Mindset is often defined as our collective thoughts and outlook on the world. This plays a critical role in what we achieve and accomplish in our lives. It determines how we respond to adversities and experiences that challenge our well-being. It can also be a driving force to push us forward no matter where and under what conditions we were born while others fall short. It’s amazing how so few of us ever give consideration as to how our mental outlook influences our approach to life.
Dr. Carol Dweck in her book MindsSet indicates that people have either a fixed or growth mindset that dictates their outlook on life. People with the fixed mindset tend to stay stuck and not to live up to their full potential while those with a growth mindset appear to be unstoppable and willing to take on new challenges in life. I prefer to identify people as having either a “can’t do” or a “can do” mindset. Each day we awaken, we can decide to have a “can’t do” or “can do” mindset. A person with a “can’t do” mindset tends to search for reasons for why things cannot be done. They hold themselves back from pursuing their goals. Some see defeat before they ever get started.
A “can do” mindset reflects our internal drive and determination to get things done. It gives us the confidence to do whatever necessary to achieve our goals. People with a “can do” mindset don’t sit around waiting for someone to remove the obstacles in their lives. They find a way to overcome, go around or through them if necessary, but never give up. A “can do” mindset empowers us to rise above negative circumstances and to remain hopeful no matter how many setbacks we encounter.
The right mindset enables us to make the correct choice or decision at crucial junctions in our lives. It serves as a catalyst that helps us to decide which road of life to travel. There comes a time when we are faced with the decision to take the short or long road to achieve our goals. A “can’t do” mindset is more likely to select the short road to success and the “can do” will most often follow the long road. The short road tends to be the ideal path because it often brings immediate happiness, instant gratification and requires minimum effort. It may not require a major investment of time and effort to produce immediate results. This is good when everything goes according to plans, but it can be a life changer when they don’t.
On the other hand, the long road tends to be more uncertain. There are no guarantees that the outcome will go accordingly to plans. When things don’t go accordingly to plans, the person with the “can do” mindset is usually more willing to continue on - driven by their dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It can be just the opposite for someone with a “can’t do” mindset.
Writing this blog caused me to reflect on the significance of having a “can do” mindset in the lives of my brothers and I. We grew up in a rural town in southeast Georgia. There is only one red light within the ten-mile city limit boundary. When visiting, I run the entire city limit within one hour and a half. We were the first in the family to go to college and establish ourselves in relatively successful careers. Thus, we have provided a quality life style for our families, traveled the world, and become contributors to the well-being of society.
A “can do” mindset has been a game changer for us because we:
· chose to focus on where we were going and not where we started from and what we didn’t have.
· concentrated our efforts on continuous self-improvement and raising our game to the next level.
· believed in our ability to accomplish whatever we set our minds too.
· never set limitations on what we could or could not do.
This story is shared not to boast, but to serve as an example of how having the right mindset has made a difference in our lives. My brothers and I approach each day with a belief that our goals are achievable through hard work and perseverance. The self-confidence we display is often mistaken for arrogance and pride. This is not the case at all. Failure has never been an option for us.
A “can do” mindset will empower us to take on new challenges and opportunities knowing it will require personal sacrifice and commitment. The constant pursuit of dreams, hopes and desires is never ending. There are no short roads to success. It’s is a life long journey with many unseen pot holes, curves, and turns. It requires a “can do” mindset to endure and overcome the obstacles that block our pathway to living up to our full potential in this highly competitive world. Please share this blog with at least 10 other people that you think would benefit from this discussion.
Written by Dr. RLKight for Mind Power Solutions at www.mindpowersolutions.com