The "Super Mario Effect"

May 26, 2024

This week we are learning all about The Super Mario Effect! The Super Mario Effect is a concept introduced by Mark Rober.

It refers to the mindset shift that occurs when people are focused on progress and learning rather than failure

Just like in the game Super Mario! 

When it comes to games like this, it is exciting and thrilling to try and figure out how to level up or get past boss levels. And with that, comes a lot of trying… maybe a Koopa comes out of nowhere and you lose your power up, or you didn’t give yourself enough air as you were attempting to jump over a pit. 

If and when those things happen, it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. It just means that the maneuver you tried didn’t quite work so now you have the opportunity to try things a little differently the next go around.

Let's dive into Super Mario World!

Leveling Up

Leveling up in life can be seen as progressing and achieving personal and professional growth, like how Super Mario levels up in the game by gaining power-ups, collecting coins, and overcoming obstacles. 

For example, one of the goals in Super Mario is to save The Flower Kingdom. As you progress throughout the game, your goal becomes clearer as you learn more and more about the storyboard.

Think about a big goal that you might have. What can you do to get closer to reaching it? 

Here are a few things we can try to get clarity on our own story:

Make sure your goals are clear and specific by setting SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Consider acquiring new skills and knowledge, like building up your character but in real life! This can be through formal education, online courses, workshops, etc.  Each new skill or piece of knowledge is like a power-up.

Regularly seek feedback from mentors, peers, or through self-reflection. We all learn through mistakes, so understanding what worked and what didn’t is important.

Steps to Leveling Up:

🥅 Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound

📝 Continuous Learning: Enroll in courses, read books, and most importantly —  stay curious

💪 Face Challenges: Don’t shy away from difficult tasks

💭 Reflect and Adapt: Regularly review your progress and be open to feedback

🤝 Build Relationships: Network and seek support from others

🥳 Celebrate Successes: Reward yourself for milestones achieved


Gamifying your life involves incorporating game-like elements into your daily routines and goals to make them more engaging and motivating.

This is similar to how playing Super Mario keeps you hooked through challenges and rewards! 

Gamifying mundane tasks (like folding laundry) can inject fun into what could be considered boring tasks! Feel free to lean into the playfulness of it all and see what motivates you most.

Ways to Gamify Your Life:

🧺 Speed folding challenge: Set a timer and challenge yourself to fold a pile of laundry as quickly as possible without sacrificing neatness. Try to beat your own record each time

🧺 Laundry Basketball: Toss socks or small items into a laundry basket from a distance 

📧 Set a timer and challenge yourself: For example, challenge yourself to complete a certain number of emails and phone calls within a specific time 

🎧 Try a musical challenge!: Choose an upbeat playlist and challenge yourself to clean a certain area of your home before the playlist ends with permission to dance and sing!

Strategic Teamwork

Working with others can make challenging tasks more manageable and enjoyable — much like how Super Mario and his friends work together to overcome challenges! 

Different characters in the Super Mario games have unique abilities! For instance, Luigi can jump higher, Yoshi can eat his enemies, Princess Peach can float and has impressive combat and racing skills! 

Team members bring different skills and strengths to the table. By leveraging these diverse abilities, a team can tackle a variety of challenges more effectively than going it alone. Working in a team allows for different perspectives and ideas, leading to more effective solutions!

Ways to Enhance Teamwork:

💪 Assign roles based on strengths 

🤗 Encourage open communication

🥅 Set shared goals and ensure everyone understands their role in achieving them

🥳 Celebrate successes together

💗 Provide support and encouragement

🗣️ Debrief together after a project, to figure out what went well and what could be improved!

Boss Battles

We are going to conclude our theme on The Super Mario Effect by talking all about… Boss Battles! If you aren’t a gamer and don’t know what a boss battle is, I’ll explain in a bit.

In Super Mario, each world culminates into a boss battle where the characters face a challenging — and often intimidating! — enemy head on! Like Bowser! 

Bowser, also known as King Koopa or King Bowser is one of the bosses that Super Mario has to battle! He has repeatedly kidnapped or attempted to kidnap Princess Peach with the ultimate goal of defeating Super Mario and his friends AND taking over the Mushroom Kingdom.

Relating Super Mario boss battles to real life is a powerful metaphor for overcoming challenges and achieving personal growth! 

Boss battles for us can look like preparing for a major presentation, making a phone call, having a hard conversation with someone, public speaking, etc.

What is an example of a “boss battle” that may be coming up for you?

Here are steps you can use to overcome real-life boss battles:

📝 Define the challenge: Clearly identify the major challenge you’re facing. What is YOUR boss battle?

🧺 Gather information: Research all  necessary information. Understand the intricacies of your challenge

🤔 Develop a strategy: Create a detailed plan to tackle the challenge. Break it down into small, manageable steps

🤝 Utilize resources: Identify and use all available resources. This could be in the form of additional training, seeking advice, etc.

💪 Stay persistent: Expect setbacks and be ready to adapt your strategy. Learn from each attempt and refine your approach

🥳 Celebrate success: Reflect on the journey and acknowledge the skills and resilience you’ve developed

Final Thoughts

Embracing the Super Mario Effect means celebrating progress and learning with every step. By having grace with yourself you can stay motivated and enjoy the process of growth. 

We hope you enjoyed this week's theme!

Suliel, focused space host