Bruce Lee said, “Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential.”
Lee epitomizes a growth mind-set versus a fixed mind-set. These are concepts based on the research of Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. If you have a fixed mind-set you believe that you either have the ability or intelligence or you don’t. You see life as a test, you either pass or fail, based on your abilities. If you have a growth mind-set you believe that you can and want to learn, and that life is about gaining new knowledge and skill.
Knowing that your brain is not set in concrete but in fact quite malleable might help you realize your potential to grow. In other words our brains are wired in such a way that allows change. We can learn new things and take on new behaviours.
This is more than a simple matter of you believing you can learn. It is about taking ownership of your learning as a life-long quest. This comment is from an article called It’s a 401(K) World by Thomas Friedman, “If you are self-motivated, wow, this world is tailored for you. The boundaries are all gone. But if you are not self-motivated, this world will be a challenge because the walls, ceilings and floors that protected people are also disappearing. There will be fewer limits, but also fewer guarantees. Your specific contribution will define your specific benefits much more. Just showing up will not cut it.”
It means driving your own learning which will require the following:
· Recognize and manage your resistance
· Ask for feedback
· Actively seek opportunities that will stretch you
· Stand up for who you are and how you see the world
· Ask for what you need
· Recognize that anyone and everyone can be your teacher.
Buffer is a social media management software company. One of their values is Have a Focus on Self Improvement. They spell it out in this way:
· You are conscious of your current level of productivity and happiness, and make continual changes to grow
· You have a higher expectation of yourself than Buffer does of you
· You regularly and deliberately do things that make you feel uncomfortable
· You practice activities and develop habits that will improve your mind and body.
Do life like a gamer. Gamers play to fail. They play to the greatest level of their ability until they fail. They then have to learn and practice new skills to be able to play at the next level. In order to gain these skills, they ask other gamers, they seek on-line help, they trade for inside information, or buy what they need to get ahead.
Be as avid and as driven to get to the levels you want.