5 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset
I'm going to give you 5 ways to develop a growth mindset. Developing a growth mindset takes time. It's not something that you can do overnight. It takes time, dedication, and the right set of circumstances in your life for the growth mindset to bloom. Think of it like Strawberries in the Summer. To make good strawberries you need good soil, the right temperature, some protection from the insects and animals, and plenty of water. Without those conditions then you won't have good strawberries. It's the same for your life -- without good conditions then it's hard to grow.
It's very interesting how we as a culture have adopted a form of less restraint over our desires than withholding those urges for greater good. A great deal of the growth mindset is not doing what you want to do all the time, which as a society we tend not to promote anymore. I think is silly.
Nevertheless, few people doing something is an advantage rather than a disadvantage. It places you in a unique position where you know things other people don't and can use that to carve yourself out a gap in the market. In the business world we call this, "opportunity" -- it is a great advantage to be one of the few.
Anyway, on with the show. Here are 5 ways to develop a growth mindset:
Reduce alcohol intake and stop drugs completely
I would rather have said stop drinking alcohol completely but I have to be realistic. Alcohol is accepted in society, and not only is it legal but it is praised to be drinking heavily in some parts.
Drugs are bad too. Any sort of mind altering substance is bad for the system. I don't care what anyone says, drugs and alcohol inhibit growth in the mind. Think of the Strawberry analogy again, what would happen to the Strawberries if instead of water you gave them Vodka or Whisky? It's like pickling your brain.
I always describe the time I stopped pouring substances into my body as the "great awakening" -- not that I instantly became 100 times smarter, but I was able to process my thoughts better, retain more information, and work to a higher level.
I've always found substances not good for the health.
Try to understand the reasons behind outcomes
It's often frustrating to me when I see people pointing fingers and blaming. They might see a man on TV that has killed his entire family and has been sent to prison for it. Immediately, they shout, "yup, that's why men are rotten to the core"
There's never any more thought to the reasons behind those killings though. Not that I agree with any of it, but there's no thoughts as to what the motive was, what led the man down that dark path? What was the trigger? Was he neglected as a child? There's so many questions you could ask yourself and others before making a knee jerk conclusion. In my 42 years of life I've realised there's always a story behind the outcome, and it's never as black and white as it may seem.
I apply this to all my personal and work life. There's a reason why I am successful and I usually try and replicate it. To replicate it though one must understand the conditions that were met in the first place. Also, to get it right I would have to at first get it wrong a million times. Understanding where I went wrong and creating barriers to that happening again is key.
Just like the man in the story that killed his entire family. One could see that as another way we need to castrate men from being the testosterone-fuelled war mongers that they are. Or, they could see that as an opportunity to investigate the reasons why this is happening and pour money into the community to fund some sort of prevention scheme. It could be just that men need a place to go to build, create and connect with other male role models to feel needed.
Regardless, it's always better to find solutions to problems than to point and blame.
Stop focusing on things you can't change
New president got elected that you don't like? How can you change it? Not a lot you can do about that apart from sit in sadness. Focusing on things you can't have an immediate effect over can leave you feeling unworthy and frustrated most of the time. It's time to reign those sights in far back. If you're really determined to change the world then it starts with yourself. You can change the way you interact with the world, start there.
Social media is another one that traps you into the cycle of feeling sad and in despair. Nothing good ever came of telling people how they're wrong. If it doesn't work face to face in real life then how do you expect it to work on the internet where you have even less control than before? Stop trying to change others and again, like I said earlier, focus on yourself.
You can only have an immediate effect on yourself. If you focus on things that are far out of reach then you will always feel like you get nothing accomplished in your life. Try focusing on things that are within your reach that all add up to one of those larger goals. For instance you could want to be a Surgeon but get frustrated at how long it takes to be one. Or you could focus on smaller achievable steps like #1 apply to college and work it out from there.
Focus on what you can do, not what you can't.
Question everything. Don't assume anything - 5 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset
Assumption is the mother of all fuckups. Never assume. Reality is never ever what it appears to be, and whenever you think you have this down to a fine line of neat little routines and patterns, there will be an outlier that comes to mess with whatever it is you have built.
Always make sure you have checked every last detail and left nothing to chance. They assumed the Titanic was unsinkable, but when put to the test they found a wildly different story.
Questioning and assumptions are closely related. The less questioning that happens, the more assumptions need to be made. I have found myself assuming things in the past and almost every time I have, there was some detail that I have left out. Like the time I told my wife, "Oh I assumed you would have taken the trash out" - well, you assumed wrong. Time to get up and take it out buddy.
It's interesting how we do this. We fill in the blanks with our own biases. Instead of asking the right questions we add in our own details that we think fit. Sometimes when we get an answer, and if it doesn't fit our assumption then we go with our guess anyway. Crazy stuff.
The more questions you ask people about anything whatsoever the more information you are able to obtain about them, and are less likely to fill in your own blanks if you can keep an open enough mind.
Try not to obsess. Opt for a better balance.
Probably one of the harder tasks for me to get my head around is obsessing over the finer details. Sometimes we can't see the forest because we're too busy looking at the trees. Everything has a bigger picture, and obsession is never a good thing. One thing that's become apparent to me is that almost everything has a balance to it. There's a good and a bad side, and nothing is ever as simple as it may appear.
I can often find myself obsessing. I may for example be quite fixated on writing this 5 ways to develop a growth mindset post and ignore everything else. My wife or son might need me, I may have other things to do during the day as well which are important, like pay bills or attend appointments. Obsession can often be really handy when you're a workaholic like I am, but then it's at the sacrifice of other things. Family and friendships, or even my own health.
When I obsess it can often be hard to pull back. I may be trying my hardest to get something done when I absolutely forget to pull back and see the wider (and almost always) clearer picture. Try to find that balance.
Instead of constantly goading yourself to get the report done, or the meal finished, or whatever it is you're doing, perhaps take a minute or two to sit down and remind yourself about the other things in your day. Everyone needs a circuit breaker. Mine is my wife. She will cut me out of my thought pattern by bringing me back to earth. It's always good to have help.
5 Ways to Develop a Growth Mindset -- treat yourself with respect
Remember the Strawberries I told you about in one of the first examples? Well think of yourself as those lovely, luscious Strawberries. If you don't take care of them they won't grow.
Why would you ever think it was different for you....?