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Growth Mindsets – Nerdful Mind #108

February 6, 2022 by Simon Mannes

I'm sure you've heard of the growth mindset.

If you need a recap, according to that model, there are two ways people approach their life.

People with a growth mindset:

  • see themselves as capable of learning and growing
  • actively seek challenges
  • see failure as simply part of the learning process, not a tragedy
  • don't feel the need to look smart, because being proven wrong is an excellent learning opportunity

People with a fixed mindset:

  • see intelligence as fixed
  • believe learning is required in some situations, but not integral to life
  • avoid opportunities to fail
  • don't like being proven wrong

Farnam Street has an excellent article on these two mindsets, if you want to learn more.

In the headline I wrote growth mindsets. Plural. And that's important.

You can have a growth mindset in one area of life, and a fixed mindset in another.

Some people have a growth mindset for many areas of their lives. They constantly learn and read and listen and challenge themselves. But when it comes to this specific area, they immediately say, “I can't do this.” For some it's math, for others it's small talk. For you, it may be something else entirely.

Even if you've been burned by a topic before, you can still grow in that area. There's a big difference between “I can't do this” and “I can't do this yet”. Always go for the latter.

Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. — Joshua J. Marine

Reading Recommendations

Modern Mindfulness: Tips for Living Mindfully in the Digital Age

“The digital age has brought huge benefits: from saving lives in emergencies, to sharing information with the world, the advantages are countless. But without mindfulness, living in the digital age can drive you crazy! If you don’t turn your phone or computer off from time to time, your attention can be completely hijacked by websites, incoming messages, social media, games and more. Gadgets are so compelling.”

Navigating the World with Little Explorers: How to Support Children’s Learning in Everyday Experiences

“Children are curious explorers. They love to ask questions and learn more about their world. And children can learn anywhere - at home, at the beach, in the car, at the grocery store. Even though children can independently explore their world, their learning is enriched when they explore with others. So how can we best support children’s learning?”

Software development topics I've changed my mind on after 6 years in the industry

“Typed languages are better when you're working on a team of people with various experience levels. Standups are actually useful for keeping an eye on the newbies.”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Smile to yourself in the mirror. Try this out today. Repeat it every morning this week.

Smiling has so many positive benefits on your mind and body. It releases endorphins and reduces stress. This works even when you don't feel like smiling.

If it helps you to smile even brighter, try to think of someone or something that brings genuine joy into your life.

End Note

I wish you a happy and healthy new year!

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Have a great week


PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!

PPS: Last week's content and email subject didn't match, that was an error on my side. You'll receive the issue “How do you feel about your to-do-list?” in a few weeks.