How Achieving Hinges On Mindset

When I was learning to play the guitar, there were many days I just wanted to quit.  “It’s too hard.  I’ll never be able to do this,” I told myself.

So I’d put the guitar down and go do something else.  Something easier.  Something I was good at.  Something I could accomplish.

In those moments of frustration I suffered from something that keeps so many of us from achievement.  A fixed mindset.

In her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dr. Carol Dweck explains how achievement hinges on whether we approach something with a fixed or growth mindset.  Simply put, growth-minded people welcome opportunities to learn, while people with fixed mindsets focus on talent and accomplishing the task flawlessly right now.

Those with a fixed mindset also shy away from situations in which they see a risk of failure or judgment.

That’s exactly what I was doing with the guitar. Rather than see it as a learning opportunity and something I had to work at, I was committing self-sabotage by focusing on my failure to get the song right, right then.  In my mind, I was a failure and not talented enough.

The truth of the matter is that was bogus.  The truth was I just needed to remind myself that I was learning, needed to practice more, and over time I would get it.  End of story.

The same is true for you.

You have a choice in whether or not you accomplish whatever it is you set out to do.  It’s all about the mindset you employ along the way.

Question:  How has a fixed mindset held you back or a growth mindset helped you achieve?

The Secret To Living The Dream

Most of us who work work for someone.  Someone with entrepreneurial spirit.  Someone who values the freedom of working for them self.  A problem solver.  Someone with a dream.

Those of us who seek greater meaning to life, seek out our why or our place in the world.  A dream.

Those of us who make decisions today to benefit our children, even unborn children, seek the same thing.  A dream.

Somewhere in every business out there, someone is living the dream.  It may be the CEO.  It may be someone in the middle of the organization.  It may be the most junior person.

Someone you know is working to discover their purpose in life or place in it.  Perhaps it’s you.

Parents all around are sacrificing, exercising discipline and planning so their children may benefit.  Children they may not even have yet.

“Living the dream” is completely relative.  It has nothing to do with your position, title, age, gender, race, income, the automobile you drive, the size of your house or the type of coffee you drink.

“Living the dream” is state of mind.  A perception of one’s world and all that is good in it.  A fuller view.  A view that recognizes there are so many who are less fortunate while simultaneously rejoicing over the blessings in our own lives.  That’s the secret.

A state of mind.

It’s the only thing that separates those living the dream and not.

So, I ask you, are you living the dream?

Tuesday Question – Parents, I Need Your Advice!

It’s Tuesday Question time!  You may have seen MaryBeth and I are expecting our first child this year.  As expected, we’re getting advice out the ying yang and it’s so appreciated!  But we need some advice about something else – our marriage.

What advice do you have for first-time parents to keep their marriage healthy and strong once the kid is here?

Please comment below!

Smoothing Out The Rough Spots In Life

Sandpaper really is a remarkable invention.  I mean sure it’s just paper with some sort of adhesive that holds on a bunch of sand, but it’s amazingly handy.

Woodworkers use it to make furniture.  It can be used to clean tile grout, polish metal, enhance fashion accessories, artists even use it (Hi, Jana).  I mean it’s one of those great, simple inventions of the world like duct tape.

But do you know what sand paper isn’t any good for?

Smoothing out the rough spots in our lives and in our society, especially those that began centuries ago, are rooted in sin and we continue to do today.  Pretty heavy, huh?

So, first off, God was pretty cool for the whole saving-us-from-our-sins thing because from the moment of creation we’ve been screwing up.  Do you think God saw that one coming?  But while we’re masters at doing things wrong, we’re also really good at trying to make things right.

A great example of how we try to smooth out the rough spots in life is with issues like capital punishment, a very controversial topic that seemingly everyone has an opinion about.  Now to be clear, this post isn’t about whether capital punishment is right or wrong.

Rather, it’s about how we try to deal, cope and manage with really difficult issues like this one.  An issue people are usually either for or against with passion levels that run the gamut.  Similar issues probably come to mind.

But here’s the thing.  Does it really matter how we try to right the wrong?  Is there a good answer?  Is there a sandpaper out there that can adequately smooth down the rough spots of this issue and make it right, especially when the answer involves killing.

For centuries now we’ve attempted to do so, and as modern society has involved, we’ve come up more “humane” ways to kill.

But in its simplest form, capital punishment is killing, no matter how you look at it.  Sure, we cloak it in “justice” to justify it and “make things right.”  But look at what started the cycle that led to someone be executed “legally.”

Murder.  Someone killed someone and humans believed something should be done about it in an attempt to smooth out the rough spot.

In my view, here’s another way to look at this issue and others like it.  Think of the grossest food you’ve ever eaten.

Now think about rolling it in sugar or chocolate.

Now think about taking a bite.

Does it make it taste any better?

Those of us living today are simply a snapshot in time.  If life is a river, we are all creeks flowing into it, carrying forward both the good and bad of mankind and doing our best to make things right as we go.

If only though we could re-evaluate our approach, rewind the tape to the beginning, and start anew.

Or maybe a better way to look at it is if only the entire world would re-evaluate and commit to following God’s word.  Boy what a Lenten season that would be.

Perhaps then we could trade in our sandpaper for something a little smoother.

Question:  How else do we try to smooth out the rough spots in life?