At the beginning of this year the first thing I focused on when I met a new person were their eyes or maybe their smile; now after being in the IA for a few weeks I notice their mindset.
I find myself in Madrid, Spain one of my favorite cities. Today in the afternoon I didn’t have any plans with the family so I called a friend called Maria del Mar (very common Spanish name yet still extremely unique to me) who I call Mar and we went out for a walk and some typical tapas in a bar she knows right around my hotel. It was Mar, my sister and me we were having a very entertaining time, we walked around talking about our lives, politics and the economy in our countries.
Suddenly when we were dining I found myself in a very awkward silence so I decided to ask her “Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?” just from pure curiosity and to break the silence as well. She responded “Yeah, I want to be a lawyer” and as the conversation continued I asked her “how come?” and she responded something that captured my attention “Because it is what my parents want me to do and it will as well provide me a comfortable life.” WHAT A FIXED MINDSET!
So the first point is very common among the people I know. Parents always want the best for their kids but they can sometimes send the wrong message. For instance, Mar’s parent made her believe that being a lawyer is the only path. This may have caused Mar to completely eliminate other options from her list. Now we will never know if she could have been the next Picasso, Jagger or Gates. It is also likely for a parent to want their child to work on their same field. Maybe Mar’s dad is a lawyer and he feels her daughter should be one too. But whatever the reason is, my main worry is that she might feel unhappy because of the early decision she had to take.
Apart from parents mindset there is even a bigger and heavier one; economy and society. Some jobs are seen as the “money makers” and are preferred among students who already live a comfortable life. Being a lawyer is seen as the job that gives money fast and nice. It is also a job that involves having contacts and by contacts I mean the best contacts. Who better than the kids that learned how to walk on the Country Club golf field? So comfortable equals money and Mar thinks money equals happiness. But again I don’t believe that she knows the consequences both emotional and physical of choosing a job for these reasons.
After talking to Mar for some time about her career options I didn’t give her my opinion since it is not my call but she certainly gave me a lot to think about. AS the book mindset says, a fixed mindset limits your abilities and this is exactly what is happening to her; she is restricting herself from discovering new fields just because of her parents and society.