(4) Where’d all Our Friendships Go? Long Time Passing…

      Comments Off on (4) Where’d all Our Friendships Go? Long Time Passing…

“We never really understand others until we consider things from their point of view – until we climb into their skin and walk around in it.” (To Kill a Mockingbird) What if we imagine five qualities or habits we most admire in friends or family members. Then let’s consider one trait at a time from our list and become that characteristic.

Since we tend to criticize in others what we lack or dislike in ourselves it only makes sense to start with inner growth if we hope to improve relationships with anybody.

Let’s not be afraid of missed opportunities in past, or let’s not focus on any failure to relate well to somebody we care about. Even hatred or unforgiveness can give personal  meaning and purpose to growth if we consider growth mindset as a way to improve our communication abilities. According to Carl Jung, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.“

Vincent van Gogh put it this way, “One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever comes to sit by it. Passers by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.”

Is it possible that we criticize others more as an attempt to fill personal voids, rather than a desire to damage relationships? It’s been suggested that we cannot understand people deeply if we criticize them.  Would you also agree that we tend to criticize people less when we understand them deeply?

If it’s true that the only things we take with us when we’re gone are relationships we left behind, it may also be true that mentally and emotionally healthy seniors tend to communicate better with their world, in spite of people’s shortcomings.  We see many personal growth opportunities to improve relationships if we consider the actions of emotionally healthy seniors around us to simply be there in the moment, accept what is, and be alive.

Rather than criticize his son for failing to tell him he would soon be a grandfather, Arthur decided to build a ship-shaped cradle for his new grandson. We can learn a great deal here from seniors like Arthur who choose to use their strengths to adapt in ways that cultivate healthy interdependence and relationships that foster a sense of purpose. A growth mindset helps us to find new ways to contribute to others as we grow and enjoy using our strengths. When we do things we enjoy most, and when we fail to make expectations of others, we find that others feel free to enjoy our contributions too.

Growth mindset led language includes questions that invite support and communication – 

1.  – How can I help?

2.  – Need a hug?

3.  – Are you OK?

4.  – Would breathing help?

5.  – I’m here if you need me.

6.  – Feel especially grateful for you.

7.  – Let’s brainstorm a solution together.

8.  – What do you think?

No need to lie or make false claims to convert criticism into care and kindness. According to Quantum Physics,  truth vibrates at the highest frequency. In this elevated frequency our energy or vibration we feel freer in our physical, emotional, and mental selves. We experience greater personal strengths such as confidence, clarity, peace, kindness, love, and joy. We feel less discomfort or pain emotionally when challenges arise.

When armed with truth we tend to act in ways that validate that truth. It’s these caring  actions such as kindness owed to every living creature that change the emotional tone of our relationships. We also learn how to disagree without being disagreeable.

We also open up to trust those around us in ways that foster growth between us. It may take a few tries to trust some close relationships that have been damaged in past. Or trauma may also place cracks in our ability to trust others and grow together.

Floyd let a few friends know he was feeling lost and alone after his lifelong partner passed. Unfortunately he told friends nothing about his activities in an online dating chat room. By the time loved ones learned that Floyd was involved with a digital romantic encounter, he’d been scammed out of $15,000 by a bot female who claimed to have won his heart from a foreign country.

Floyd is not alone here, apparently families lost 15 million dollars last year through scammers who pretended to care and to build a relationship with vulnerable seniors. Psychiatrist Andre Wong found that when we think we are in love we want to help others more. So it’s no surprise that when scammers feign love and then claim that a child is sick in hospital and require a large amount of money to be helped, we are more willing to send that monetary help.

Fortunately, Floyd’s friends eventually found out what happened, rallied around him and helped him to retrieve some of the money he lost. Relationships can withstand many knocks and bumps as long as we get back into fellowship one more time than we slip  out of meaningful communication.

Which of us would not prefer more lasting and memorable relationships to accompany us into and beyond our senior years? And fortunately we each have the mental and emotional potential to ensure we have cultivated just those friendships.

In David Hay’s poem on the care that sustains us in later years, that follows, where do we see our social IQ capability to feel and communicate sincerely each of these sentiments and mean them as they relate to a close pal or partner? 

What would you see as the characteristics we each develop personally that might motivate others to remind us that they’ll still be loving us?

