‘A person’s true nature is revealed at times of the greatest adversity.’
- Daisaku Ikeda
The quote is a beautiful reflection of how we as humans put a great significance on people who excel when the chips are down. We tend to compartmentalize our own race into different groups of individuals. On the one side, people who can weather any storm and on the other side, people who just go with the flow having no idea of the destination they would want to end up in. They mostly look up to the first group to guide them overcome their troubles and put them in the safety and comfort of their own ignorance. Ignorance, carefully built around for years to avoid any direct confrontation with their fears.
Employers and employees, Leaders and Managers, Artisans and workers, and all self-empowered people vs dependents. I hope there is no need to clarify who is part of which group. Also, do not go by the literal meaning of say an employer and an employee. An employer is anybody who can get people to work for her while maintaining the dignity of those people. An employee is mostly dependent on someone else to show his talent. Artisans wield their own intrinsic abilities while workers wait for instructions. Leaders not only influence but also put others before self while managers are mostly interested to get results than care for people.
During a crisis, we need more people who show traits of employers, leaders, artisans and self-empowered individuals. Others can easily rally around them. The question is, is there a way we could move up to the first category if we currently fall in the second one? The answer is yes – we can learn to develop a growth mindset.
In her book, Mindset-the psychology of success, Dr. Carol Dweck has explained in detail about the differences between people having a growth versus fixed mindset.
People with Growth mindset,
- Focus on effort.
- Have a mechanism to deal with failure.
- Are willing to try new things.
- Enjoy the journey rather than get toxic about results.
- Embrace feedback and
- Are willing to take risks.
The ones with fixed mindset usually do the opposite. However, we all have the capability to change ourselves. Our brains with their amazing power of neural plasticity can mould us, leading to change in thoughts, habits and behaviour, which can then harmonize with our ideal self, provided we strongly believe in it. What are some of the things we can do to acquire and develop a growth mindset?
- Belief – The fundamental block on which the entire castle of our mindset rests. A vividly captivating belief is the first step towards changing our mindset. We need to believe in our capabilities and once we do that, result automatically follow. Placebos work because our brains have the power to simulate and believe even if the event has not actually occurred and exists only mentally.
- Managing Failure – We all have to go through failed results before we succeed. However, how we respond to failure, decide whether we will try again or not. Failure if viewed as a learning opportunity can do wonders and can leave us stranded if we continue to crib or obsess over it.
- Being Mindful – Being mindful provides a great opportunity to live in the present without having to worry about the future or ruminate about the past. Looking within help explore hidden strengths and capabilities that a lot of time we forget about.
- Learn – Never lose an opportunity to learn. Every interaction brings about a chance to become better, so don’t let it go waste.
- Moving out of the comfort zone – Try doing things, which challenge you. If you can do 100 push-ups, don’t get complacent, rather try for more. Do something beyond your current ability. This will not only keep you sharp but will also ensure you remain in great physical and mental shape.
- Investing in Relationships – This requires you to be emotionally available to your loved ones and be open about your own fears and insecurities with them. Discussions with them will not only help you grow but will also expose you to new and different perspectives.
- Keep Trying – There are innumerable examples of people who didn’t gave up no matter how difficult the situation. Human child has to fall down 5000 times before it can stand on its own. We need to have the same tenacity even when we grow older.
The first step is the critical one. Have an unrelenting belief in yourself and in your idea; everything else will follow provided belief is indivertible.