People and societies around the world are designed to operate from or appreciate a success driven mindset.
Maybe, it is time to reconsider this and start valuing a different mindset. Through this article, I intend to create some unrest and initiate the shift.
The overarching goal of education is to propagate the creation of a world that has a beautiful present and a hopeful future. Having worked in the realm of education management for over a decade, I have grappled with some thought provoking facts that have inspired me to challenge the beliefs around the popular success driven mindset and how it impacts the overall life and its development in today’s world.
Some overwhelming facts:
· Happiness is on a gradual decline: According to a report by WHO, the depression rates have increased by over 18% in past one decade (WHO, 2017). Various other studies also point out that depression in teens is on a rise across the world. Apart from the unhappy teens, millennials are known to be the most stressed out generation. The stress level studies conducted by American Psychology Association, have suggested the over dependence on technology as one of the prime factors towards a highly stressed out millennial population.
· Health is on a gradual decline: Various studies point out at the harmful effect of the industrialization of farming on our health as well as the overall planet’s health. Today, we eat genetically modified and pesticide laid food, breathe toxic air, drink contaminated water and sleep hugging our various smart devices. Various reports by health and medical organizations across the world have indicated a damaging connection between these environmental factors and our everyday health.
· The balance between economic growth and sustainability is disturbed: Vladimir Vernadsky, a Russian Bio-geologist (1926), had indicated generations’ ago, about the impact of interdependence between human life and earth’s resources. The highly success and economic growth-oriented mindset of our species, has led to the creation of consumer driven societies, GDP driven nations and irresponsible innovation driven corporates. This has drastically disturbed the ecological balance, thus threatening our survival.
Despite these alarming facts, that most of us are aware of, we continue to get up every morning and diligently contribute towards a world that is unhappy, unhealthy, and not sustainable. Our ‘I am too busy’ or ‘I don’t care’, or perhaps, ‘what can I do’ attitude, is not allowing us to stop, think and reflect. Now, some of you might call me a pessimist. I am neither a pessimist, nor an overtly optimist. I am a realist, and my realistic attitude is urging to bring you out of your comfort zone and join a mission to bring a change in the mindset of today’s children, adults, communities, societies, nations, and the entire world.
Our existing education system, and hence our society (or vice-versa), is highly operated by a success driven mindset. From the time we are born, we are appreciated for producing good results, winning competitions and are inspired by earning rewards. As we grow, the same system of reward and appreciation is propagated. Our mindset aspires to be successful and rich. We focus on individual success that is measured by either winning money or winning a high position. Its all about success and winning.
Now think, what will happen, if we can change this mindset. If right from the time we are born, the emphasis is purely on learning. There is no concept of winning, competing or exams. The sole purpose of living is to explore and create for learning, and not for personal gain. A learning mindset, would free us from thinking solely about ourselves, as meaningful learning happens in relationship to our world. This mindset will create people and societies that are more aware and empathetic towards the fine balance between growth and sustainability. Such individuals will not only be conscious about the consequences but will also have the courage to disrupt and change.
Today, the world needs change. It needs to break free from the vicious circle of success, economic growth, personal monetary gains, and sheer ignorance. With a hope and commitment towards bringing this change, I would like to invite all individuals and organizations, to think, and participate in this movement towards shifting from a ‘success driven mindset’ to a ‘learning driven mindset’.