What is a Mindset
It all starts with the mindset.
Your mindset shapes your life as food & exercise your body. Mindset drives behaviour and behaviour produced the desired results.
Mindset: Exercise helps you stay healthy & get fit
Behaviour: Daily 30 minutes workout
Desired Result: Healthy body
It is hard to change your behaviour for good and achieve the desired results with a mindset that exercise has nothing to do with a healthy body.
Few Examples of Life-Changing Growth Mindset
Here is the list of few powerful growth mindset ideas, which helped people to create incredible lives.
“Everything is figureoutable.” Marie Forleo
“If you can do it, I can do it too.”
“Success leaves clues.” Tony Robbins
“Save first and spend what is left.”
“Learners are the earners.”
“Try to get 1% better than yesterday every day.”
“Failure is nothing but feedback.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“If you can stay on the wicket, you’ll make runs eventually.”
“It takes years to build a reputation and a minute to ruin it.”
Why Mindset Matters
Ford Motor Company was bleeding at the rate of $17 billion per year when they hired Alan Mullally as President & CEO in 2006 as their last saviour.
Mullaly soon discovered the Ford team mindset, which was that no one at the company feels responsible for the company’s difficult situation because it was not possible to stay in the job at Ford if you accept mistakes.
He managed to pull Ford Motor Company out of this deep ditch to such a degree that it was the only American automobile manufacturer that didn’t have to take federal money to survive during 2007-2008 recession.  The Outward Minds by The Arbinger Institute pp. 69–77.
He managed to accomplish this remarkable achievement by changing his team’s mindset.
Two Popular Mindset Concepts
There are two popular mindset concepts I discovered to understand how mindset plays a critical role in achieving our goals.
1. Fixed and Growth Mindset
The growth mindset is the foundation of your efforts to achieve your goals. Growth mindset shapes your beliefs, which is a critical aspect to improve your abilities to achieve your goals.
A person with a growth mindset sees challenges and obstacles in life as a source of learning new things and grow. However, someone with a fixed mindset gets frustrated with the challenges and obstacles.
The Growth & Fixed Mindset concept is the result of research by Prof Carol Dweck at Stanford University and is backed by neuroscience.
2. Inward and Outward Mindset
Arbinger institute’s methodology of inward and outward mindset is based on 45 years of research in the psychology of human behaviour and motivation, and more than 35 years of experience working with organizations worldwide.  https://arbingerksa.forcesofhumanity.com/about/
- Others don’t matter as I do
- My objectives & behaviours are self-focused
- I focus on my results
- Others are objects
- Vehicles that I use
- Obstacles that I blame
- Irrelevancies that I ignore
- Others matter as I do
- My objectives & behaviours take others into account
- I focus on our results
- See others as people
- I see their needs, objectives and challenges
How to Apply Growth & Outward Mindset to Lifelong Learning to Improve Your Game
Let’s talk about how you can use the power of growth and outward mindset to improve the areas of your personal and professional development. In each of the fields below, I break down a few practical ways to put it to use in our daily lives.
Let’s have a look at how mindset affects other areas of personal development.
“The man who says he can and the one who says he can’t are both right.” Confucious  https://www.goalcast.com/2018/05/02/best-confucius-quotes-to-inspire-you/confucius-quote3
I believe this quote from Confucious sums up the importance of mindset in achieving your goals perfectly. Growth and outward mindset is the foundation of your achievements in life.
If you don’t believe in your goals, why would anyone else?
Stress is inevitable.
A few common reasons that cause stress are:
- Completing your assignment on time
- Responding to your emails
- Catching up with social media messages
- Managing work/life balance
- Paying mortgage or rent
The list of things that can cause stress is infinite.
However, the good news is that with growth and outward mindset, you can manage stress and minimize the damage stress can cause to your health and life.
We are going through a COVID-19 pandemic right now, which is causing the most significant stress nowadays to all of us.
“The show must go on” mindset helped me regain my lost focus, and I started to work on what I can control in this uncontrollable situation.
I started to focus on what I can control:
- Washing my hands often
- Staying home
- Playing my part to support my tribe
- Following the news all the time
- Watching and spreading Whatsapp messages
- Complaining about the lockdown
Spending your energies on what you can control, and avoiding the rest is a great way to manage stressful situations in life.
The fate of British Cycling changed one day in 2003 when governing body for professional cycling in Great Britain hired Dave Brailsford as its new performance director.
Since 1908, British riders had won just a single gold medal at the Olympic Games and in the last 110 years, they did not win the biggest race, the Tour de France.
What made Brailsford different from previous coaches was his relentless commitment to a strategy that he referred to as “the aggregation of marginal gains,” which was the philosophy of searching for a tiny margin of improvement in everything you do.
Brailsford said, “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike and then improve it by 1 per cent, you’ll get a significant increase when you put them all together.”
