An Inspiring Article about Self-efficacy, Enthusiasm, Motivation, and Perseverance (Sharing “Is Shoyo Hinata Delusional?”

Great article about self-efficacy, enthusiasm, motivation, and perseverance, … and the anime character Shoyo Hinata. See the original and more on the blog Crushing the Moon (

Is Shoyo Hinata Delusional?

Author: peregrineprincess

Shoyo Hinata anime motivation self-efficacy

Shoyo Hinata is a tiny boy with huge dreams. He knows that volleyball is a sport dominated by extremely tall players, and yet at just over 5′ 4″ he wants to become a national champion more than anything. However, he has almost no experience whatsoever with volleyball. Still, he’s determined to work his hardest and fight his way to the national stage. Hinata’s seemingly endless enthusiasm, motivation, and perseverance is his most defining as well as his most endearing trait. This boy has proved that he won’t stop or give up, even when the challenge he faces seems impossible. Although some of the other Haikyu!! characters took more time for me to appreciate (I’m looking at you, Kageyama) I fell in love with Hinata’s boundless energy and cheerfulness immediately.

There’s a psychological construct known as self-efficacy, which basically tells us that our belief in our ability to accomplish a task greatly increases our likelihood of achieving it. In short, seemingly impossible challenges can be conquered if we just believe in ourselves. Hinata’s endless optimism is basic self efficacy–it’s what allows him to improve at such a rapid rate. As long as this wannabe volleyball star has faith in himself, we as an audience feel happy and reassured that he can in fact reach his goal. Hinata’s enthusiasm and determination gives us hope.

[please read more in the original article ….]

Shoyo Hinata is not clinically delusional. But he shows us that sometimes, letting ourselves become a bit deluded is the only thing that will help us achieve the impossible.

[please read more in the original article ….]

  • Hm. Although I love the positive message, how could one not, I feel it’s important to be realistic too? As in…I am not good at mathematics, some formulas I just couldn’t grasp. I think it is unrealistic to pursuit a career as a mathematics professor?

    • Thanks a lot for your comment! I thought first the same.
      Then I decided to not define any boundaries for what is realistic and what not. Because by doing that I would tend to stay within the existing limits. Who had thought that it is ever possible to run a mile under 4 minutes? Or to fly? Or to speak to each other across the ocean? It is necessary to believe in the seemingly impossible if we want to reach new horizons.
      To come back to your example, if you had been raised differently, maybe you would have believed in stronger math capabilities of ours? We are still exposed (unconsciously) to the typical gender stereotypes that boys are talented in math and technology, and girls in language and nursing:-). There may be differences in the starting positions, of course. However, everybody can become a math professor if he/she wants to, just it could take more or less time for different individuals according to how natural it is to them.
      I also see that through struggle comes innovation. Maybe you would have found a new way of mathematical thinking while figuring out how to learn it more effectively, and therefore uniquely contributed to the field. In the sense of a such a growth mindset, it is all a matter of wanting, picturing, and experimenting/working seriously enough.
      What do you think?

      • I do agree we, in general, have to believe in ‘everything is possible’. However, also be aware that maybe at an individual level not exactly how one would wish. And that that is OK too. Support those who are able and realize/accept your own strength lies in a different field/direction. Yes, through struggle comes innovation, but also, if unrealistic and thus not within realistic reach…depression. I rather teach people it is OK to adjust your vision, mission and (fixed) mindset. Reach for the stars, but keep your feet on the ground. Keep asking; is the struggle worth the price and prize? But maybe my view/mindset is fixed?

      • Hi Patty. Thanks for your great reply.
        I think the answer lies in what is natural to every individual. Does it feel natural to reach for a specific dream/goal? If yes, however difficult and time-consuming, this will not result in negative effects. With “natural” I mean what would be natural to a person if he/she wasn’t told respectively educated to believe that this or that couldn’t be achieved. Not everybody is happy if we go for our natural potential because they want us to work for their needs:-). So we need to listen to ourselves. Only we can know what our dreams and limits are.

      • Ah, yes. from this perspective I whole-heartily agree 🙂 Wishing you a happily growing and colorful new week, dear friend. XxX

  • I, for one, see self-fulfilling prophecy as a law of the universe… a force that in many ways is more potent than gravity and electromagnetism. Thanks and peace.

  • I love anime, and I so believe in this. Have you ever heard of Nick Vujicic is who is 33 years old? He was born with an extremely rare congenital disorder known as Phocomelia, which is characterised by the absence of legs and arms. Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Nick struggled mentally, emotionally, and physically. Bullied at school, he attempted suicide when he was just 10 years old.

    Do go on and read his story. It is totally incredible all he has done in his life without any arms or legs. He is a painter, swimmer, skydiver, and motivational speaker and has a wife and two sons. It is good when all of us accomplish things, and hopefully this fellow will encourage any of you who are not fully assured of your ability to win in this life whatever you really want to do.

