Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Mindset August 25, 2011

I usually tease my dear friend and fellow blogger, Kelly, for sharing with us all of her HR-esque culture and mindset knowledge.  These tidbits can come from seminars, books, team-building excursions…all those things that the average person loves to hate, and secretly (or in some cases, not so secretly) makes fun of with his/her coworkers.  However, I have to admit an inconvenient and totally nerdy truth, that I have embarked upon a journey of delving into my first useful (and frighteningly interesting!) self and business improvement book.

I can’t give myself total (or let’s be honest, any) credit for picking this one up, though.  I was required to read it for professional development.  And I actually made fun of it with my coworkers…until I started reading it.  It’s a book called Mindset by a renowned psychologist named Carol Dweck.  In it, she explores all the things that add to a growth mindset: “creating motivation and productivity in the areas of business, education, and sports.”  The amazing thing to me is that I really do feel (unlike other professional development opportunities in which I have taken part) that the concepts in this book can relate to any person’s life. 

You would never believe how many times a day the average person says something that conveys a meaning which he/she is not planning to send.  Life should not be about praising people’s perfections and products, but their growth and processes.  And the harsh (but very real) part of being a successful ‘praiser’ is being honest with yourself and others: if you don’t deserve to win or to be the best, someone should tell you!  Not to be a jerk, of course, rather to be a trusted source of information and growth. 

I won’t give too much more of the book away because if you’re interested at all you really should read it (take it from the girl who usually pokes fun at these personal life-enhancing-type opportunities), but I will leave you with one quote that is attached to the growth mindset which particularly struck me (and if you’re one of the lucky buddies who happen to be friends with me on Facebook, you may have read this on one of my current statuses): “You must help me help you.  If you don’t give anything, don’t expect anything.  Success is not coming to you, you must come to it.”  This is by a Chicago teacher, but I truly believe it can be applied to relatively anything: personal and professional relationships, work ethic…for goodness’ sake, even housekeeping!  But it’s really true; if you want to succeed, go out and get your success!  Work for it and earn it and you will appreciate it even more.


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