A growth mindset approach to aging friends can be visualized in David Hay’s 1936 poem, titled, I’LL STILL BE LOVING YOU

When your hair has turned to winter
and your teeth are in a plate,
when your getter up and go
has gone to stop and wait …
I’ll still be loving you.   
When your attributes have shifted
beyond the boundaries of grace,
I’ll count your many blessings,
not the wrinkles in your face …
I’ll still be loving you.   
When the crackle in your voice
matches that within your knee
and the times are getting frequent
that you don’t remember me …
I’ll still be loving you.   
Growing old is not a sin,
it’s something we all do.
I hope you’ll always understand …
I’ll still be loving you.   

If you agree that the growth mindset communication here is “I’ll still be loving you,” you’ll also likely agree that the most probable replacement line for the fixed mindset person might be something such as, “ I can no longer love you

That leads us to the precious pathways that are forged by growth mindset communications, as opposed to more painful pathways forged by fixed mindset counterparts.

We rarely have to wait until conflicts cease to begin practicing a growth mindset approach. That is because we can begin at any moment to lay the groundwork for extending care, kindness and compassion when we meet social challenges.

Perhaps we choose to ask a question rather than offer an answer as a quick fix,  for example We might cultivate a growth mindset by asking questions such as:

What would a win-win solution look like here?

Or, we may start by asking:

What would this look like if everything stacked in your favor?

Then we ask:

What’s our best approach and what risks will we need to take to get there?

What would our social  success look like from the mindset of a High Social IQ?

According to Ralph Waldo Emerson:  “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better. Whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

Do families and youth typically agree with David Bowie’s view of seniors  that, “Aging is an extraordinary process whereby we become the person we always should have been?” And if not why not? If Bowie is correct, he’d be happy to know that our brains come with unique equipment to help resolve conflicts and foster far better wins for all those around us also.

Conflict grows perilous for those who lack brain-powered tools, yet disagreements add linchpins of growth for those equipped with sharp mental tactics who practice awareness.   

Watch warfare erupt in your circles and you’ll likely see 1 of 10 instigators:

1. Angry folks show few skills to tame our amygdala.

2. Stubborn people often lack mental ability to let it go.

3. Fearful people tend to obsess over harm they fear facing.

4. Bullies rewire mentally and mistreat others for their way.

5. Unpredictable people tend to explode under pressure.

6. Misguided folks daily satisfy personal needs ahead of all.

7. Insincere people often speak words they rarely mean.

8. Complainers avoid solutions yet frame problems cynically.

9. Lamenters dwell on regrets for what could have been.

10. Victims use fewer intelligences yet blame others for most miseries.

Each of the above firecrackers for war, rewire our brains for more fire with every use.

In similar ways, mental skills also rewire human brains to  target agreement in disagreeable settings. Not that senior warriors are easily moved toward peaceful resolutions. Just the opposite.

Yet Mita Growth Minded skills will  move most people past the ruts that brains default to based on contentious behaviors or habits. It may amaze you to see how the human brain literally acts as a compelling force against change, to those without mental skills to reconfigure combative actions when conflict strikes. How so? For those who perform even tiny acts of peace, the brain rewires daily against war and for benefits that come from engaging respectful disagreements.

It starts with tone that opens opportunities and ends with the kind of curiosity  and creativity that Einstein and others model so well, to inspire the rest of us. What’s Your peacemaking IQ when others disagree?

When conflict with family members or friends strike, the fixed mindset tends to blame,  assume the worst, run or fight back. Most would agree that before we can enjoy a growth mindset socially, we ensure that we are building our emotional and inner personal IQ.

Mita offers tools such as mind-guiding which is a form of mutual mentoring to help us look at a problem collaboratively with the intention of finding a solution together. The process, however requires us to come together with an open mind and ability to find meaningful solutions across diversity. Once we have settled our non-negotiable inner kindness, we are mentally and emotionally fueled by serotonin and therefore equipped to reach out to others and foster the same good tone.

Social networking reshapes our brains in several significant ways. It’s not only because we may get hacked online one day or helped on another. Social media changes how we live and influences how we interact.

