Learners and Non-learners

Mindset. They say that attitude is everything right?

The first time I realized this attitude thing, was in university a few years ago. We always talk about the ego, but we seldom know when we are acting from it don’t you think?.

So, that day I was at a geopolitics class and the professor asked for some opinion on the Syrian situation (it was just starting at the time) and there were a few smarties in the class (I liked to consider myself as one of them, I know, idiotic) that always competed between each other when the professor asked some opinion.

I raised my hand and won the opportunity to give my opinion, but as I was speaking I realized that I was struggling to give a smart answer and that my problem was exactly that! Trying to give a smart answer instead of focusing on the topic and giving an opinion without the overwhelming ego impeding a normal conversation.

I want to share with you today the power of mindset. According to author Carol Dweck in his book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, there are two types:

  • The growth mindset (learners)
  • The fixed mindset (non-learners)

Non-learners or fixed mindset people.

Let’s first define the word fixed. Fixed is something that is not fluid, that does not move, it just stays as it is, it’s fixed and that is it.

A fixed mindset then, is a mental state in which the flow of ideas and new-learning is stuck in some way. A fixed mindset cannot learn anything new. It doesn’t want to, it just wants to be awesome right away. To learn something new a kind of humility needs to happen, a flow of ideas, an interaction with the environment.

Why do we incur into this narrow-mindedness? Well, if you relate your value as a person with your capacity to do stuff successfully, that means, that every time you fail at something or look stupid in any way, your value as a person diminishes. A fixed mindset thinks that intelligence, the capacity for being great, is something embedded and not acquired. A fixed mindset works for maintaining an image (as I was in the classroom), a facade of greatness. A fixed mindset does not concentrates on doing a thing in the best way possible, but on maintaining the image of being great.

“It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.”

Epictetus

Learners or growth mindset people

The growth mindset is fluid, it welcomes challenge and defiance because in fact, this mindset needs challenge and defiance to grow. A person learns to do something better not when it’s easy but when something is hard enough to figure out something that he or she didn’t knew before.

This mindsets focuses on the issue at hand, failure here does not determine the value of a person as it does in the fixed mindset, it becomes information to be better and better with progression. Growth mindset welcomes challenges because it is an opportunity to stretch its capacity to do something. This mindset is really more natural and in accordance with nature don’t you think? Life is constantly changing as so does our heads.

Our brains function with a phenomenon called Neuroplasticity, which is simply put, that it gets better and better at anything it is doing, it changes, so, it is very, very painfully true that: Whether you think you can, as whether you think you can’t you are right, Henry Ford.

Choose wisely.

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Mountaineer, writer, Stoic, Gryffindor.

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Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo

Ricardo Guaderrama Caraveo

Mountaineer, writer, Stoic, Gryffindor.

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