They implemented this strategy by:
- Redesigning the bike seats to be more comfortable
- Started to rub alcohol on the tires for better grip
- Asking riders to wear electrically heated overshoots to maintain ideal muscle temperature
- Using biofeedback sensors to monitor how each athlete responded to a particular workout
- Testing various fabrics in a wind tunnel
- Trying different types of massage gels to see which one led to the fastest muscle recovery
- Hiring surgeon to teach each rider the best way to wash their hands to reduce the chances of catching a cold
- Finding the best type of pillow and mattress for that led to the best night’s sleep for each rider
- They painted the inside of the team truck white, which helped them spot little bits of dust that would normally slip by unnoticed but could degrade the performance of the finely tuned bikes
Just after five years of these tiny changes British Cycling team dominated the road:
- They won 60 per cent gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
- Four years later at the London Olympics in 2012, they set nine Olympic records and seven world records.
- Same year Bradley Wiggins became the first British cyclist to win the Tour de France.
- From 2012-2017 British team dominated Tour de France and won five times.
Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. If you have a mindset of getting 1 per cent better every day in all the areas of your personal and professional life, you can achieve amazing results in the long run.  Atomic Habits by James Clear. pp. 13–14.
They say health is real wealth.
Because of this mindset, most successful people give similar importance to their health as to their career.
Healthy body and mind are the by-products of:
- Staying active
- Healthy diet
- Good sleep
- Positive thinking
- Quality relationship
- Managing stress
Your physical and mental health must be your number one priority if you want to improve your personal and professional game consistently.
Regular travel has a high rate of return when it comes to improving your growth and outward mindset.
Travelling helps you to:
- Get out of your comfort zone.
- Understand different cultures and perspectives.
- Explore new ways of doing things.
- Plan better in challenging circumstances.
- Reduce stress by visiting new places.
- Try new ideas to expand your horizons.
- Increase your confidence in general.
Regular travel seems like a dream while living through the C19 pandemic right now. However, the show must go on and hopefully; it will be safer to travel once again soon.
“What gets measure gets managed.” Peter Drucker
Keeping a regular scorecard of your performance is a powerful tool for improving your personal and professional life. However, approaching this review process with growth and outward mindset is crucial to reap the real benefits of this process and avoid stress.
You should review:
- What went well?
- What didn’t go well?
- What did I learn & how can I improve?
The ideal frequency for the review process:
- Daily – Best
- Weekly – Excellent
- Monthly – Good
- Yearly – A must
I rated the frequency based on my circumstances; you can choose what works best for you and more importantly, what you can sustain over an extended period.
Regular reviews help you cutback the inessential and intensify what remains—spending most of your time today on working on that will continue working for you for years is a significant growth mindset for future freedom.
Let’s have a look at how growth and outward mindset helps you improve your professional development game, which is the equally important pillar of lifelong learning.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams 6th US President
Growth and outward mindset help you understand that you don’t need an authority to lead; instead, you only need followers.
Following are the three common traits of great leaders in my opinion:
Clarity: It is hard to put dishes in the dishwasher without a clear mindset; let alone leading your life or others without clarity of your final destination.
Focus: All great leaders I know are master of avoiding distractions and saying no to things, which do not help them get one step closer to their ultimate goal.
Empathy: Understanding the concept of outward mindset helps you lead with compassion, which allows you to build and develop strong relationships with those you lead.
The successful people in the world are the ones who communicate:
- Clearly: It is an art to make your point fast.
- Use simple words: They say if you can’t communicate your idea to a kid fully, probably you don’t understand it well.
- Practice brevity: If the content is king, brevity is queen.
- One point at one time: We all are busy than ever, communicating one point at one time can improve the communication significantly.
- Enjoy: People can forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel. You can feel a smile over the phone or reading an email. Don’t forget to enjoy while communicating with others; it can be a game-changer.
Great leaders are remarkable at telling stories instead of talking about numbers only. People connect with hearts, not minds.
Growth and outward mindset plays a crucial role in your professional development and to understand the importance of the above communication fundamentals.
A person with a growth mindset also believes that improving your communication is an infinite game and effective communication is the key to solve most problems in life.
“Teamwork makes the dreamwork.” John Maxwell
The Navy’s Sea, Air and Land Forces – commonly known as SEALs – are expertly trained to deliver highly specialized, intensely challenging warfare capabilities that are beyond the means of standard military forces.
They are probably the most elite warriors in the world.
Simon Sinek shared the story one of the US SEALs when he was asked, who makes it through the selection process to become a SEAL?
He answered I couldn’t tell you the kind of person who makes it through.
However, I can tell you the kind of people who don’t make it through to become one of the SEALs.
The guys who don’t make it through the selection process are:
- Those with big muscles covered in tattoos, want to prove the world how strong they are
- The leaders who want to delegate all their responsibilities and never do anything themselves
- The star college athletes who’ve never really been tested to the core of their being
The guys who make it through to become the SEALs are usually, skinny, scrawny and shivering out of fear.