If we blame problems on others we tend to miss the opportunity to examine self and change approaches to grow better emotional and mental skills. Our openness to growing good tone skills, for instance,  opens a mental and emotional door to awareness. That awareness is the sure-fire launching pad for growth in social situations. Awareness hands us the table setting to grow and lead well with others.

Anton Chekov said,” People can’t begin to change themselves till they know who they are.”

When we are aware of our strengths and weaknesses we begin to see areas for growth in wisdom that the world craves. We can bring fun and friendship to any table. Food and friendship are already there. When we take the first step, we begin to see the evidence of what life could be if we open ourselves to the social strategies that sustain growth and help us to become more of who we could be.

The opposite to strategy is stupidity, according to Dr. Robert Green who wrote the book, The 48 Laws of Power.

How do we move past the toxic forces that try to define who we are?

We can lean into the pain of unhappiness or frustration and listen to joy and delight in our  lives. It takes risk and it illuminates Ryan Holiday’s challenging yet important wisdom. Holiday reminds us there may be little we can do about life issues, but we can change how we react to things that happen.

For Einstein and for especially wise seniors this wisdom comes from apophenia or the tendency to see connections between unrelated things.

Seniors may wonder, How do we dismantle the prison of our conventions that block growth and keep us in a miserable place? This two footed question takes an action to respond in a way that ensures growth.

First, we identify one area or convention we adhere to  that might invite improvement, however small. These need not be especially bad habits, but may be simply conventions we settle into over time.

 For instance, I chose the shopping setting I enjoy most when I deliberately avoid, run from, or am a bit brisk with assertive clerks who appear to try and sell me things I am not interested in.

My preference is to wander quietly and think or focus on what I am looking for. Talking interrupts my sense of quiet that helps me to organize my ideas, stay within my budget, and open my mind to ideas I hadn’t yet thought of as possibilities to purchase.

You could say, I am using a fixed mindset here, and I agree.  In fact I made a deliberate decision to address the clerks thoughtfully, and then ask them politely for quiet if they insist on following me with their ideas of what I should purchase.

Rather then avoid these clerks and even judge them to be after my wallet more than my communication, I decided to change to a growth mindset where I engage them in ways that value them and allow me the freedom to stroll alone.

Since I made this growth mindset choice I no longer dread walking into a small shop where I used to feel descended upon by a sales person. Instead, now I engage them by inquiring how they are doing. I may respond briefly to a topic they bring up or start an easy conversation of something relevant and interesting to both of us at the moment.

That one convention that held me in a fixed and unkind prison, has now become an area if look forward to in fun ways I challenge clerks into conversation with win-win results.

Another convention I faced and changed was my former fear of walking into a wedding or group meeting room full of couples and then try to find a table that would feel welcoming.

Once I faced the fear, and became aware of my fixed assumptions that I’d not fit in well as a single woman, I then settled with ease at any table in ways that left me excited to get to know people of diverse backgrounds. Another small change from fixed into growth mindset where fears and false assumptions give way for curiosity, new relationships and the possibility to thrive myself and bless others.

Meta-messages also lower our interpersonal or social intelligence

Have you noticed  seniors who speak in meta-messages that leave victims running for escape hatches? We begin to question flaws between their lines because what we hear is not what the speaker means. How does it happen? When we lack interpersonal  intelligence, we tend to use meta-messages instead of honest communications. Some may even wonder why their victims bolt. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Meta-messages come from undeveloped interpersonal intelligences, and they may torpedo the very people we hoped to help or care for. These harmful masks also kill brainpower for future exchanges whenever meta-messages appear.

In conflicts we sometimes use meta-messages such as – All’s OK –  when it’s not, and perhaps we’re really holding and hiding a grudge about unspoken problems. Our amygdalas flare, like lightning strikes iron rods when meta-messages mix insincerity with untrue words.

In learning we pretend we understand long before we do, and claiming to know a thing before we do can default our brains back to ruts because we failed to speak sincerely, and so could not apply new facts accurately because we only pretended to understand.

In communication we claim we have no hurt feelings, when our emotions were literally crushed, and that meta-message sends convoluted meanings that can leave whole circles with mental regrets.

