A growth mindset can be developed through out life. This is especially welcome news to people fifty and beyond because so many of their habits have become ingrained and routine. Since I am in this group I know that our beliefs and habits will limit us unless we live by a growth mindset.
Recently I have been reading about the groundbreaking ideas put forth by Dr.Carol Dweck at Stanford University. This is what she found upon studying success and achievement.
1. People with a FIXED MINDSET believe that their basic qualities like talent, intelligence, and personality are fixed. They believe that just having them will assure success.
2. People with a GROWTH MINDSET believe that their basic abilities can be developed. They view intelligence, talent, and personality as the starting point that they can develop through effort.
Although Dr. Carol Dweck’s work has been predominantly with students of elementary school through college I see it as being very applicable to the fifty and beyond population. By the time we are half way through life we tend to be set in so many ways. How exciting to realize that our brains continue to need to be stimulated by new challenges in order to grow new connections.
People with a growth mindset believe that they can continue to learn new things by stretching their minds and taking steps that propel them in new directions. They see themselves as a work in progress and that life is ever evolving and not limited by age. There are wonderful examples of people out there who are living vibrant lives well into their eighties and beyond. A good example is former President Carter who just celebrated his 85th birthday. It is obvious that he lives by a growth mindset. Someone with a fixed mindset would have limited him/herself with beliefs like: I am too old, I should have done things earlier, it is too late etc. In order to stay vibrant as we get older it is vital to learn to develop a growth mindset.