset to positively impact your work ethics and performance.
1. Be flexible: While being sure of yourself and what you want is good, Amir believes that we should not corral ourselves too rigidly into a narrow path. The road to success is not a linear one and what is necessary is a growth mindset instead of a fixed one. As we progress through our career, we have to constantly change our lenses which are different perspectives which provide different questions that help us arrive at a solution. A great example here is a scientist examining a microorganism at different magnifications to discover different things. When we have a growth mindset, we are more willing to look at a matter from different angles, embrace challenges, and treat every situation as an opportunity to learn something new.
2. Appreciate progress more than results: In this age of instant gratification, where pressing a button on a gadget provides an immediate response, we are losing the ability to wait for long-term rewards. In response, the marketplace has been geared to cater to our impulses, thus fuelling our greed and need for more, right now. Besides that, this generation appears to be losing a sense of adjustment and empathy which are important factors to progress and achieve success. We must not take for granted that many things that have become part of the fabric of life, like creating a Facebook live video or calling an Uber, are the result of many individuals’ years of hard work and effort. It is good to internalise the perspective that every individual will have to go through the grind of learning and growing to develop effectively.
3. Add value to every task: Amir asked “If I ask you to make a photocopy of the document, what will you do?” Often, new hires find tasks such as these to be beneath them. I am guilty as charged! However, what makes an employee stand out from the rest is the one who made the effort to add value by checking the formatting, proof-reading the document, checking if the pages are correctly numbered, etc. The foundation of this is a mindset to look at every opportunity – be it taking minutes or scheduling interviews – as a chance to be diligent and hone a skill. Convince your supervisors you can do a brilliant job with smalls tasks first, and the bigger responsibilities will come.
4. Invest in yourself: To prepare for the future, you must continuously invest in yourself to be at the cutting edge of your skills. Learn something new, take up a free course, meet new people or even take a break. It is through these ways and many others that an individual will advance while remaining relevant to the current trends and time. Inspired by the person that Dr. House’s television character is based on, Amir reads three randomly picked articles every day. While he does not necessarily fully understand the articles he reads – covering fields as varied as biology and geophysics – he is certain that in the future this patchwork of knowledge will come together to form a unified whole and benefit him.
5. Compare yourself only with your yester-self: While acknowledging someone is doing better than you is commendable, the problem begins when we do not want someone to do better than us. This behaviour is toxic as he believes that our journeys should be about investing in ourselves instead of looking better than someone; this only creates a barrier to success and achieving our full potential. Amir explained there was a time he was emotionally burnt out and slipped into depression because he was doggedly determined to be on top of the heap. It was through the process of learning to invest in himself, having gratitude, and, most importantly, patience that things turned around for him which resulted in him being where he is today.
Would you like to learn more tricks to set your attitude for work? We have many mentors that can help!
Here are a few awesome mentors to check out:
Amir Amha – Former Program Coordinator at Google Malaysia
|Ashley SueLyn – Corporate Development, Planning, and Strategy at UEM Edgenta Berhad | Daniel Phang – KYC Analyst at JP Morgan Chase Bank Berhad | AJ Minai – TEDx Speaker | Storyteller | Mentor | Digerati at TEDx
Written by: Neekita Patel
Content Creator At FutureLab
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