What do we really mean anyway, when we use camouflages such as –

I. I don’t mean to be critical but …
2. That’s OK …
3. Catch me next time…
4. It doesn’t really matter, but …
5. It’s only because I care that I tell you this …
6. Guess I’ll have to do it by myself from now on …
7. No hurt feelings… but …
8. I don’t really mind at all …
9. Sorry …
10. I don’t mean to be negative, but …

If meta-messages are simple cover ups with convoluted meanings,  they rarely hide how speakers feel. Nor does it take Dr. Phil to  pick up on the fact that what we say in pretense may not be what we mean.

Check out the vernacular for common meta-messages below to see if similar hidden meanings might be lurking in our language.

1. We may say – I don’t mean to be critical but we really mean – this stuff stinks!
2. That’s Ok – which means – cause you’re too dumb to get it right anyway!
3. Catch me next time – is really meant to add –  if you can run faster than me from this thing!
4. It doesn’t really matter – means –cause you’ll never get it right anyway!
5. It’s only because I care that I tell you this – translates into – because if I didn’t say that first you’d likely pop me one when you hear what I have to tell you!
6. Guess I’ll have to do it by myself from now on – is really saying – cause none of you jerks will help me!
7. No hurt feelings – is simply the disguise for – cause you’re too crude to waste feelings on anyway!
8. I don’t really mind – translates into – cause if I let myself mind I’d sue you for your last breath!
9. Sorry – may say in reality –   you’re cramping my style and that’s a major problem, so don’t expect more cause I’m apologizing ahead.
10. How do you like my work – more truthfully begs –  Say it’s great. Say it rocks. Say it’s brilliant, OK?

Meta-messages torpedo trust and pretense prevents open communications in many toxic settings.  We say what others want to hear to avoid speaking what’s really on our mind.

The opposite of meta-messages, is tone that communicates sincerity and can build goodwill even among people who disagree. Do you observe more tone or meta-messages?

Gaslighting is another weapon we use in fixed mindset approaches that can get toxic at times. How so? Let’s say we hurt another person’s feeling. We may feel badly, yet not bad enough to get into an argument with that person. Perhaps we remember futile results of past conflicts here.

Gaslighting is mental and emotional manipulation, especially when we use its deception  to accuse another person by questioning their feelings, ideas, actions and even their stability. Gaslighting may mean we pretend not to understand issues when we do understand.

Gaslighting includes questioning another’s memory of issues even when they recall things  correctly. Perhaps we pretend to forget things ourselves when we actually remember.

It may involve refusing to keep a promise we falsely deny making. Or it may find us belittling another person’s very being by falsely accusing them of being too sensitive even if their reactions are absolutely reasonable.

It’s no surprise that the abusive habit of  gaslighting creates anxiety, confusion, and even depression. In other words, it hurts ourselves and others. It’s opposite is a growth mindset response that fosters a  sense of wellbeing in ways that use good tone, even to disagree at times, without being disagreeable in so doing. 

Whether we use gaslighting to divert blame off ourselves, or another person gaslights us to do the same, growth mindset approaches can begin to build back trust and restore some relationships. The word some here is used to infer that we may not be able to repair all situations, where dysfunctional gaslighting stems from roots in our past, or where manipulation is deep-seated as a way of protecting ourselves.

Gaslighting often occurs most when we feel a need to control fixed ideas, even though they may be untrue. Conflict is resolved faster when we use growth mindset tactics of admitting our part in the difficulties faced, and admitting kindly that we’ll try to do better in future misunderstandings. Rather than criticize we speak with care, rather than blame we reframe our responses to show we are committed to fostering a win-win growth mindset response, such as those identified in the following section.

The most effective way to uptick bad habits is to surround ourselves with people who possess or reach for open minded thinking. That means we may want to run from cynics, who criticize or complain in ways that curtail innovative brainpower needed to thrive and prosper.

On that note, our brains come with built in camera equipment, called mirror neurons. Even when we are unaware, these mimicking tools literally fire in reaction to another person’s emotions, moods or activity.

Around caring people we begin to mimic more compassion and empathy. Around cynics, we begin to mimic and present more criticism and harsh judgements. At times we become aware or conscious of these transferred behaviors. And at other times we take on traits unconsciously from those around us. In both cases we are prone to mimic growth or fixed mindsets, depending who we surround ourselves with at the time. 

