How to learn to have an open-minded approach to problems


There has been many times where I become frustrated with my wife. She doesn’t seek out solutions to problems naturally. She’s more apt to suffer through it or just stress about it without looking for ways out.

For the longest time I thought that she might be a little lazy. At the worst times I thought that she just wasn’t able to find her way out.

I now know that I’m wrong. She’s definitely NOT a lazy person and she’s actually smarter than I am. Seriously. So what’s the problem?

My wife and other people I know are simply not wired with a growth mindset. As psychologist Carol Dweck at Stanford University has shown in her work there are usually two types of mindsets: the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. My wife is wired with a fixed mindset even though she lives with someone that has a growth mindset.

Opposites attract, right?

How to adopt a Growth mindset

I am a create person. I have a graphic design background. I love to paint. Some may consider me an artist. I am generally a creative person. Designers and creative people usually have a growth mindset. This means that they seek out problems. They know that it’s possible to find solutions. They love solving problems. They’re wired to grow their knowledge and talents. Learning is essential to the design process. Therefore, when they’re faced with a problem in life, they’ll learn and seek ways to solve the problem. They usually don’t give up until there is a solution.

Fixed Mindset

Many people are inherently limited by a fixed mindset. They are not challenged to learn or find solutions because, somewhere down deep, they believe that they don’t possess the ability or talent or knowledge required. They are easily discouraged and distracted and they give up on seeking a solution in favor of just facing it with brute force and living with it. Their need to challenge themselves is not at the same level as a person that has a designer’s mind.

When they’re asked, “can you draw”, they say that they don’t possess that talent. They don’t consider that drawing can be learned. Looking at life this way is how most people limit themselves in life. We have abilities to do amazing things but we need to have the right mindset to get us there. We have to realize that growth and solutions to problems is possible for almost everyone.

Your Manifesto:

Know that you can design your life. Approach life like a designer and solve problems! If there are problems or hurdles in your life that affect your happiness, you can find a way out or through.

Educate yourself. Most any problem can be tackled with knowledge.

Challenge yourself. Don’t give up easy. Try multiple times to succeed.

Embrace failure as a learning opportunity. Get up and try again.

Further Reading

Teaching a Growth Mindset

Mindset: A book by Carol Dweck

A growth mindset revolution

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