There is nothing like fixed intelligence – Everyone can get better with hard work!

    By IvyTies
    There is nothing like fixed intelligence – Everyone can get better with hard work!

    Have you ever given up on a subject because you thought that you don’t have the necessary talent or innate intelligence?


    Consider this example. Rashmi (name changed to protect privacy), a 12-year old in a small tourist town in western India, wanted to become an astronaut. However, she was an average student in school, not the top performer. Rashmi’s parents and teachers kept telling her that she is not intelligent enough to study physics, so she should focus on something easier, like humanities and social sciences. Only the best students can dream of physics, others have to settle for something easier that matches their intelligence.


    Rashmi could have been like most of us, accepting society’s claims that she doesn't have the intelligence necessary for succeeding in a very difficult subject, like physics and astronomy. However, even though she struggled with math and science in school, she refused to believe that intelligence is fixed. With continued hard work, she got a Bachelor’s and a Master’ degree in Astronomy and Physics and is now doing her PhD in physics in Europe.


    Rashmi’s example is supported by 30 years of research conducted by Stanford University professor Carol Dweck. Professor Dweck’s research shows that students’ beliefs about intelligence become self-fulfilling reality—if you believe that your intelligence is fixed, you will have difficultly learning new material. But if you believe that your intelligence can grow over time, you will actually be able to learn even very difficult things, provided you work hard enough (Dweck, 2006, Mindset).


    So the next time you feel like giving up on a subject, tell yourself that with consistent hard work, you will become more and more intelligent and ultimately be able to master any subject!