In ways discussed we literally wire and rewire our brains for gridlock and compromise that can poison communications, it’s also true that disagreements can  blast open delightful doors to life-changing ethical insights.  When we differ with open-mindedness, we build goodwill among others who differ also. How so?

If we’ve ever benefited from unique insights, we’ve likely also seen opposing viewpoints from high-performance minds,  that beg to differ. So why then, do disagreements also break up relations, terminate projects, shut down close friendships, promote racism, and even ignite wars?

To  disagree well, is also  to lead and learn well, and they both have more to do with how our brains prosper growth,  than we may realize.  In growth mindset settings, disagreement avoids clashes on the one hand, and offers amazing new zest for genius, on the other. How so?

Rather than take potshots at people, consider disagreements as tools to build goodwill across differences:

1. We learn from facts in the opposite viewpoint: Look for and engage people on opposite sides of controversial issues, and watch facts fly from new angles to extend winning results. The other side of war is peace, for instance, and its tactics are taught by brilliant minds sometimes silenced, for a one-side-only approach to conflict.

2. We can solve complex problems better with diverse thinkers. We’re often surprised how many hidden and unused parts of the brain spring alive, when we dig or deep dive for solutions across genders, cultures, beliefs and background experiences, with an idea to learn together yet not to convert others.

3. Draw on multiple intelligences for fresh ideas. Each human brain comes equipped with at least 8 intelligences, that offer innate tools for drawing solutions from alternative pools. Disagreements can kick-start progressive pathways past ruts or routines, that otherwise barricade progress. Have you ever seen it happen among seniors?

4. Surprise others by improving our own approaches. Serotonin chemicals for goodwill literally spread to energize others’ minds, whenever we create changes that genuinely improve their situation.  Change, grow, improve some area of our own lives, and watch others progress in response. Let others know what they taught us along the way to keep serotonin growth alive and moving us forward though.

5. Anticipate angry responses that differences often bring. For many people who operate in fixed or one-way-only-steps, their brains’ chemical and electrical activity turn toxic when confronted with serious differences. Add to this the related cortisol rush confrontations surge to our brains, and we heat tempers and sharpen barbs in a heartbeat.

Those who prepare ahead, tend to come with growth mindset strategies that engage others meaningfully, before face offs from different views hit the fans.

6. Affirm each person’s genuine contributions. We increase lively mental tone, and open spigots to creativity for far more innovative possibilities,  when we welcome common ground at first.  If we praise or affirm what already works well, before we hammer out the differences, we can expect to watch solutions fly from all corners.

7. Risk the ambiguity that favors unity over uniformity. Uniformity with its rigid one-size-fits-all approach differs from unity, which mixes in differences to create a new soup altogether. Unity flavors differences with spices people create and celebrate together. It takes ongoing risk and a shot of sheer dopamine to polish innovative products that stem from differences.  Continually test results,   risk constant tweaking, and watch differences increase wealth and build us into caring communities.

8. Toss in good tone and teach less experienced leaders. Tone’s a skill that we all can learn, yet at times it’s practiced only by few. It’s found in genuine questions that shatter silences that hold back healthy merges. The opposite of anger’s shut downs, good tone opens mental acumen through apologies whenever darts are fired, and laughter to shake off personal offenses. It promotes success through the strengths found in differences or conflicts.

9. Leverage curiosity and expect brilliance from mistakes reworked. Watch any genius  work and we’ll also see hope and courage that fired Emerson to say: In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts. Mistakes bring differences together for another go at transformed minds. Choose to be curious and the very act rewires our brains for collaborative works of genius. Has it happened in your senior circles?

10. Stick a neuron in your head and laugh. Find humor in ourselves, our quirks, our previous biases, our false starts – and watch new neuron pathways form across differences. Paths toward complex projects, suddenly emerge from refreshing insights and a growing need for alternative perspectives. Do new neuron pathways enrich your journey with those who look, think, and act differently from you?

Each of the growth mindset tools here capitalize on differences, and depend on disagreements, to release new, revolutionary  brainpower. Similarly, each one can open spaces to expand ideas, gravitate to brighter futures, and unify people who build wealth from including differences, and benefiting more from well communicated disagreements.

