Why “Mindset” Outweighs Logic And Reason

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.”

Mindsets are habits of mind

Mindsets are created by experiences

Mindsets create blind spots

Mindsets are self-deceptive

Mindsets shape our everyday lives

Mindsets create our shared world

Mindsets can be developed in complexity

Mindsets can be transcended

We can transcend our blind spots and self-deceptive forces, examine how our habits of mind manifest to create our lives and our world — and tap our collective capacities for profound personal and societal transformation, the more we unfold towards deeper levels of wisdom and effectiveness in the world. Our mindsets evolve from simple to complex, from static to dynamic, and from ego-centric to socio-centric to world-centric. Our ability to take a perspective improves, as does our capacity to embrace ambiguity and hold paradox.

In sum, it can be said that there is no way to avoid the far-reaching effects of our mindsets. Their hidden web of influence permeates everything — all the time. What’s inside us, our beliefs, attitudes and assumptions — manifests outside, shaping our future possibilities on both an individual and a collective level.

Why mindsets matter

“It is not primarily our physical selves that limit us but rather our mindset about our physical limits.”

On a personal level, examining mindsets can create subtle yet radical click’s in our mind, when suddenly, new ways of seeing, being — and ultimately acting become available to us. These liberating shifts can go on to meaningfully transform our lives in surprising and fulfilling ways. Cultivating this capacity is particularly important when engaging in creative activities, or when participating in innovative processes such as human centred design.

For some of you, this may be enough of a reason to inquire into the nature of your mindset. There is, however, a deeper reason to examine your habits of mind.

“It is not until we see our global problems as symptoms of one fundamental, deeper-rooted crisis — the symptoms of our individual and shared mindset — that we can begin to mount a more profound response” —

We live in turbulent times. Everyone is facing increasingly urgent and deeply interrelated challenges they haven’t faced before. Collectively, we are facing an ever-growing number of social and ecological crises that continue to intensify and worsen. The ultimate source of today’s great challenges — the primary root cause that creates all of our crises in the first place — is also our mindsets. All of today’s great global problems are consequences of reliving unexamined habits of mind.

Thus, the deeper reason to examine our mindsets is so we can mount a self-aware response to the great challenges of our day. We simply can’t respond to our personal and global problems in a meaningful way unless we also learn how to examine our mindsets as an integral part of how we live our lives.

The three basic mindsets

“The most important question anyone can ask is: What myth am I living?”

While everyone’s mindset is unique there are some common types that are useful to be aware of. This includes the Fixed, Growth and Benefit Mindsets which reflect common beliefs people hold about the nature of learning and leadership.

A Fixed Mindset is symbolised by the everyday expert.

“In a Fixed Mindset people believe their basic abilities, their intelligence, their talents, are fixed traits. They have a certain amount and that’s that, and then their goal becomes to look smart all the time and never look dumb.” — “);

A Growth Mindset is symbolised by the everyday learner.

“In a Growth Mindset people understand that their talents and abilities can be developed through effort and persistence. They don’t necessarily think everyone’s the same or anyone can be Einstein, but they believe everyone can get smarter if they work at it.” — ”

A Benefit Mindset is symbolised by the everyday leader.

In a Benefit Mindset we not only seek to fulfil our potential, but choose to do it in a way that contributes to the wellbeing of others and society as a whole. We question ‘why’ we do what we do, and believe in doing good things for good reasons.

For a more detailed summary of the research behind each of these mindsets please refer to our academic paper.

The basic mindsets in practice:

Let’s say you went shopping to buy some food for dinner.

If you did your shopping on autopilot, drawing on your habitual patterns of behaviour and bought what you normally would, that’s an example of a Fixed Mindset.

If instead, you went shopping and considered making something new and different, and bought ingredients in a mindful fashion, that’s an example of a Growth Mindset.

However, if you went shopping, considered making something new and you also considered the wellbeing of your community and the planet — choosing socially and environmentally innovative options, that’s an example of a Benefit Mindset.

This is a simple example of how the mindset we adopt shapes our everyday actions and the future possibilities of our world.

More consciously choosing your mindset

“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” — Buckminster Fuller

How can we become more conscious of the mindsets we are living? There are a wide range of practices for making more conscious choices, here are a few worth noting;

On a personal level, a practice of mindfulness helps us become more aware of how our mindsets are manifesting in our lives and our world.In a community setting, using to live the future now. Communities who come together to walk out of their limiting beliefs, attitudes and assumptions — and walk on to healthy and resilient futures.In an organisational setting, 1. Get in touch with your ignorance. 2. Seek understanding. 3. Do something different.Who do you want to be and what kind of world do you want to create?

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” — Jane Goodall

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