I always thought I knew what I was doing. No one told me I was doing it wrong. How was I to know? It seemed like an obvious and logical way. I had been doing it this way for years. It was natural for me. I don’t remember how I learned it, I just knew that was how it was done. From watching others do it to just figuring it out myself, how could there be a different or better way? Things like:
- Cutting a watermelon – cut in half, then cut the half in half and then in slices
- Dusting Furniture – left to right, top to bottom overlapping
- Typing a document – format font, margins, etc. first, then type
- Mowing the grass – gas mower, lines back and forth (similar to dusting)
- Changing sheets – top corner, bottom corner, other top, other bottom
- Measuring ingredients – level with the back of a knife to ensure accuracy
- Driving – can’t explain. Ride with me.
- Putting the project together – develop your concept and plan then work.
- Painting – cut in, paint walls in a V stroke roller fashion (middle, top, bottom)
- The list goes on ….
I had my way of doing things. I liked it. It worked.
Until one day someone comes along and rocks your world by challenging the way you do something. It might be a passive way of just doing something differently, a comment of curiosity “why don’t you…..”, or the more assertive “that’s not how you do it….”.
These perspectives of a new and different way can impact us differently. Sometimes we dig in and argue our way is better or right. We might briefly consider it and then return to our proven and preferred approach. Other times we might lean back in curiosity to understand and learn a different way.
It can be challenging to learn, much less change the way we do things. Have you ever broken an arm and had to use your opposite hand? It stretches your mind and triggers your impulses which are now restricted from doing things the way you are used too.
Change, however, is good. It physically grows new gray matter in your brain as your brain has to work to learn and develop a new pathway. It challenges your mind to be sharp and pay attention. It expands your skills to not only be able to do something x but y way. It expands your knowledge, operating system and ideas of something. This can make you more versed to see other solutions and adapt to other ways of doing things. This is really a “growth mindset”.
A growth mindset is open and unattachment to one way of doing things. A curiosity to explore, openness to learning and willingness to fail. In opposition, the “fixed mindset” digs roots that want to master one way, but limit itself in flexibility, perspective, and expansiveness. While achieving mastery is ideal, it is a process that includes being adaptable to your current way, seeing new ways and a willingness to try other ways. Ultimately it will make you more versatile and give you more options.
In what areas of life do you dig in and get fixed or rigid?
Where are you open to learn and grow?
Where are you fighting something that you NEED to be more open to?
What if you applied this same attitude and perspective to areas you love and to new possibilities?
How can you make yourself more open?
Challenge and stretch yourself to learn, try and do something different today!