The growth mindset, the imperative to grow is the main difference between people who live a life of quiet desperation and those who don't... but... is it learned behavior? Can it be learned? Acquired? Attuned? Implanted? DNA activated?
I have a theory that may sound racist, that feels like I grabbed it out of thin air, but I muscle tested it, and the test was YES, so let me share it with you.
You don't have to believe it. I'd just like you to hear me: it will help me greatly to take it a step further: make it applicable to you, wherever you are, so you can benefit from it.
Before I share the theory, let me tell you about a similar theory that was proven successful, so much that movies were made from it. One example I loved was Freedom Writers.
The example I want to share is the #10 theory. Or we could also call it "The Power of 10"
I heard it from Sarah Singer-Nourie, it is her story, it happened to her.
Sarah graduated as a teacher, and was sent to the South Side of Chicago. I don't know what it is about the south side of a city... but it seems that all the crime, all the gangs, all the poverty finds its way to the south side.
And so it is in Chicago, according to Sarah.
The school she started her career as a teacher was famous for drop-out rates, for teenage pregnancies, and for its low grades overall.
The principal of the school prepared Sarah for what was coming: uphill struggle, no results.
She mentally imagined putting a 10 over her students' heads, and of course her own. It took a little while before the students got that she was different from all the "let me survive this disaster" type of teachers, "let me just go through the motions" type of teachers: she actually demanded the best of her students, and eventually she got it. The best wasn't as good as some others' best, but it was the best any of her students could give.
Unfortunately her extraordinary results got her invitations for different jobs, but eventually she became a management consultant, teaching the Power of 10 method to managers.
I have tested it, and it works. Depending on where you are on the level of consciousness, you may be already at a place, where you can be self-managing, and put a 10 over your own head: probably not. I am.
And now, here is the secret theory: According to Judaism, G-d approached Abraham some 5700 years ago and offered to make a covenant with the Jews. You'll be my chosen people, and you promise to abide by my laws. That was the deal.
Now, as you know, I do not believe this is exactly how it went down, but something similar must have happened, maybe someone imagined it, but the results are undeniable.
What does it mean to be chosen, to be chosen people? It's someone, in this case, God putting a 10 over your head.
Of course, you need to do the work, work that is quite counter to human nature: restrictions, growth, study, production, patience, work, earning your keep, being just, giving a 10th of what you earn to the less fortunate, etc.
Do you think that without putting that 10, "god" would have gotten that much work out of the Jews? I doubt it. A 9 would skip some of the harder ones. An 8 would skip most of it. And a 5, average, would do none of the work.
But being a 10 has its rewards and it has its duty...
The Jews, in spite of all the persecution, throughout the ages, survived. None of the people, tribes, nations in that part of the world survived... just the ones that allowed and agreed to put a 10 over their heads, to be the chosen people.
Education, skill building, charity became second nature to Jews, no matter what country they lived in.
About 100 years ago it all changed: intermarriages, assimilation eroded the benefits of 5600 years of mindset: I am a 10 and will do what 10's do, study, build skills, give to charity.
But even in those mixed marriages, the husband longs to go home and be who he is... I am observing this on my two brothers. Being a 10 is a curse, and being a 10 is a blessing.
They also proved that for a long time, someone else has to hold the number over your head, because ever fiber of your being is trying to get you back to mediocrity, to dullness, to living an ordinary (and unhappy) life, just to fit in, just to be accepted by the people who live perfectly ordinary lives, pretending to be better.
I am no god, but I am the best you got, when it comes to holding a 10 over your head, and demanding that you behave in life like a 10.