    Thank you most kindly for your wonderful and positive writing. Anne Copeland

    • Dear Anne
      Oh, yes. I have listened to Nick a couple of times. I was always moved to tears. What he is also saying though is that he had loving parents who encouraged him to try, explore, and keep on. It doesn’t have to be the parents necessarily as it is our all job to encourage others. We need especially to reveal any burdens, handicaps, unfairness, and inequitable situations, even when it is not as noticeable. Nick has no legs and no arms. But others have no money or no mental support. The limiting effects are equally detrimental.
      Thanks for sharing this very helpful input, Anne. Appreciate your support. All the best!

  • I read Patty’s response, and there is a small degree of reality to what she has noted. My mom always told me where there is a will, there is a way. When I started my criminal justice program at an online university, I had absolutely no background in that, and although I had other university credits, I got through without math, my old nemesis. However, when I discovered that I was going to have to take it, I made up my mind to do well. I had to really apply myself, and I still don’t care for math, but I will tell you that I made an A in math, and this was while undergoing cancer surgery. I had the surgery in May of that year and graduated in October because I refused to allow my limitations define me. I still don’t like math, but I did it because I knew where there was a will, there must be a way. I did the same thing with cancer, though the docs said I would need five days a week of radiation and five years of chemo. I did my research and told them no. They did everything to try to convince me to do those things but here I am at 76, still standing and still kicking. So you CAN so a lot of things even when you and others think you cannot do them. Now you may have to do more steps than other people would to accomplish them. For example, if I were a 300 pound woman and I wanted to walk a high wire, I think first of all, losing weight would be required, and then getting myself into good physical shape would be the next step and then trying on different levels of wires until I got up to the high wire but I could still do it. Now I don’t weigh 300 lbs. and I don’t care to walk a high wire, but I have in fact done a lot of things in my life that no one else believed I could do, and I have no special magical powers. I am a human being like all of us, and when I make up my mind that I want to do something and am going to do it, I am an absolute bulldog. I am no one special in this life. I was not born into a family of substance, etc. I am an ordinary person who is just determined. Thank you for the good articles.

    • What an intense journey! Thanks a lot for sharing your experience here.
      Exactly, the effort one has to put into something is in proportion to how natural it is for him/her. Eventually, though, hard and honest work always leads to success. You learned that lesson. I discovered it a bit late as many things seemed too easy for me initially. Not anymore though especially when getting inspired by people like you too:-). I love it: “… but here I am at 76, still standing and still kicking.”
      We should not compare. Many people tend to behave according to social comparison theory that states that people are happy when they are in minimum equally off or even “better,” “more attractive,” “wealthier,” etc. in comparison to others. We should have the courage to do the opposite, instead of looking down to others to feel superior, we should look up to people who do more amazing things yet and then strive to do it even better (respectively our way). But again, it seems “hard” work as we get the idea sold that we can get happiness “at a lower cost,” not learning that meaningful work itself is the highest joy possible.
      Thank you so much for your personal insights. I’m sure it helps many readers as it has touched me as well. Take care and all the best!

  • Thank you kindly. I am happy with this life, even with the weirdest and most difficult challenge days. I have often thought that without challenges in our lifes, we might never learn to have compassion for others, or how to help them through those challenges they face too, or at least have an understanding of what they need to do. In reality, we all need to take care of our own issues, but we can at least talk to them about it with a sense of what it is that they are going through. And without the challenges, our life journey would not be as meaningful or provide the skills we need to keep going. Whatever kind of faith we might have in this life, we become stronger by having to deal with everyday challenges of one kind or another. So it is always a good thing, though it might not seem like it at the time. There would be no rainbows without the rain!

    • Very nice viewpoint of yours that is encouraging and realistic at the same time. I think that is important! There are not only happy days and that’s OK. As you say, meaningfulness is worth a lot. For me, indeed, meaning became the new happiness. You are confirming that we could/should be thankful for anything that happens, even (or especially:-)) challenges. Thanks for these reflections and sharing your experience! All the best

  • When I read Nickick Vujicic’s story, you are right that he did have his parent’s support to keep him going, but at the same time, he still suffered the bullying that caused him to try suicide at 10 years young. Unfortunately, there ARE still a lot of people in this world who will bully, and they are not all just children either. Many people in our society today are bullies. They come in all sizes, all ages, all economic backgrounds, and all colors, etc. If you are a person who has never been bullied in your whole life, you have led an amazing life.

    For my own self, there has always been one or more bullies in all stages of my life, and all for different reasons. Bullies don’t even need a reason. I am working on an anti-bullying book right now, and that is my way of dealing with the issues that come from bullying. We have had in my area several children age 13 and perhaps 14 who have committed suicide because they were bullied, so we have to recognize them for what they are, and also help ourselves to realize that they can only hurt us psychologically if we allow them to.

