Today I am pondering a timeless concept, but one that merits being revisited and redressed from time to time to remind us of its importance. The concept is having a "growth mindset versus a fixed mindset." I learned the phrase from a teacher/friend in our community who stresses this way of thinking to her students. The "growth mindset vs. fixed mindset" is the phrase she uses to get the concept to stick in the minds of the kids.
I feel a bit as if I would be insulting your intelligence by explaining the basics of this concept, but because it is so important, I don't want to leave it to chance. A fixed mindset, you see, means that what you know now is really all you intend to know. Your perspective on any given thing, person, or idea is already set - it is not moving, or growing. It is "fixed."
A growth mindset, on the other hand, means you recognize that your knowledge of any given thing, person, or idea is somehow incomplete and there is room for you to learn more, to "grow" in your understanding, and thereby creating a truer picture of that thing, person, or idea.
A fixed mindset can be seen as a "safe place" because when you have a fixed mindset, you know what to expect. You know what the future looks like because it unfolds in a way that you have decided it will. The only problem is, more than likely it actually ISN'T unfolding the way you have decided it will. It only APPEARS to be unfolding the way you have decided it will because you can only see what you have decided you will see. Your outlook on the world is fixed, so what you see is limited, even if you don't think it is.
A growth mindset can be seen as a bit daunting, and rightly so, because we humans generally like to think we already know it all. If we have "room to grow", that means admitting we DON'T "know it all." But, ironically, the more willing we are to admit we don't know it all, the sooner we can learn MORE!
Would that we all adopted this phrase, and this concept. Would that we all strove to have a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. That is a key ingredient to having harmony with our neighbors, both across the street and across the world. A fixed mindset keeps us from really knowing our neighbor because we will already think we understand everything about them. A growth mindset seeks to learn new things and come to a deeper understanding of one another.
Peace to you as you journey through this crazy thing we call life.