There is a lot of confusion concerning the roles of the brain, the mind, and mindset. The brain and mind are not the same. The brain is a physical structure in our bodies that functions to regulate thinking and other mental activities.
The mind, on the other hand, is invisible and is transcendent. The mind encompasses all our thoughts, mental processes, decisions, conclusions, ideas, concepts, frameworks, paradigms, values, beliefs, tendencies, likes, dislikes, preferences, mental models, cognitive models, colorings, lenses, points of view, patterns, programs, mental images, prejudices, biases, and all that we have gathered through our experience of being alive as human beings.
It holds a lot for sure.
The mind holds a complete record of all experiences in this life as well as those from any previous lives. That would validate why so much of who we are comes from our unconscious and subconscious.
We can’t always pinpoint why we behave in the ways that we do. Some of what the mind holds are irrelevant, unproductive, or not useful while some are relevant, meaningful, useful, and productive.
The mind is the totality of thought, reason, feeling, and memory. Mindset is different from the mind.
Mindset is a particular way of thinking. It is a person’s attitude or opinion about something specific.
Examples of mindsets are a productive mindset, disciplined mindset, growth mindset, fixed mindset, social mindset, business mindset, leadership mindset, follower mindset, and so on.
We will now examine the mindset from two perspectives, that of a fixed mindset and that of a growth mindset.
Fixed and Growth Mindset
A person who has a fixed mindset believes that intelligence and talent are static fixed traits. There is no openness to the idea of improvement or development of intelligence and talent. The belief is that talent creates success and that effort does not play a part in success.
A person with a growth mindset operates without the limitations of a fixed mindset. There is more openness to and awareness of the dynamic nature of intelligence and talents.
A person with a growth mindset believes in the possibility of developing and improving intelligence and talent. There is an understanding and appreciation of the value of effort in achieving success.
The table below lists some of the well-documented differences between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
|Area of Life||Fixed Mindset||Growth Mindset|
|Challenge||Tends to avoid challenges due to fear.||Embraces challenges and is ready to take it on in order to gain further insight from the lessons the challenge offers.|
|Feedback and Criticism||Does not like to receive feedback and criticism. Is not receptive to feedback.||Feedback is viewed as an opportunity to learn and improve. Is receptive to feedback|
|Intelligence and Talent||Believes that intelligence and talent are static traits. Adopts the principle that people are either slow or smart and stay that way.||Believes that intelligence and talent are dynamic traits that can be improved and that new skills can be acquired with repeated practice.|
|Effort||Does not value effort. Tends to give up easily.||Places a high value on effort and does not give up easily. Tends to be goal oriented with an appreciation for the role of effort in goal accomplishment.|
|Other people’s successes||Tends to dwell in the realm of envy, jealousy, and insecurity when presented with other people’s success.||Tends to be Inspired by others’ success. Prefers to reach out to other people in order to see them succeed.|
|Fear of Failure||Gets stuck and fearful. Tends to lose belief and self-confidence when faced with failure. This in turn can lead to more failure.||Failure is viewed as an opportunity to gain more knowledge while seeking to identify the learning that is available within every setback or failure|
|Learning||Does not like to learn new things. Tends to offer excuses and resistance when new information is presented.||Is committed to a life of learning. This could be through formal education or the school of life. Tends to be the epitome of the proverbial “Life Long Learner”.|
|Weakness and Personal Shortcomings||Views as limitations that have to be lived with permanently.||Views that temporary limitations that can be overcome, transformed, or reframed through fresh perspectives, knowledge, and understanding.|
|Process||Tends to focus on the end result and does not place a great deal of emphasis or value on the approach or procedures.||Tends to focus on the procedures as well as the application of the right approach to get to the end result.|
The growth mindset is the one for which we should strive.