What mindset do I need to succeed in college?

Growth and curiosity.

If you don't keep growing and improving in life, and you don't make that a priority, you're going to be the same as you are now when you're 45. How successful do you think you'll be then?

A growth mindset is crucial in adulthood. In school you learn the material, and then are tested on it. In adulthood you get tested, then it's up to YOU to learn (or not) from your test.

For example, if you say something inappropriate to a rude customer and get fired, you have a choice:

  1. Learn from your mistake and control your temper in future encounters.
  2. Blame your boss or the world, learn nothing, and inevitably repeat the mistake in the future.

We'll discuss more about the proper mindset later in this course, but it's important to not blame others for mistakes or misfortunes. Always start by looking at yourself and thinking, "What could I have done differently?" or "What could I do in the future to prevent this from happening?"

Your first year of college might not be too difficult for you, but college gets MUCH harder as it goes on. If you don't lay the foundation early, then your building is going to fall down.

Curiosity will help you learn your whole life, pushing you to grow and improve. Lifelong learners are more successful than those who stop after formal education!

Something else to think about:

If you're in a career field like medicine or engineering or criminal justice or psychology or even business, forgetting something you learned in college when you're out in the real world doing that thing could lead to catastrophic results.

It's VERY possible that someone could die.

The stakes are not like they are in high school, where you might get in trouble at home for failing a test or forgetting something. You must take learning and remembering things in college very seriously.

The Mirror and the Window

Once upon a time, far across the seas, there was a land called Vasalia. There were two kingdoms on Vasalia, Brabant and Ondus, that were ruled by two kings, Harald and Magnus. In order to prevent war, the two kings were not allowed by treaty to leave their bedrooms in their castle towers, and each was only allowed one small window from which they could observe their kingdom. Next to each window was a full-length mirror.

The only thing about the kings that was different? 

When they would look out of the window, and when they would look into the mirror.

Both kings would receive news of their kingdom from clerks and squires (not being allowed to leave their rooms) and make decisions/send orders the same way. However…

When King Magnus of Ondus would receive good news, he would look into the mirror, proud of what he had achieved. Patting himself on the back, he would congratulate himself on a job well done and loved hearing the praise from his clerks and squires. Bad news would cause King Magnus to lean and shout out of the window at the top of his lungs! He’d blame and punish the incompetent people under his command, frustrated and angry that his orders hadn’t been followed properly, or that he was let down by the circumstances.

Upon hearing good news, King Harald of Brabant would look out of the window beaming with pride in what the people under his command had accomplished, wishing he could tell them himself. He would send promotions and gifts to his subjects who had contributed to the successes. When he received bad news, King Harald would sit, sometimes for hours, in front of the mirror, staring, piercingly, pensively, into his own eyes. After quite some time, King Harald would send letters to those who had been part of the unsuccessful missions promising to do better in the future and apologizing for letting them down.


  • After good news, King Magnus would look in the mirror and credit himself. After bad news, he'd look out the window and blame others.
  • After good news, King Harald would look out the window and give thanks for the people/circumstances around him. After bad news, he'd look in the mirror for the cause of the problem.

Complete and Continue