Growth Mindset

As the Kings of Convenience song goes, failure is the best way to learn. Maneesh Sethi apparently agrees. And the research he cites does, too. I try to maintain the growth mindset, rather than the fixed mindset.

As David Brooks pointed out in a recent column, this is easier said than done. As it turns out, habit is a powerful force. I’ve definitely experience this first hand when people ask me about directions. I know how to get somewhere from habit, but I have trouble communicating specific directions, like street names, etc. The roads become so familiar that I don’t even pay attention. Surely others out there have done the same, no?

Getting back to the Sethi article: I’d like to think I’m more of the growth mindset. Now, I admit: not with everything. However, I’m a pretty flexible person. I typically don’t get caught in this either/or line of thinking. Just when you think things should be a certain way, life has a funny way of showing you there’s a way you may have never even thought of. I’ve already failed at multiple interviews and had to swallow my pride at several small-time jobs. I got down initially and stuck in the fixed mindset. “Oh, I’m such a failure!” No, no, no. You may not have gotten the job, but you have more interview experience under your belt and now you know what to expect for the next interview.

Do entitled young Americans suffer because of our culture tells every one of them they’re a winner? Maybe we should praise hard work instead. Given the likelihood that there will be jobs that I apply for and don’t get in the near future, I can’t afford to have the fixed mindset. If I fall off the horse, I’m getting back on.

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