Updated: Mar 23
Have you seen images like this on social media? If getting out of 2020 meant getting “slapped into next year,” I might take it. But then, I’d miss the opportunity for growth this difficult year is bringing us.
Question: What percentage of the population is likely to flourish emotionally from the events of 2020?
e) None of the above
For real?! Flourish… in this year? The answer lies in what we think it truly means to flourish. Typically flourishing results from a favorable environment. Lately, our environment, or much of it, hasn’t been so great. So- how can we increase the chances you will experience growth? Carol Dweck in her research on the mindset of people defined a growth mindset in this way:
“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” (Dweck, 2015)
So- to flourish- you need a GROWTH MINDSET. That means entering into this time with eyes wide open seeking knowledge through listening and pressing on toward an improved version of yourself. What would that look like? In contrast to a growth mindset, a fixed mindset is seen in people who believe they only have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character, therefore, they set out to prove themselves correct over and over rather than learning from their mistakes.
Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don't divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures... I divide the world into learners and non-learners.”
In short, people with a growth mindset seek first to understand before they seek to be understood; typically peopled with a fixed mindset seek the reverse. According to Dweck, about 40% of us are inclined to a growth or learning mindset. That leaves the rest of us with either a fixed mindset or undecided. So the answer to the question is e) None of the above.
When written in Chinese, the word “crisis” is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
What opportunity has the many crises in 2020 brought us? Our children have a growth opportunity here as do we that nurture them. In every crisis, we have the opportunity to gain wisdom. Proverbs 2:2 is beautifully written about wisdom, it tells us that with God-given wisdom,
..you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. (Proverbs2:9-10)
If wisdom and knowledge from God are “pleasant to your soul,” then I’d like a nice big slice right now! How about you? It’s a chance to learn… and flourish!
Where can we go from here?
Landscapes change, no matter how hard you try to keep them the same. There is beauty in that if you look for it. So as we emerge into our new normal, I hope to walk with those who have ADHD and executive function challenges (like myself) and contemplate the answer to these questions: How can you flourish and grow during the events of 2020? What is possible? And, where can we go from here?
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