Just like gardens require cultivation to produce a good harvest, our lives require purposeful, holistic care to function optimally.
The pulling out of noxious weeds is to the blossoming of crops, what the overcoming of harmful lifestyles is, to our success and happiness.
This is a 4-part series and Part 1, which is covered here, is on pulling out the weed of unhealthy Mindsets that hold us back. Part 2 will be on Emotions that suck up our energies. Part 3 will be on Cultures that frustrate our progress and finally, part 4 will cover lifestyles that derail our progress.
Mindsets That Hold Us Back
A mindset is a personal belief about who you are and what your abilities and potential are. Ingrained in us from an early age, our mindsets can lead us up a good path to success or down a different path to failure, sometimes slowly but surely. Carol Dweck describes two types of mindsets:
- The fixed mindset – a belief that one’s qualities are carved in stone. With this mindset, “we feel the urgency to prove ourselves over and over… Every situation calls for a confirmation of our intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like a winner or a loser? . . .
- The growth mindset– a belief that one’s basic qualities can be cultivated through effort and that everyone can change and grow through application and experience. With a growth mindset, one thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching the existing abilities.” (Dweck, 2007).
To achieve true success and true happiness, the importance of adopting more of a growth mindset cannot be overstated. Ask yourself “If this other person is truly succeeding, what is the mindset behind it? What is it they are doing, believing or becoming that I am not? How can I bring myself to a place where I’ll be able to overcome my difficult situation so as to achieve the success I want?
JG: You know I’m a victim of the fixed mindset, eh?
Author: A victim?
JG: Yes. All my friends have wives. They seem to be doing just fine. ..Somebody to cook their meals, help get kids to school…. bring in a second income. All’s good with them. But not me. Me, I ‘am…… I’m ahh…… ahh
Author nods empathetically, encouraging JG to find and release his feelings.
JG: I guess that’s my lot. It is meant to be…. Whatever I do, even if it is obviously good, it fails.
Author: … good … fails? Give me an example.
JG: The other day, I bought myself my dream car, just like Paul’s. It did not take long before mine was repossessed by the lender. Paul is a single dad – financially speaking – if you know what I mean. He earns less than me. He has his dying mom living with him – which is an extra burden. Some unpaid leaves here and there to attend to that… two young children… a wife without a job. But I… I only have one child. What am I doing wrong? Why am I not succeeding?
Author: Good question! What is it that Paul is doing differently?
JG is right about his mindset! As you can tell from the conversation, there’s more to JG’s story: Being a single dad, he’s probably lonely and tired. Some self-pity may be setting in, possible helplessness, self-defeating comparison, and he may have instant gratification tendencies. JG could even be depressed, in which case he will require medical intervention or counseling.
Paul, on the other hand, probably has his priorities set differently than JG’s. It is possible that Paul has one of two things:
a). mimicked ‘success’ (living ‘like everyone else’ under a mountain of consumer debt, driven by the desire to be seen a certain way by certain people)
b). true success (earned through financial intelligence).
According to Robert Kiyosaki, financial intelligence includes one’s ability to solve difficult financial problems, among other things (Kiyosaki, 2014). If Paul is using financial intelligence to expand his means, effectively manage and wisely protect his assets, his family will be ok, financially speaking.
So long as JG has reasonable income, his success won’t be so much a function of how much he earns as it is his ability to make financially sound decisions. More on this will be covered in The upcoming Tri-Wisdom Effect Book.
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And…You wouldn’t want to miss my Next Blog Post, would you?
My next blog post will be on “Emotions that suck up our energies” and how to pull out that weed.