Critic or Creator? Growth or Fixed Mindset?

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Seeing hope or hell in the difficult place that follows COVID and a pesky pandemic? Simply stated are we merely critiquing ongoing problems or are we creating doable possibilities? 

While a growth mindset stokes our creator sense of “I can do this,” our fixed or critical mindset tends to fight back with a sense of, “No way can it work.” And history reminds us that any more folks act out of a critic’s mindset than a creators. How so? Take the many sculptors, such as Agostino d’Antonio and others, who tried and soon concluded nothing could be carved from a large piece of marble.  Then Michael Angelo came to the exact same marble slab with a growth mindset and imagined first, then created David! The rest is history. 

Our inner voice is where we nurture and sustain a growth mindset, and this same intrapersonal intelligence domain is also where we default to critic or fixed mindset. It’s a daily choice.

Thomas Edison, for instance, chose a growth mindset for his own creativity and yet he criticized his friend, Henry Ford’s dream of creating an auto as worthless and a waste of time. Ford however, found the resilience needed to move his motorcar creations beyond his first attempts of building a vehicle without reverse gears, and built cars that transformed the world’s transportation possibilities. What nudged Ford past his friend’s criticism to embrace a growth mindset until he reached his dream?

Was his persistence similar to that of Orville and Wilbur Wright? You’ll likely remember from history how these creative brothers had to fend off critics that included friends, journalists, armed forces leaders, and even their father who criticized their work as frivolous and a silly way to waste time and money. Yet the Wright brothers stoked their growth mindset and made Kitty Hawk, so this site in South Carolina now still marks the launch of their first airplane, as a result.

Whether critics came after Benjamin Franklin’s attempts to outdo what was considered fabulous oil lamps and blocked him from turning on eclectic lights that improve our environment, or whether they come after our experiments for a finer world after the pandemic, a growth mindset can help us take our first step in the direction of creations that build a legacy.

My 2021 book, The Teen’s Growth Mindset Workbook, walks teens through practical and doable  steps they can don a growth mindset and make fabulous innovations forward much like Malala Yousajzai made by standing up to armed rebels to improve the lot of women and defend lifelong learning in developing nations.

My 2022 book, Assessing Our Growth Mindset: Awaken Loving-Kindness, Empathy, Healing and Hope, offers us the mental, emotional and spiritual tools we already possess to live and nurture a grace and growth mindset. Armed with an omnipotent superpower given us at birth we awaken out creative and best selves much like Star Wars characters awaken and live the Force. What if we choose grace and growth today to awaken a magnificent quality of life following COVID?

In addition to paperback, this book is NOW released as an audio book!