How many top disagreement tools do we use at the peaks? One? Ten? Could differences, expressed in well articulated disagreements – rewire our brain and reboot our senior, family or friendship circles in the coming week?

We know from neurogenesis that we improve or worsen our situation by beliefs moved into action, and that social media reshapes the human brain by choices we make daily. Social networking websites, it turns out, literally reshape human brains chemically and electrically, and can alter brainwaves up or down too. Is that always a good thing though? 

Results are sobering. Research suggests that sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo can actually decrease attention spans, foster instant gratification, and encourage self-centered communications. Some tend to reboot brains to live more for the moment. Check out AcademHack’s ways to use Twitter to enhance academia.

No surprise that social media is said to be changing the way we think, yet jury’s still out on the negative or positive effects to our brains.  We’re warned of definitive ways to get social media wrong. It seems equally important to highlight the other side also, would you agree?

Here are 10 surefire tips to benefit from social media, with more growth mindset.

1. Use tone to build goodwill, even among those who disagree. Tone tools opens opportunities for us with life-changing dividends. Social media tone draws success like the moon attracts tides on an ocean shore.

2. Network to enhance our busy day, not swamp it. Fuel our brain with chemical hormones for growth and learning, by planning times ahead to engage others online. Then stick to designated times, rather than flipping online whenever desire to chatter pops into mind.

3. Interact with different ages and cultures. Follow social media leaders who differ from us and learn from their diverse insights. By linking to others’ sites and subscribing to feeds, learn from and value differences.

4. Ask great questions, and then act on social media’s best answers to add zip to our day. To read or hear works less magic in the brain than to rewire for enthusiasm through genuine, 2-footed questions.

5. Put feet to our own beliefs in social media settings, yet change and grow even deeply held assumptions, when others hold better ethics up to the rainbow. Know the difference, by the results received.

6. Run from cynics or bullies, in favor of proposing solutions to negative issues raised online. The opposite of abuse from others or toxic settings online, is to take deliberate steps toward peaceful solutions, that work wonders using our favorite intelligence.

7. Link to high performance minds in order to help build communities with others who lead change for improvements. Facilitate innovative minds online. Results can lead us to a fix for a broken system, that traps hebbian thinkers.

8. Engage opposing views in ways that show strengths from alternative perspectives. Step out of comfort zones often to check out views at unusual online sites. Embrace even change that comes from unexpected place and online remedies can lead to visible improvements.

One ideal way to listen well, understand others, and engage seniors in common interests is to ask a two-footed question that the person being asked would love to answer. Remember, the question’s left foot engages content and the right foot engages the person’s interest.

We might carefully view a person’s latest project. For instance, and ask, “What do you see as your best result here?”

We might hear a person’s persistent problem and ask, “How would you help a peer in a similar situation to yours here?”

We might support a senior to side-step a stubborn barrier by asking, “ What would this look like if everything stacked in your favor?”

Learn what a person needs most by asking, In a perfect world, what’s the best support you can imagine?”

Additional questions to address that alter the chemistry of our brain

1. How does joy or misery alter our brain’s chemistry and impact our outcomes?

2. When does criticism shut down brains and how can its alternative, creativity  prosper growth progress?

3. What do brain facts offer to benefit philanthropists?

4. What mindset most determines mastery or misery for seniors?

5. Where does stress lead us and how do we reduce it on a busy day?

6. What can our experience of care or kindness do to alter brains in a toxic setting?

7. Is there a growth mindset way to openly practice grace in ways that benefit all and attempt to convert none?

8. Can our mindset carry us beyond grief to look at a dark sky and see bright sparkling stars?

9. Does memory loss come from age or from fixed mindset habits?

10.Can we risk adventure to stop suffering angst in ways that cancel our fun?

11.Can we live healthier habits in fun, productive  ways that alter our brain’s chemistry?

12.Why does life-changing mentoring often take a mind-shift?

13.What newly discovered parts of our brains impact or alter our mindsets?

14. How do we creatively alter negative and fixed mindsets?

15.How do we encourage ourselves and others to take change into the future?

