Shane Schoff – Deputy Principal

Has anyone ever encouraged you to find your passion?

Find your passion and you will never have to work a day in your life. The idea here is being immersed in a passion won’t feel like work. Time flies when you are doing something you love. I love teaching, and time always disappears when I’m in the classroom.

Perhaps you have found something that you thought was your passion. Something that you initially loved doing, but then you have a ‘high gravity day’ – a day where gravity feels stronger, and you start to question whether you have really found your passion.

A fixed mindset can lead us to think we should always be highly motivated about our passions. Where did my passion go on a high gravity day? Maybe this isn’t my passion?

Finding your passion also implies that there is a thing out there that we can find. It is just waiting to be discovered. This type of thinking is based on the idea that our passions are fixed.

Carol Dweck (psychologist), in her book Mindset, poses an interesting question – What are the consequences of thinking that your intelligence or personality is something you can develop, as opposed to something that is a fixed, deep-seated trait?

If you believe that your traits are unchangeable – the fixed mindset – you will want to prove yourself correct over and over rather than learning from your mistakes.

In Mindset, Dweck writes: “There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens. In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts”.

A growth mindset creates a powerful motivation for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, Dweck writes, when you could be getting better?

Stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of a growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.

Finding your passion is not about uncovering a hidden super-power. Finding your passion involves wrestling with challenges to grow and develop capabilities. It is often through challenges our passions emerge.

And, interestingly, the greatest challenge that Christ faced, the cross, is what we refer to as the Passion of Christ.