Growing a growth mindset Whiskeytown Lake

Escaping SF for the long weekend was something I wanted to do as I welcomed my 33rd year on this planet. We went to Whiskeytown. When we arrived, I ask two obvious questions,

“Where’s the whiskey?” and “Where’s the town?” We didn’t find either.

These UnplugYou trips provide me and my friends with an opportunity to exit our busy lives and to catch up and share what’s been going on; updates on life, updates on our jobs, news about others, our latest hopes and fears.

As we get some miles in with hikes (or bike rides) and observe some beautiful landscapes, we also get some clarity on those things we share and gain in others feedback.

This past weekend, we seemed to bring up conversations, stories, and thoughts that dealt with an idea that I have been exposed to and live/work by for the last few years—having a fixed mindset vs. growth mindset.

Below is an excerpt by Maria Popova on Carol Dweck’s work on this topic.

One of the most basic beliefs we carry about ourselves, Dweck found in her research, has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled. A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness. [More here].

I would consider myself having a growth mindset. This idea has been something on my mind lately. Aspects of the FvG mindset have come up in recent conversations, relationships, interactions with people, and even my work with companies/clients. And I’m sure this will come up as my CCA’s Graphic Design class, Transitions to Professional Practice, starts again this fall semester.

I won’t go into specific conversations we had this weekend, but stories and ideas shared only reinforced, for me, how important this way of embracing the world can be in truly living life to its fullest.

Each year, I celebrate my time living on this planet, I gain experience, learn from others, and take in the world. I am constantly aware of how I view, understand, and embrace life. One of my worst fears is to have my scope on the world become narrow and closed-in, by my own doing, as if blinders were placed near my eyes. What kind of like would that offer?

Anyway… this weekend was a blast. We played in waterfalls, broke in a brand new iron skillet, made friends with a mouse, and island hopped on kayaks in Whiskeytown Lake. Next up, Pinnacles National Park.