When I was growing up, I believed that you were born with innate abilities.
If you couldn’t sing, dance or juggle – well that was too bad.
Better luck next time.
As an adult I became a teacher. I taught children of all abilities. Some were smart, some struggled and some failed. I helped the children who had difficulty with specific skills by teaching them remediation – how to use tricks to assist them with the subjects they had not mastered. Yet in the end, I still considered their abilities fixed. If they struggled in math, they would always struggle in math. The End.
Many later, I came across the book MINDSET by the amazing Dr. Carol Dweck. In the book, Dr. Dweck explains that due to the neuroplasticity of our brains, we can actually learn how to do almost anything. The most important thing is that you must look upon your life with a growth mindset. In other words, don’t be afraid of failure, continue to try and use the work “yet” to describe an unmastered skill.
I have yet to learn how to speak Esperanto.
Dr. Dweck’s theories helped me imagine a life that before seemed impossible. What if I really could, using the latest brain science, learn anything? What would I become?
Which is why, at the young age of almost half century, I enrolled in art school with the dream of someday illustrating the books I write.
I am not an artist, yet.
But there is always tomorrow.