What is your mindset today?
We are only given today. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow is outside our grasp. Today is here!
World-renowned psychologist, Carol Dweck, spent many years studying achievement. In her research, she has discovered the power of our state of mind. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck explains the difference between:
- Fixed mindset: You are either good at something, or you’re not, based on your nature, and there is nothing you can do to change it.
- Growth mindset: Challenging yourself and growing each day allows you to thrive no matter what cards you were dealt.
Let me give you a personal example!
In the 1980s, women in the workplace were seen much differently than they are today. The fixed mindset society had about women perceived their role as housekeepers, caregivers, secretaries, nurses, and teachers.
I refused to fit that mindset. After my first child was born, I became an adjunct professor at the local community college. The director of Continuing Education asked me to design and deliver workshops off-campus. This experience provided me with the opportunity to take teaching from the campus to the community and I was very successful. So I began thinking . . .
If I could do this for the community college, I could do it for myself!
I opened my own Organizational Development business before the acronym OD was invented and worked out of my home as a remote employee – before the term was ever coined!
This was a total change of mindset. Being a female business owner in 1980 was unique. My family and friends were skeptical to say the least. But I kept the faith and a growth mindset.
By networking, taking risks, and challenging the status quo, I created and ran a successful international consulting business for fifteen years, booking training a year in advance.
After Warren Bennis interviewed successful leaders he stated, “I believe . . . that everyone, of whatever age and circumstance, is capable of self-transformation.”
And that is what this is all about. Life is not static. It is a journey with many turns, detours, and crossroads. By keeping a growth mindset, you can create success even from adversity.
Let’s take a look at Steve Job’s philosophy on mindset.
“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money. That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is – everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mould it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it. I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” Steve Jobs – 1994 interview for the PBS “One Last Thing” Documentary
So let’s poke at life, embrace it, and change it with a growth mindset!