For many years now I have tried to actually be intentional about my personal growth, but to be honest over the last several I lost track of a few things in the midst of having children, switching careers (within the military), and basically trying to invest most of my time into learning a bunch of new skills for my new profession. I know, that is not necessarily a bad thing, and for many of you it works. But I was lacking something and I felt as if I was not growing personally and that my life was standing still in more ways than I desired. And then just over a year ago, I checked myself back into the growth game.
Dr. Carol Dweck once wrote a book called Mindset and in it she states, “For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.” She goes on to discuss acquiring a positive view, and that to do so you must develop a “growth mindset.” I had read about this work sometime ago, and then recently I was reading Jake Olson and Dr. McKay Christensen’s book Open Your Eyes, and came across her work again. In it they cite Dr. Dweck describing a growth mindset as “a set belief that by your efforts, despite challenges, you can grow and become better than you are today.”
Her research involved testing the brain waves of students with such a mindset against those without one via a written exam. She found that those not possessing a growth mindset were only interested in whether their answers were right or wrong. These individuals had no elevated brain activity associated with what they could learn in the PROCESS. Even when they got an answer wrong, they had no interest in learning what answer was right. Those with a growth mindset, however, were interested in learning more than their test scores.
Dr. Dweck basically demonstrated that our mindset dictates our way of taking action.
So, where are you at right now? If you need somewhere to start I offer that you find a copy of John Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, or at least a PDF copy of the executive summary for the book on-line. And if you need help developing your own personal growth plan, send me an email, or drop your contact info and I will be glad to help for no cost at all. After all, helping others with the expectation of NOTHING in return is part of my plan for the year.