From the Principal

Welcome to Week Eight of Term Three, as we fast approach the end of the term, reflect on what has happened and contemplate what is ahead of us in the coming weeks. We enter into a crucial time for our Year 12 students as they complete the course work for their Unit 4 subjects and commence preparing themselves for the all-important exams. I wish each and every one of the boys all the best and encourage them to use their time wisely to ensure the results they obtain are worthy of their ability.

Last Friday, the College celebrated Father’s Day with Mass and Breakfast. I take this opportunity to thank the many fathers, grandfathers, other significant males in the lives of our boys and the boys who joined us for this wonderful gathering. We experienced a record crowd, with over four hundred people in attendance. The numbers were so large that we ran two masses simultaneously, one in the chapel and one in the auditorium to cater for everyone. Whilst we can become a little cynical about days like Father’s Day and the commercialism of it, if we take the time to reflect on the importance of fathers and other significant males in our lives it can become a very uplifting occasion. I hope that by attending the Mass and Breakfast all of us were encouraged to reflect on Father’s day and its importance. I would also like to thank the many people who contributed to bringing the Mass and Breakfast to fruition. Fr Greg Chambers and Fr Lawrie Moate for celebrating the Masses, Ms Melina Barcelona and Mrs Nadia Knight for preparing the Mass, Ms Suzie McErvale, Ms Nikita Rodrigues and Ms Leah Karam for arranging the formalities. A special thank you to the Parents’ Association mums for preparing the breakfast, the maintenance team for setting up and everyone who contributed to the morning.

After enjoying the privilege of attending the Father’s Day Mass last Friday with over four hundred fathers, sons and grandfathers I reflected on how fortunate I am to belong to a community like the one we share here at Salesian College, Chadstone.

Over the past couple of weeks a number of staff have had the pleasure of interviewing the boys and their families who will join us in Year 7 in 2021. This task is always a positive undertaking as we meet some wonderful young men who will bring their own gifts and talents to continue the story of Salesian College. The numbers of applications are strong again this year with an enrolment of two hundred again anticipated. This is great news for the College and I would like to thank Mrs Michelle Collins for all the work she does in welcoming the boys and families into our community especially at this time where it can be quite stressful for them. Also to all the staff who have given up their time either on Saturday morning or at one of the evening sessions to undertake this vital task, it is very much appreciated.

I started thinking about my topic for my last blog for the Term, before heading off on the Principals’ Association tour of China. As always, the issues I am dealing with at the time, tend to direct my thoughts in a particular way. This week is no exception as I deal with a number of people who have taken a position that I find difficult to understand. In my role, I always find it fascinating how people come to a position, which on the surface appears out of kilter with that of the majority.

It may be that one boy or family take a position on a teacher that is less than favourable when that same teacher is highly regarded and well respected by many others in the community. Or it can be a family who take exception to College expectations or rules that appear to work for the vast majority of boys and their families. One big issue that has had me thinking of late is the constant criticism of the education system in Australia by politicians and the media, and how they use the achievements of students in other countries, such as China and Africa, as examples of how students perform or behave in these countries. This led me to ask, ‘Why do they think this way?’, and ‘Are the students or the education they receive any stronger than what our students receive or we deliver?’ I came to the conclusion that whether it is the opinion of those outside of the education sector or how our students perform, comes down to their mindset. It is what we bring to the table which will to a great degree determine our response or how we behave. In this blog I will look at people’s mindsets and how it impacts on the way they deal with everyday events. To prepare I read a couple of articles and my thoughts take some aspects of these that I feel it is important for all of us to ponder.

In the first article I read, Gary Klein Ph.D. suggested a mindset is a belief that orients the way we handle situations — the way we sort out what is going on and what we should do.

He went on to explain that mindsets aren’t just any beliefs. They are beliefs that orient our reactions and tendencies. They serve a number of cognitive functions. They let us frame situations: they direct our attention to the most important cues, so that we are not overwhelmed with information. They suggest sensible goals so that we know what we should be trying to achieve. They prime us with reasonable courses of action so that we don’t have to puzzle out what to do. When our mindsets become habitual, they define who we are, and who we can become.

He also proposed the wrong mindsets can get in our way. A fixed mindset about our ability will inhibit our progress. So will a procedural mindset, governed by the belief that adding more plays in our playbook will turn us into experts. A mindset to eliminate mistakes will stifle our curiosity.

In the second article I read by Dan Western, the definition of mindsets he used was; “A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.” He went on to argue that if we take this definition as being accurate, it becomes clear that the type of mindset we adopt in life, can easily determine how much success, happiness and wealth we achieve. All that we are, comes down to the state of mind we choose to live in.

