It is sometimes asked; Who do you want to be and what kind of world do you want to create?
The answer depends on your mindset. So let's first look at the various aspects:
Mindsets are habits of mind
The word mindset was first used in the 1930’s to mean “habits of mind formed by previous experience.” In simple terms, mindsets are deeply held beliefs, attitudes and assumptions we create about who we are and how the world works.
Mindsets are created by experiences
Mindsets are created from the distinctions we are able to make about our experiences. We all have experiences and from these, we make new distinctions which build on previous experiences. From these distinctions, we develop our new mindset. We don't even think about it!
Mindsets create blind spots
Mindsets provide us with fragmented ways of seeing the world, without the complete facts of what actually IS. We see the world through the filter of our own particular mindset and, inevitably, this is incomplete.
Mindsets are self-deceptive
Any attempt to shift our mindset will naturally be met by powerful forces because we have built our lives on the beliefs we have developed through experience. For example, our tendency for confirmation bias; the reliance on information that reconfirms our pre-existing beliefs.
Mindsets shape our everyday lives
We make our mindsets and our mindsets make us. They control our thoughts, words and actions. Many people cannot contemplate changing their mindset. But if we want to change something in our lives, for example, become more creative, make better decisions or improve our wellbeing, we must also be open to changing our mindset.
Mindsets can be developed in complexity
The more developed our mindset becomes, the more we unfold towards deeper levels of wisdom and effectiveness in the world. Our mindset evolves from simple to complex, from static to dynamic, and from ego-centric to socio-centric and on to world-centric. If we consciously address the need to develop our mindset, our ability to take a different perspective improves and we become more able to accept the world as it really is, rather than how we see it based on our own individual experiences.
Mindsets can be transcended
On a societal level, we can transcend our blind spots and self-deceptive forces, examine our experiences and how our habits of mind manifest to create our interpretation of the world — and tap our collective capacities for profound personal and societal transformation.
Nowhere To Hide
So, it can be said that there is no way to avoid the far-reaching effects of our mindsets. Their hidden web of influence permeates everything — all the time. What’s inside us, our beliefs, attitudes and assumptions — manifests externally, shaping our future possibilities on both an individual and a collective level. Put simply, our mindsets make us who we are and limit our individual capacity to enjoy and achieve our ambitions in life. But we do not have to accept these limits - we can break free.
If, having read this article, you wonder why you make certain decisions, have a certain outlook on life, or any life-limiting attitude, you may wish to explore more deeply the potential for resetting your own mindset. If so, we can have an informal chat and look more closely at the practices that can help you break out of such limitations so that you can achieve the level of fulfilment you crave.
There are a growing number of resources concerning mindset and information to support your own personal investigations. Here are a few to get you started:
Liminal Thinking by David Gray provides nine practices for minimising reality distortion, envisioning new possibilities and creating positive change. These practices can be summarized as three simple precepts: 1. Get in touch with your ignorance. 2. Seek understanding. 3. Do something different.
Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. What we think and how we think fuel our behaviour and predict our success academically, professionally and in our relationships.
MORE ABOUT MINDSET
The Fixed Mindset is symbolised by the everyday expert.
“In a Fixed Mindset people believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.” — Carol Dweck
The Growth Mindset is symbolised by the everyday learner.
“In a Growth Mindset people understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.” — Carol Dweck
and then there is also...
The Benefit Mindset - symbolised by the everyday leader.
In a Benefit Mindset we not only seek to fulfil our potential, but choose to do so in an altruistic way that contributes to the wellbeing of others and society as a whole. We question ‘why’ we do what we do, and believe in doing good things for good reasons.
There is of course much more to it than this and there are also degrees and combinations to consider but for now here are the basic mindsets in practice:
Let’s imagine you're going shopping to buy some food for dinner.
If you did your shopping on autopilot, drawing on your habitual patterns of behaviour and bought what you normally would, you'd have a Fixed Mindset.
If instead, you went shopping and considered making something new and different, and bought ingredients in a mindful fashion, that’s a Growth Mindset.
However, if you went shopping, considered making something new and you also considered the wellbeing of your community and the planet — choosing socially and environmentally innovative options, that would be an example of a Benefit Mindset.
This is a simple example of how the mindset we adopt shapes our everyday actions and the future possibilities of our world. The ability to reshape our mindset is dependent upon our desire to change.
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