The Science Recruit
blog is about spreading the ‘growth mindset‘; the notion that human intelligence is not fixed because our brain is malleable [neuroplasticity]. Just like muscles, we can train our brain. The harder we struggle, the more it grows.
For as long as I can remember I had a ‘fixed mindset’. I couldn’t understand or memorize things at once, while smart people could do so instantly. Therefore, I must be stupid. So why bother struggling? Growing up in such a traditional environment—thinking successful people never struggle—stifled my curiosity and fascination for science. I became lazy.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. Smart and successful people struggle the most. When watching a skateboarder perform an incredible three-second stunt, we do not see the days or weeks of falling; when watching a musician’s near-perfect performance, we tend to neglect the thousands of hours of practice, and assume effortless talent. The same reasoning applies to successful mathematicians, historians, novelists, comedians, etc. Sure, there are the naturally talented like John Von Neumann who’s every endeavor comes like second nature. But, these are outliers, and they usually still work fervently.
To help remind myself and others of the latter, I modestly keep track of everything encompassing the growth of intelligence.
You can find my e-mail on www.facebroek.com.