Dan suggested the number of potential mindsets that exist really depends on how much you generalize the word “mindset”. The important thing is not to get too caught up in how many different mind sets there are but understanding that having a particular mindset will impact how we react to the circumstance life puts in front of us.

Dan described 15 different types of Mindsets and proposed that the majority of the world’s population will fall into these at times. In his descriptions he spoke of the advantages and the disadvantages of each mindset. Many of us will fall into more than one of these mindsets; which can either be a really good thing, or a really detrimental thing.

I invite you to read his list of fifteen different mindsets and contemplate whether or not you fall into any of these and to ponder how having such mindsets can impact on your daily lives.

People who have the Social Mindset love to hang around with people, make new friends, and just explore new cultures and ways of life. They thrive on spending time with their friends. They also get a kick out of talking to strangers, and being able to enjoy conversation with them.

The advantages of having the social mindset:

  • You find it easier to make new friends
  • You possess great communication skills
  • You’re able to be comfortable easily in the majority of social situations

The disadvantages of having the social mindset:

  • You may rely on talking with others for happiness
  • You might be too concerned with how others feel about you

The Growth Mindset is a wonderful and amazing mindset. People who have the desire and drive to grow are always improving themselves. They love challenging themselves and constantly being better than they were yesterday. It is fairly easy to tell when someone has the growth mindset. They like to make going to the gym a regular activity. They like to always being building their knowledge of themselves and the universe. They often become entrepreneurs seeking to help others grow, and they have an outlook that a situation can always be bettered.

The advantages of having the growth mindset:

  • You are going to be improving different areas of your life at a fast pace
  • It is going to be a lot easier for you to put in the work needed to succeed

The disadvantages of having the growth mindset:

  • You might be so set on growing, that you forget to actually enjoy living

The Fear Mindset was another he described and suggested that there is a little bit of the fear mindset within all of us. However, those that let the fear mindset become their major way of thinking, become stuck. People who let fear get the best of them are unable to use their time to the best of their ability. All those thrilling experiences, places travelled, achievements and such never happen. They never happen because of the fear of what could go wrong, and that leads to a very minimal and quite frankly, dull life.

The advantages of having the fear mindset:

  • There are no real advantages

The disadvantages of having the fear mindset:

  • You can never achieve your dreams by being afraid
  • You will live inside a shell, afraid to try new things
  • It will become difficult to find your passion or purpose

A mind set many of us would have at times is that of a Lazy Mindset. Being lazy is a pretty poor mindset to have, and it’s also a mindset that many more people are adopting upon themselves this day in age. We have have taken on this mindset because of the things in life that are done for us like fast food and advanced technology such as TV and social media.

The advantages of the lazy mindset:

  • It’s easy to achieve happiness in the short term

The disadvantages of the lazy mindset:

  • You’re unlikely to possess the discipline to achieve big things
  • Your health is at risk
  • Your time is often being wasted

The Envy Mindset describes someone who is envious is often jealous of other people who are perhaps perceived to be doing better than them. Maybe they’re jealous because of someone’s success, healthy relationship, job, wealth, body, looks…While it’s not the best mindset to have, there are a few advantages of being envious that you might not have expected.

The advantages of the envy mindset:

  • It can be a motivational factor in pushing you towards taking action

The disadvantages of the envy mindset:

  • You will become obsessed with what other people are doing
  • You will waste time over other people easily
  • You may come across to others in a negative way

The Business Mindset is a common mindset where you love serving others. You love to provide a service to people, and help change the world, whilst also be working for yourself and making your own path.

The advantages of the business mindset:

  • You possess the qualities needed to help others
  • You’re able to solve difficult problems
  • You can achieve financial freedom and independence

The disadvantages of the business mindset:

  • You might be focused too much on money, and not on passion
  • There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with being an entrepreneur

The Dreamer Mindset is the one I love the most. People who possess this mindset have the ability to dream big and think big. They love to believe that anything is possible, and they have the ability to come up with incredible visions for their future. Though, the mindset of a dreamer does have its flaws.

The advantages of the dreamer mindset:

  • You possess the ability to think big
  • You know what you want from your future
  • You realize just how much you can achieve from your life

The disadvantages of the dreamer mindset:

  • Dreaming is only good if you take action on those dreams

The Follower Mindset is a way of thinking that easily allows others to decide what is in store for your future. With the follower mindset, you don’t have complete control over your life, but you are allowed to believe you do. People who ‘follow’ are those who go with the normal way of doing things. They don’t like to question things. Therefore they go to school like they’re supposed to. They get a job like they’re supposed to. They start a family like they’re supposed to.

