"Your son could do so much better if only he applied himself" Sound familiar? Can I get a quick show of hands from all the parents who are seeing this on every report card and hearing it at every parent-teacher meeting?
It was a running gag throughout my scholastic life, and I'm sure I'm not alone. The thing was... they were right.
I went from straight C's and D's to straight A's in the span of a year of applying myself. I went from "whatever, I passed." to "95% is cool, but I wan't to see what I did wrong."
How did I do it? Well, it turns out the teachers were missing one teeny tiny little tweak to their wording.
I didn't need to apply myself. I needed a reason to apply myself.
I spent countless hours "studying" video games. I would research and do endless "homework" on RPGs I was playing. I was clearly capable of putting in the hours and the effort. What was missing, was the motivation to do so.
So, how do we get that?
I think there's a number of ways, if we're willing to look for it. (eg "How to find my passion")
The PROBLEM is that we are NOT willing to LOOK for it when we are young. When we are young, we are interested in sex, sugar, and whatever our generation's rendition of rock 'n roll happens to be. We wanna be cool, man. We don't have time for your stupid introspection. You'd never understand us anyway, right?
So how do we parents bridge the gap?
How do we help our kids find a reason to apply themselves?
There are excellent books on the growth mindset which can help parents frame their wisdom appropriately, but they still do not instill the desire to grow.
The only way we as a species consistently internalize dramatically different points of view is through the method of narrative.
Said simply, we like to learn "do or do not, there is no try" from a charismatic puppet, not a neuroscientist explaining the linguistically defeatist principals behind the word "try" that causes excuses and self sabotage to proliferate.
A long time ago, I wrote a post entitled "Why I do this".
The short version, is that I want to make the world a better place by embedding mindset within entertainment so as to get the proverbial ball of progress rolling at an earlier and earlier age.
I think Caleb Maddix might be doing something similar for the younger crowd, but I still don't see anyone serving the teens to the extent that they could be in a way that they'll actually listen.
I've taught martial arts the majority of my life.
In that time, I've seen thousands of kids thrive, thousands of adults thrive, and hundreds of teens. Why the drop? Because the biggest drop-out time in martial arts is when puberty hits.
They get awkward, self absorbed, worried about what other people are thinking of them, stressed and hormonal.
They need help. But, they need "cool" help.
To quote the world's most successful nanny, we know that "a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." and I believe that a book full of car chases and gun fights is just the sugar to do it.
I present to you the concept of mindsettertainment. Pulse pounding, cool entertainment that actually contains mindset hidden throughout, disguised as magic or other methodologies to get what the protagonist wants.
So yeah, it's a little vulgar. It has swear words and gun fights, and descriptive paragraphs about cleavage. And it contains more than an entire self development seminar's worth of mindset within each book.