16. How does our mindset propel or prevent new learning and growth? Tips include…

-Open-minded thinking

-Tackle problems with possibilities

-Use mistakes as stepping stones

-Fueled by cortisol or serotonin

-Opposite growth mindset is fixed mindset

17. Why ask, HOW ARE WE SMART? and not ask,  How smart are we? Tips include …

-We each have 8 intelligences

-IQ is fluid and not fixed

-We grow all or some intelligences daily

-We measure growth by outcomes

-Working memory or basil ganglia – not both

18. How might our soul or spirit  help improve our growth mindset journey? Tips include…

– We access & awaken grace in our Intrapersonal IQ

– Grace adds unconditional love for an eternity

– Not an absence of suffering but a presence of awe

– Lifts us from scarcity to flourish and thrive

– Plasticity or amygdala

– Opposite grace mindset lies a cynical mindset

19. Should we welcome namungos (fictitious characters with real brain parts) to better balance our minds and emotions? Tips include…

-BAS (for basal ganglia) stores our habits, ruts, and routines

-SERO (for serotonin) fuels wellbeing and kindness, even under pressure

-WM (for working memory) holds new facts temporarily while we use them

-PLAS (for plasticity) changes our brains shape and functions

-CORT (for cortisol) raises stress and shuts down minds and emotions

-MYG (for amygdala) clings to moods storing both good and bad reaction

20. Can we do one thing differently because of something heard or read here?

-Pair share or contact me with your ideas at ewebermita@gmail.com

21. What’s so difficult about changing a cynical mindset into a kinder, caring one? Tips …

-How new neural connections work.

-Our cynical brains will rewire in REM sleep

-Plasticity – change and choice

-Fake it till you make it (with grace)

-Kindness starts with ourselves

22. Your two-footed questions …?

Typical 2-footed questions that engage growth mindset conversations

How do we tame our amygdala to build goodwill with those who disagree?

What key in Bach-y-Rita’s story as a senior who had a stroke unlocks our brains?

What really goes on in the mind of top dreamers and in our brains?

How could an organization achieve diversity that engages our wider talents?

What would pony up genius from our brainpower?

How does our brain refuel for finer innovation?

How could we benefit from the innovative power of laughter?

How would we begin to rewire brainpower for ethics, and why so?

How does our brain’s chemical and electrical circuitry wire us for winning?

Why run from lectures or talks when most people cling to these traditions?

What are the most common traps that sink innovation where we work?

What could we accomplish if we shifted from mentor to mind-guide?

What’s critical about our thinking as it impacts innovation?

How do we use different tone to navigate difficult situations successfully?

A final two footed challenge: Do our questions compel others curiosity? Great questions, for instance create simplicity out of complexity, and draw participants into dynamic innovations with mind-bending outcomes.

What’s a question we might investigate with a growth mindset thinker?

Senior Session 4 Family, Friends and Foes

Two – Footed Questions to Address Mita Growth Mindset Senior Sessions

1). What happens to our brains when we see a situation squarely through another’s eyes?

2). What happens when conflict separates close relationships? Is there a sustainable fix?

3). Is it possible to sustain open minded thinking when confronted with fear or stress?

4). What do you value most in close friends or family?

5). What triggers ongoing growth most, criticism or kindness?

6). How does inner kindness directly impact social relationships?

7). What did Vincent van Gogh have in mind when he said,  “One may have a blazing hearth in one’s soul and yet no one ever comes to sit by it. Passers by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on the way.

8). Is it possible that we criticize others in an attempt to fill personal voids?

9). What approaches to good relationships will most likely result in higher social IQ as we age?

10). Do seniors’ families and friends see aging as David Bowie did: as “an extraordinary process whereby we become the person we always should have been?”

FINAL Question:  What’s one activity we can do to remove a fixed mindset and add a growth mindset for this topic? Choose one two-footed question from those many questions listed above and write down your response to that question in a way that will motivate you to engage others or one other senior in fun ways. Then get together over lunch, coffee or  a walk with that senior(s) and (without telling your response to the question) ask their ideas about the question. Note especially how they differed from your ideas and consider one way to encourage their strengths or affirm their interests.

My Growth Mindset Materials and Publications Below

Grace Mindset Book – audio

Grace Mindset Book – paperback

The Teen’s Growth Mindset Workbook – paperback

Growth Mindset Interactive Materials at TPT

Mita (Growth Mindset) Strategies in Class and Beyond

Student Assessment that Works – a Practical Approach