    Now physical bullying is something else. A person can get severely hurt even if they are not per se emotionally hurt, but there are times when the trauma of being physically hurt is just too much for anyone. I know in elementary school, I had a girl pin me down and pull a knife on my throat. Now I have to admit that was pretty traumatic because she had me down in such a way that I could literally not get up. My arms were pinned down. and I had nothing to fight back with. Where were the teachers during all of this? Anyway, obviously I survived, and I am not even sure how or why, or even why this girl did that to me. Lots of physical things happened. But here I am 76 and still standing as I have likely said before, so we get to choose what will end our lives and what we will live through as far as what we accept of trauma that happens to us. And don’t think that those little old ladies who are using canes will not bully people. Sometimes they can be the worst.

    When something like this happens that is truly outside our control, we need to try to continue to breathe deeply and regularly, and to just stay calm. Any emotional display and the bullying will get worse because it helps the bullies to get more physically involved than they already are.

    Thank you once again for your good column, and I am glad that you are looking at a lot of issues related to living a positive and fulfilled life.

    • Hi Anne. Thank you for your elaborations and personal insights; very valuable.
      I’m sorry to hear about these bullying experiences. I agree we should not expect bullying to be a phenomenon attributable to a clear category of people, and we also should not take it personally.
      What bullies have in common though is that they are suffering from low self-esteem, why they have to put down others to compensate for their lack of confidence. Not being able to accept themselves, they cannot accept others. For example, I once had a boss who was putting others constantly down, even making up and telling stories about how “strange,” “pervert,” “incapable,” and “weird,” etc. the colleagues must be. By talking bad about them behind their backs, the team started to feel collectively bad and lost the belief in possible quality delivered by such a group consisting of all these sick people. That was how the boss used his power to make the team feel inferior, and therefore he was staying in a position of power/dominance.
      Yes, as you mention, we cannot control such situations respectively change these people and we shouldn’t go into in-fight and further nourish hostility. But we should let these people go away respectively remove us from their bad energy field.
      Thank you for this discussion. Appreciate your inputs a lot. All the best.

  • Never regret our challenges with things like this because without these challenges, we could never learn compassion for others, or how to help them when they are going through their own challenges. And our journey on this path in life would never be so exciting or full. I think too that we would not believe our spiritual or religious beliefs without them.

    Yes, I have had bosses as you described, and also teachers. They need to make everyone else feel worthless or useless so that they can, as you noted, continue their belief system that they are “above” everyone else.

    The bullying was terrible at the time, all of it, and no doubt I would like to think it never happened, but it did, and so the real challenge is to realize that no matter how positive we are in our minds, or how hard we try to stay out of issues with others, it often happens anyway. The key is not to allow it the power to destroy us ever. When bad things happen to me (I am human as everyone else is), I am kind to myself first and foremost, and I always let my inner child know that I am here to protect her and will never leave her no matter what. And then I do what things I can to change whatever is happening to positive. So I write, I do art, or I volunteer in my community, or I tutor or help others to feel better from things they are going through. And little by little it works. Thank you kindly for always publishing really positive and good things.

    • Dear Anne. You have discovered that service is giving and receiving at the same time, in a transformational (vs. transactional) way. I admire your focus on kindness. It’s not so surprising though as I also know how kindness is the best response to bad things happening. It would be nice if the teachers teaching such kindness were a bit less painful sometimes, but in any case, they are effective. I send you a lot of energy for your positiveness, volunteering, and art.
      Looking forward to reading more from you. Thank you and all the best!!

      • Thank you most kindly. My last work since that layoff has been a substitute paraeducator, instructional aide, and teacher for special needs children in the school districts. I worked with all ages from the kinders (kindergarten) up through the young adults who get three more years after high school to learn “living skills,” since many of them will spend the rest of their lives in group homes. What I loved about being a substitute was that we could focus on the children first and foremost, without having to take care of “success” measurements or attending hundreds of meetings each year. My prime function was to care for those children, and it has been one of my most rewarding functions as an adult ever.

        All children need a lot of attention, love, and well-thought-out guidance, and special needs children need it the most. It turns out that I have led a very wealthy life after all!

      • Dear Anne
        Oh, that sounds great! Lucky children who have time with you. It must be precious for them to get attention and tips from such an experienced and kind person, although sometimes children cannot show their gratitude immediately:-) As you say, such a fulfilling task is for sure contributing to the wealth of your life. Children have to teach us a lot too as schooling and socialization overwrites some of our genuine and personal wisdom over time:-)
        Thanks again and take care!

  • No child is born a bully. They learn it in their upbringing. They may not get enough to eat, or warm clothing to wear when it is cold. They may have to steal shoes in order to have any, and they may be bullied by their parents or others in their environment. They grow up having to learn to “do unto others before they do unto you.” So there are lots of things involved in bullying as I noted. If their parents are in prison, or undergoing drug treatment, that might be another issue. It is the only way they know how to cope with their own world, and when you involved yourself in negativity, it begins to spill out into every other area of your life. Thank you again.