However, all the guys that make it through when they find themselves physically and emotionally spent and have nothing left to give physically or emotionally somehow, someway they are able to find the energy to dig down deep inside themselves to find the strength to help the guy next to them.
These are the people who become the SEALs.
To become an elite warrior, it is not about:
- How smart you are
- How tough you are
- How fast you are
It is all about how good you are in helping the person to the right and the left to you.
That is the secret to advance in your life and become the best in the world. Learn and master the art of helping each other by practising to grow together in your career and life.
Helping others and seek help when you needed is undoubtedly the single most valuable thing to learn and practice in your entire life.
When you ask for help, you’ll discover people around you always wanted to help you grow but didn’t realize you needed it because you kept pretending that all is well.
The moment you start asking for help, you’ll find many people around you who are willing to help. However, that’ll only happen if you’ll learn to take care of them first.
“Jack of all trades and master of one.”
I’m not sure who said this first; however, a friend of mine shared this line, which sums up the secret of today’s career development requirements.
It takes years or thousands of hours to master one thing; however, gone are the days when we can learn one thing only and don’t have a clue of the rest to do well in our careers.
It is crucial to focus on your one thing and be the best at it. However, developing your lifelong learning areas continuously are equally essential to be ahead from your colleagues and experience constant growth in your career.
For example, if you are a website developer, you can pick and master your preferred areas of expertise such as front end or backend development. However, it is almost impossible to be a master developer without enhancing your skills in the related fields as well.
For example, to deliver your website project masterpiece, which will help you grow in your career, you’ll also require the following along with your website development skills:
- Growth & Outward Mindset: You are 100% responsible for your work. Everyone around you is there to support you to achieve progress but can’t be held accountable for your results.
- Leadership: You are the leader of your work.
- Project Goal: Understanding the overall project goal, not just your particular part can help you grow in your career significantly.
- Excellent Communication: This is the key to understand the problem you are trying to solve through your website development skills. If you can’t communicate clearly to understand the website development requirements, how will you perform your work as expected?
- Teamwork: You must be clear of the importance of you play in your team’s success. Your work must help your team grow together. It is only possible when you have clarity of your team members challenges.
- Stress Management: The more you grow in your career, the higher the stress of making important decisions will come your way.
- Productivity: While delivering your website development work, you’ll be juggling with constant personal and professional interruptions, which is impossible to manage without improving your productivity continually.
- Tools for Business: Technology changes rapidly, and customer expectations increase accordingly as well. Remote working particularly requires you to be top of the latest collaboration and project management tools.
- Regular Reviews: Last but not least, reviewing your work regularly and finding areas to improve 1% next time can do wonders in your career development.
I used a website developer as an example; however, I believe you can apply the principles to grow in any field.
Tools for Business
In the last 20 years, the Internet has changed the way we work.
- Post > Email
- Face to face meetings > Phone and video calls
- Simple phones > smartphones
- Offline project management > Online project management apps
- Physical storage > Cloud storage
- Local business > Global business
The list is never-ending how the Internet has impacted our work and personal lives in the last 20 years.
Growth mindset is critical to adapt constantly with new technologies to perform your work better and grow.
Blaming others for interruptions that result in being less productive is the easiest way to free up yourself from responsibility.
Technology has enabled us to achieve a lot more; however, it has created an enormous number of distractions as well, which are the biggest challenges of being productive today.
- Social media catchup
- Phone notifications
- Web surfing
- Online meetings
It is quite easy to be busy but not productive.
A few things that helped me immensely to get things done are:
- Getting dressed in the morning even though you are working from home.
- Working from a list (1–6 essential tasks). Creating this list night before works great for a solid start next morning.
- Blocking 60–90 minutes time lots for each essential task.
- Designated work only area, if you are working from home.
- Having a fixed start and end time.
- Leaving my phone in the other room until 1.00 pm.
- Last but not least, always be ready for the interruptions and don’t forget to have fun.
Growth and outward mindset help you see the difference between being busy and productive.
Are you wondering how blogging can help you to enhance your growth and outward mindset?
Blogging first started as online journals. However, since then, the blogging world has evolved, and you can use blogs for any reason you can imagine now.
A blog is an excellent tool for:
- Your digital CV
- Get feedback on your ideas
- Build a community around your passion
- Build rapport and establish authority
- Document your learning & life experiences
And the act of blogging is so powerful, which helps you:
- Seek clarity and improve your ideas
- Become a better writer
- Improve your self-confidence
- Connect with likeminded people
- Become a thought leader
I would highly recommend starting a blog if you haven’t already, which will help you explore your hidden creativity and improve your growth and outward mindset.
Which mindset helped you achieve success in life?
I’m excited to learn from you in the comments below!