The advantages of the follower mindset:

  • There’s less risk being a follower, and you’ll feel ‘safe‘

The disadvantages of the follower mindset:

  • You will be going after what others want, not necessarily what you want
  • You might never truly achieve happiness
  • You’ll potentially only ever do or achieve things that 90% of others also achieve

The Greed Mindset applies to those of us who are guilty of always wanting more. It often doesn’t matter how much money we have, we still want more. It’s a vicious cycle. In the past, the wealthy have been associated with being greedy. A common misconception. Nothing good comes from being greedy; and when we want more, we never fully achieve happiness despite how much we have to be thankful for in our lives.

The advantages of the greed mindset:

  • It may motivate you towards becoming a successful and wealthy individual

The disadvantages of the greed mindset:

  • Your greed may be the death of you
  • You will always want more, and never fully be satisfied
  • You are not focused on helping others, one of the prime purposes in life

Dan put the greed mindset before the Gratitude Mindset in this article on purpose. A lot of people forget to be grateful for everything they have in life. For having a roof over their head, a paying job, a family, a good supply of food and water. We often forget to be thankful for what we have, because the majority of people within our country of origin have exactly the same as us. The people we speak with and spend time with on a daily basis; all have access to the same basic resources we have.

If you can be grateful for what you have, you won’t take anything for granted in this life, and you’ll be happier in the long run.

The advantages of the gratitude mindset:

  • You appreciate the things you have a lot more
  • It keeps you humble, no matter how much success you achieve in life
  • It’s a lot easier for you to be a happy individual
  • You’ll make the most of the precious time you have

The disadvantages of the gratitude mindset:

  • There are no real disadvantages of being grateful

The Confident Mindset can be a key to action and happiness. When you combine confidence with a few of the other state of minds on this list, you become unstoppable. How confident we are has a huge effect on our mental health. How we think about ourselves, our ability to be social, and our belief in our capabilities.

The advantages of the confident mindset:

  • You’re happier with yourself and the way you are
  • You’re more likely to take action on your goals
  • It’s easier for you in social situations

The disadvantages of the confident mindset:

  • Over-confidence could lead to arrogance, which won’t benefit you in life

The Creative Mindset gives us the ability to be unique. Many people struggle with this, and it becomes hard for them to produce their best work.

The advantages of the creative mindset:

  • You’re able to produce unique ideas that others couldn’t think of
  • You’re a natural problem solver
  • You possess a skill that is tough for others to master

The disadvantages of the creative mindset:

  • Creativity could lead you to over-complicating the simplest of things

The Short-Term Mindset is rather similar to the lazy mindset. It’s similar in the fact that people who are lazy tend to be people that are only obsessed with short term happiness. Short term happiness is when someone is addicted to things that will make them happy for a short period of time, right here in the present moment. But continuing to do so can result in being miserable in the long term or later in life.

The advantages of the short-term mindset:

  • The only advantage is that you become happy for a short period of time

The disadvantages of the short-term mindset:

  • You’re reliant on addiction and lazy habits
  • You’re pushing yourself towards a miserable life in the long run
  • Nothing good comes from something easy

The Angry Mindset is simple. People who suffer from anger issues have the angry mindset. Maybe they’ve gone through really tough situations in the past, and that’s led to them becoming an angry individual. There’s could be a lot of causes behind someone having anger issues, but the end result is them taking things out on other people a lot of the time.

The advantages of the angry mindset:

  • Potential motivation to improve your life and better yourself

The disadvantages of the angry mindset:

  • You’ll hurt others around you
  • You’re unable to control your emotions
  • You’ll waste time blaming others for the things wrong in your life

The Productive Mindset is brilliant, because it allows someone to make the most of their time, and get tasks completed efficiently. People who possess this state of mind are able to work towards their goals at a much faster rate, and are unlikely to fall victim to distractions.

The advantages of the productive mindset:

  • You find it easy to prioritize more important tasks over others
  • You can get work done efficiently and without distraction

The disadvantages of the productive mindset:

  • You might overwork yourself in time

Do you possess the productive mindset?

Dan concludes by stating that there are a lot of different types of mindsets people have in life. Depending on how much you want to generalize as to what makes a mindset, the number of variations could be endless. On the other hand, it could simply boil down to two mindsets: positive and negative.

I hope that by reading this article and looking at the list above, it should be pretty clear to identify which mindsets are going to be beneficial for your life, and which are going to have a negative effect on your life.

I think the important thing to remember in most cases we choose our mindset and therefore we should endeavour to combine the more beneficial mindsets to truly be living life to the best of our abilities.

Rob Brennan