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Get motivated to do better

All those who missed the bus of SBI - Clerk/PO/other exams might find it useful. Though I am not very fond of self-help genre but there are times when you feel a little low and like some outside help. Let me start with something which may sound strange:
"Talent Is a fictional concept invented so we can be lazy and ignorant but not feel bad about ourselves" - Dr Daniel F. Chambliss in a report. Bitter!

On a similar note (with a little difference) Dr. Carol Dweck in her book "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" has talked about two mindsets of intelligence: “entity” and “incremental".

If you are someone who says "I am good/bad at Maths" then you believe in the entity concept and if you say "I did well in test because I put in the time and effort or I should have worked harder for this exam" then you believe in "incremental" concept. So people believing in the concept of "talent" would be the believers of entity concept. Now let men ask you - which one do you think is better? Though it may again sound contrary to our wisdom as to what is wrong in saying "I am good at Maths". This is a positive statement, Right? I am believing in myself that I can do it.

The problem is "it is not a fact". Nobody is good or bad at something. Everyone is capable of being good at everything. (Yes, I do understand fish can't run and horse can't fly. Exceptions and nature's limitations aside, it would hold true) I will not go in detailed explanation of problem with the statements like "I am good at Maths". The major pitfalls here are the "sense of overconfidence" which might hamper your hard work and the moment when this "myth crumbles" in wake of a difficult situation it breaks your confidence as well. Hope you get the gist. (You may read the book for more detail, it was established by doing an experiment.) Bottomline: believe that you can do it if you work for it.

Again let me quote Dr Daniel F. Chambliss: "Practice does not make perfect – it makes you mediocre". You must have heard of many variants of this quote: Smart work not hard work is required for success et al.

He has mentioned that excellence is achieved through qualitative differentiation not through quantitative increases in activity. You move up to the top ranks through qualitative jumps: noticeable changes in techniques, discipline, and attitude. I am sure all of you have read the posts like "I am taking mock tests everyday but my score is not increasing, what to do?" Now I hope you have the solution for it, see where you need an overhaul and where you need minor tweaking, but do that analysis now.

Finally I would again like to close by quoting Dr Chambliss - "The secret to excellence is the degree to which you successfully maintain mundanity.”Sounds weird again. Excellence come when you don't give up after the 5th difficult puzzles, you want to do the 6th. Maintaining mundanity is the key psychological challenge (we know it is all in our mind). Dr Chambliss further notes that the top performers treat every practice in exactly the same way they act in competition. You don't feel like quitting the test just because it was mock, you take it with same seriousness. He mentions that elite performers are a level above the rest because by the time it counts, they’ve already gone through countless repetitions of precisely the same procedure. And hence they don't choke. No sleepless nights, no cold feet on the exam day. Hope this post helps you in analysing your situation and motivates you to come out on top in your upcoming examinations. Best of luck