Living A Growth Mindset…John Page Burton

The word “mindset” can be used to describe a specific philosophy inherent to an individual or a group. For example, many people can identify with a group mindset such as being a Republican or a Democrat. We tend to identify with and support the philosophical ideology of the particular group we are associated with. Sometimes, the collective mindset of a group can bring about damaging results. This type of collective mindset was directly responsible for the Holocaust. Our individual mindset plays an instrumental role in determining how we view the world around us and our experience of the various people we interact with. Most of us have either a growth oriented mindset or a fixed mindset. People with a fixed mindset are easily influenced by the opinions of others. Intrinsic to a fixed mindset, is the belief that a person’s basic abilities such as intelligence are fixed and cannot be changed. On the other hand, a person with a growth oriented mindset is likely to believe that through their own dedicated efforts and hard work they can become more knowledgeable and ultimately rise much higher in life. Growth minded people also tend to be limitless thinkers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the traits found in a person who has developed a growth oriented mindset.

M=Maturity.  A growth oriented mindset develops over time and is shaped primarily by each of our life experiences and lessons. Through a process of trial and error, we are able to develop our own unique opinions, values and beliefs and no longer need to rely upon other people to shape or influence our decisions.

I=Innovative. Innovation is often the result of a series of failures. Through the process of failure, we are able to develop a problem solving, solution oriented mindset that opens our natural flow of creativity. The growth oriented person has learned to use failure in a positive, productive manner.

N=Noise. A person possessing a growth oriented mindset is able to block out the “noise”. The “noise” I am referring to includes negative opinions from others, voices of past failures, the “not good enough” programs and the multitude of other distractions that are certain to surface as we move toward our objectives. One of our main goals should be to limit the “noise pollution” in our minds.

D=Decisions. People with growth oriented mindsets, consistently make decisions that are congruent with their goals and objectives. Consistent decisions are not based on “momentary emotions” but rather on a person’s core values, beliefs and pertinent information related to the situation. Decisive people take ownership of and learn from their mistakes. They use this knowledge as a guide for future decision making.

S=Service. As our growth oriented mindset evolves, we will naturally become more in tune with the needs of those around us. It is no longer just about meeting our needs but also about meeting the needs of our community. We clearly recognize that we are on Earth to serve and we relish the opportunity.

E=Emotional Intelligence. A person with a high degree of emotional intelligence is extremely self aware. They understand their strengths, their weakness, their drives and values. They are people who possess a strong moral compass and they are masterful at controlling destructive emotions. People with high emotional intelligence are almost always driven for the sake of achievement, not recognition.  They have above average interpersonal communication skills and are adept at moving people in a desired direction. The hallmark of a person with high emotional intelligence is empathy. They are able to connect with and consider other people’s feelings or points of view in any given situation.

T=Truth. Truth is the cornerstone of a growth oriented mindset. Speaking the truth to ourselves, about ourselves is the first step on our journey to self awareness. When we are truthful with ourselves, it becomes effortless to speak our truth to others and to hold others accountable to their truth. The truth will indeed set us free!

Re-Programming Our Mindset….

“Do not be conformed by this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind”. (Romans 12:2)

Below are three reminders that will help us to tune-up, re-program or maintain a growth oriented mindset.

*Remember, most of us have trained our minds in the wrong direction. We worry, doubt, project into the future and routinely relive our past frustrations and disappointments. It is critical that we discipline our minds to focus on and embrace our present reality. What is happening right NOW is all that matters. We must learn to channel all of our energy into the present moment if we desire to achieve maximum results. To quote the spiritual teacher Ram Dass, “be here now”.

*Prayer and meditation serve to quiet our mind and help us to maintain a faith based attitude. A quiet mind is a self controlled mind. A quiet mind allows us to focus on the present moment and express gratitude for each experience and opportunity. When we reside in a place of gratitude, it becomes more difficult for us to connect with our destructive emotions.

*Transforming our vocabulary is an essential step in moving toward a growth oriented mindset. Our words become our thoughts, our thoughts become actions and our actions can quickly become habits. By monitoring our vocabulary we are able to replace our negative, disempowering speech with positive, uplifting, speech. This is where the transformation into a growth oriented mindset begins.

As with everything in life, the choice is ours. In my humble opinion, the world needs more growth oriented mindsets manning the controls. I look forward to your thoughts and feedback.


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