What I’ve learned from my mum about developing a winning mentality

This is my mum in the picture, her name is Sima (for me she is and will always be mummy).

My mum has been in the education system for 39 years. Nowadays she’s the principal of “Mitzpe Savionim” school in Maalot, a city located in the northern part of Israel.

In her first year as principal of the school, my mum decided to encourage students that achieved personal excellence in regard to themselves. She did it in her own way.

While other schools usually give certificates of appreciation to students who receive good grades. My mum asked herself, “how can we encourage every child to develop themselves, not only those who excel, but also students that are making an effort, advancing themselves even just slightly, but are not categorized as exceptional?”

This question led her to establish a weekly gathering routine, where students from first grade to sixth were chosen every month, students that have made personal progress – even if it’s not reflected (yet) in their grades.
There were all kinds of students that made progress in a variety of ways: academically, socially and behaviorally. These students were chosen by their homeroom teacher.

For instance, if a student was misbehaving but he’s managed to behave slightly better, like one child , who used to hide under his desk when he was angry. Through talking about his feelings with his teacher, he learned to deal with his anger in a different way – that was his progress – a behavioral change.

In other cases, there were students who weren’t involved socially enough. A process of dialogue and personal guidance started. As a result of these talks, they began being more active, more contributing in a significant way. This was a social change.

Every Friday, students were arriving at the principal’s office. They were greeted with refreshments and beverages (usually for the grownups it’s coffee but in this case cocoa) ,and were seated around the table. In each gathering, videos were shown, containing messages of self-efficacy, self-esteem and self-belief. Each student was able to share the reason he or she felt they deserved to earn a certificate of appreciation.

At the end of the gathering certificates were given, photos were taken, photos that were sent to the (happy) parents. But students were granted with something larger, an even bigger gift, it was the recognition of their self-worth, knowing that making progress is the real victory – it is there where bliss resides and happiness is found.

Studies have shown that praising for effort and not for getting results – improves sense of worth and self-efficacy. By the way, it improves long term results as well (Carol Dweck’s book “Mindset” expands more on that).

Unfortunately society reinforces the value of dependency

More and more educators, parents and principals learn to praise for results, without noticing how they’re reinforcing the dependency element of our children’s self-worth, teaching them that they must wait for external approval in order to value themselves.

Which brings about a hidden chase for grades, sometimes the chase is out in the open. It’s when receiving praise and getting results makes us feel good, while others fail. We feel threatened when others do better than us, like they’re in front of us while we’re left behind.

I believe that we need to teach our children the right set of values for success. First and foremost is developing self-worth that is not based only on results.

The children that had my mum as their principal were fortunate to have her, but most other times, you don’t get someone like my mum…so I’ve tried to clone her…and last year I have finished writing my 3rd book called: Beyong Winning, Above Losing that teach how to develop a winning identity in obsessed results world.

I’ve been getting a lot of shares to this book, which I’m deeply thrilled and excited, this issue has struck a nerve with many of you. The day that our self-worth can change and be reframed – this is the day that our entire journey through life, our fate and our results will turn around. This is the first step that this book can do for you.

Grab your copy here Champ >>>

Best regards,
– Eitan


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