Your personal well-being is strongly dependent on how you think about yourself and the world surrounding you. Even though it is almost always associated with spiritual subjects like meditation, mindfulness, and yoga, it is not always like that. Knowing how your mindset influences your daily life can be very important and can increase your happiness drastically.
What is a mindset?
Mindset is the collection of your personal beliefs combined with your personal skills. It’s the way how you think about and cope with all situations in life. Why is it important? Because it is proven by research that your mindset strongly determines your success in life.
An interesting perspective on mindset is based on the research of psychologist Carol Dweck. He investigated the way of thought of successful people, like students, musicians, businessmen and athletes. He came to the conclusion that there are two kinds of mindset, a growth mindset, and a fixed mindset.
People with a fixed mindset have the belief that people can’t really change. You are born with a certain talent and intellect, and it is nearly impossible to become smarter or learn new skills easily. Although this sounds negative, most people primarily have a fixed mindset.
People with a growth mindset are people that take action, embrace opportunities, and believe that they can achieve anything by repetition and hard work. This mindset is called the “success mindset”. One of the key results of Dweck’s research is that everybody is able to develop their own growth mindset.
When Michael Jordan tried to become part of his high school’s basketball team, he did not get selected. Did he just give up? Most people would have developed the belief that they are not good enough. Jordan coped with this differently. He put in a lot of work and effort, got selected the year after, and became MVP of his team.
What can you do yourself?
Michael Jordan is not an exception in this principle. There are a lot of others with similar stories who proved that talent and skills is something you can develop. Overnight success is non-existent.
How do you get rid of your fixed mindset and start the move towards a growth mindset?
- Focus on the task, instead of the end result. The end result is not what makes you successful, it is merely the price you obtain for putting in the effort and learning the skills. If you make sure that you can re-use the developed skills, you will make large steps towards success.
- Do not give up. One of my favorite stories is how a 7-year-old girl scout sold cookies to an angry neighbor. She knocked on his door, asked him to purchase her merch, the neighbor started yelling and slammed the door. She rang the bell again, and again until the neighbor asked her what it would take for her to go away. He ended up buying her cookies. If a 7-year-old girl can win from a ‘grown’ adult solely by perseverance, then so can you in any task in life.
- Appreciate all the feedback that is given to you, and make your own decision whether you implement it or not.
- Start to try and notice when you are talking in a fixed mindset language against yourself. “This is impossible”, “this is too hard”, “I won’t be able to do that”, etc. Every time you notice this, you are taking steps towards a growth mindset.
Trust me, you’ll become a lot happier in life if you strive for the success mindset. There is no better investment than investing in yourself, right? Of course, the spiritual activities stated in the introduction are popular for a reason and they certainly can help out, but they are in no way necessary. On the other hand, you have no reason not to give them a fair shot.
‘’Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’’ – George Bernard Shaw
I hope this blog gave you an insight into the importance of mindset. Do you want to read another success story that clearly shows the growth mindset? In this blog, the founder of CoolCat and Quote500 member Roland Kahn explains his way of thought!