Maybe it’s been a while since you were in school, but if you look at any middle school curriculum or schedule these days, you will likely see a slot for SEL — social and emotional learning. SEL is an integral component of human development. It’s so important, it has become a substantial addition to the educational system.
SEL is the process of acquiring and applying the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to do the following: manage emotions, create individual identities, achieve goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. Wow! That’s a lot to learn and even more to teach.
SEL and mindset
These ‘life skills’ carry through to adulthood and must receive constant attention. However, adults tend to have a different name for this same process. We like to say, “We are working on ourselves.” To do so, we set personal goals that encompass various realms such as work, relationships, wellness, and other areas related to ‘self.’ However, with careful examination, it’s all just social-emotional maintenance. And we do it effectively to function in this world and develop a positive mindset.
A mindset is a person’s usual attitude or mental state and can be affected by outside forces. You know this scenario — you wake up tired, it’s grey and gloomy outside, and you are out of coffee. A definite negative mindset has been established.
Just as outside forces can determine your mindset, you also have the power to establish your mental state with positive or negative thinking. As bad as that day with no coffee started, you absolutely have the ability within you to reframe your thinking and ‘turn that frown upside down.’
Becoming a better ‘you’
SEL curriculums in schools establish a framework that focuses on positive thinking, but they take a deep dive into a whole lot more. Part of the concept’s beauty is that in making you a better person inside by goal setting and ‘doing the work,’ you become a better person on the outside. That’s a simplistic summary, so maybe some clarification is in order.
First of all, most of this information is common sense. And much of it is based on those SEL curriculums already in place. Their framework is perfect for anyone of any age who needs a little introspection and grounding. It seems to be the ideal place to start when trying to set personal goals.
The start of a new year is always an opportune time to work on becoming a better you. Being aware of the following ten mindsets is a huge first step at reaching your greatest potential, living a satisfying life, and being a respectable asset to your community.
10 Mindsets to propel you into 2021
You are what you think you are
Great people are usually just ordinary folks with lofty goals and exceptional drive and determination. If your mindset is grounded in confidence with a winning attitude, the sky’s the limit. If you think you are a winner, you will have far better chances of succeeding. A defeated perspective gets you nowhere.
Do all things with purpose
We aren’t always lucky enough to do what we want whenever we want. Adults have lives with responsibilities. While you might not like some of the chores you are assigned, they are your chores. If you do all things with purpose, not just the things you like, you’ll feel better about yourself. And others will know they can count on you and that you have a stellar work ethic. Life is good with a ‘job well done.’
Find your passion
Aside from having a winning attitude, you must have a passion for something. Passion will drive you to do great things and accomplish your goals. A life without an emphasis will be mediocre. When you discover your passion, you find your purpose. When you find your purpose, you begin living the life you always wanted.
No man or woman is an island
No one accomplishes their dreams entirely alone. Great athletes had coaches. Scientists who make tremendous discoveries had teachers and partners. We are all connected. We all play a part in the world, and we touch other peoples’ lives in ways we may not even realize. We need to allow others to help us and help others when we can. This connectedness leads to an enriched mindset and life.
You are responsible for you
The consequences of your actions are completely your own. You are entirely responsible for everything you want and everything you do. Not putting in the effort necessary to achieve a goal is your fault. Understanding the actions and consequences of your choices and owning them 100 percent puts you one step closer to moving forward.
Showing gratitude is one of the best ways to get right with your life. Everyone has something to be thankful for. Looking for the positive rather than the negative is a useful life strategy everyone can use. Telling other people you appreciate them or being grateful they are in your life is a sure heart-healer for both you and the recipient. These types of actions go the distance when it comes to developing a positive mindset because they have the power to make you feel good from the inside out.
Confidence is one thing, and cockiness is another. Confidence is sexy. Confidence sets the tone for a winning attitude, and being a humble winner shows you have class. Bragging or talking smack about others is one of the best ways to alienate yourself. Live your life just as the song says, “Be humble and kind.” You’ll go much farther in life with this mindset and feel better doing so.
Be generous and giving
Most people have what they need in life. And if you don’t, you appreciate the people who go out of their way to help. People who find their purpose by assisting others live an exceptionally blissful life. Most people who have donated time or items to help someone else will tell you no amount of worldly things can make you feel as good as helping someone in need.
Quality over quantity
Sometimes certain people seem to be good at everything. But chances are, you only have a couple of outstanding talents or skills. You don’t have to be great at everything to be a ‘winner.’ Understand that quality over quantity is always a great mantra. Be your best at one or two things, and leave the rest for someone else. You can concentrate much better without such a broad scope. So focus and find your happiness in a few fantastic things you can rock.
Never stop learning
A mindset open to learning and trying new things leads to a happy, adventurous life. Take the opportunities you are given to do something new. Take that trip somewhere you’ve only read about in books. Live a fulfilling life as long as you are physically able because you only regret the things you didn’t do. Never stop learning.
In closing: An idea to ponder
Maybe you are thinking, “new year, new me,” and you are inspired to set some goals for 2021. Just remember, life is what you make it. You don’t have to be a ‘new you’ to find happiness in this world, but maybe a new mindset wouldn’t hurt.