The Power of Yet—and Sesame Street!

powerofyetWhat is that thing you want to do but can’t quite manage? What do you want to do but haven’t conquered—yet? What’s the difference between those ideas?

Recently I wrote about the links between a growth mindset and the kinds of motivation related to creativity. A growth mindset holds that abilities change and grow through effort. We are not limited by finite amounts of intelligence, talent, or social savvy. We can get better with persistence and work. Now the message of growth mindset has come to, of all places, Sesame Street.

Psychologist Carol Dweck, who proposed the idea of a growth mindset, talked about the power of one small word, “yet.”

I can’t speak French as well as I want to—yet. I can’t seem to find time to finish the children’s stories I’m writing—yet. I still can’t hit a baseball to save my life—yet. Whether I choose to spend my time practicing my French, writing my stories, or working on my ball skills will determine where I progress. I’m never going to be a native French speaker or a professional ball player, but those things don’t matter. I can get better, regardless. Listen to Janelle Monáe spread the word more eloquently, and think about how you can share the notion of “yet” to your students and children. I’d love to hear your ideas.

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