5 mindsets to consider that may help you grow a desire for growth
When I finished college, I'll be honest, I was excited to finally have a learning break. If you think about it, by the time you go from kindergarten through college you are basically in school for what feels like (or is) 17-20-ish years! I was on the lower end because as you can tell I did not become a doctor, or a lawyer haha.
What I soon came to find out though was that I missed...even craved, the learning part. I loved that feeling of being mentally stretched. The feeling of being in awe at a fact that engraved so deeply in my mind that I could not wait to share it with someone. And the feeling that comes after learning something new, the 'aha' lightbulb moment where everything fits like a puzzle piece. I even...dare I say...liked the challenge of not understanding something and having to research.
I know, call me crazy.
So because of that, a few years after college I just decided that although the season had passed to take "formal schooling" (at least for now), I would make it my mission to never miss an opportunity to learn something. Even if it was something I had no interest in. So there began my growing desire for growth.
I think you can have that for yourself too! So, here are a few mindsets to consider that can help lead to more growth in your life.
Mindset 1: Consider everything free training
When you're straight out of college (or at least for me) you most likely exit with...debt. So, I pretty much knew that all further training I would need, get, receive, or want would have to be in the form of "FREE" for quite some time. And that's when it dawned on me that the more I try and soak in from others, the more - in a sense - "free training" I would receive. Looking at all of life as an opportunity for learning and growth, not only brings a sense of excitement and motivation to soak in all you can but to also try and learn things you would have no interest in getting "formal schooling" for in the first place. Like really, when would I go to mechanics school? Is that even what you call it? But...my dad is a mechanic, so I learned a few things here or there along the way, that has been beneficial a time or two. Over time, I found that nearly everything began to pique my interest, and it flowed into other areas of my life too, like faith, and in turn, strengthened what I believed and learned about God in my own life.
Mindset 2: Think of all situations as adding to your toolbox
I may have said once or twice as a child "when will I ever use this when I'm older?". It turns out we use almost everything we learn whether we know it or not and it's constantly building into an intricate network of knowledge we store. Every piece of information is either a tiny or large tool that we can put into our tool kit. You never know when you may need that random fact, or something as simple as learning how to turn a light on and off on and off a light when you're young paves the way for making sure it's off when you're changing a lightbulb in the future. You might not have thought of the importance of those pieces independently, but in the grand scheme of things, they slowly build on each other over time until your tool kit is overflowing! I've found that a lot of the tools I gathered made it easier to relate to all sorts of people, from all walks of life, and in so many more ways than I imagined.
Mindset 3: Learning to ask questions stretches you
Nobody likes to look...silly. I am especially one of those people. But it makes it hard to learn when you don't push yourself a little farther than you're comfortable and ask the questions that may bring more clarity. That's especially true if you're not just looking to "learn" but you're looking to grow. So, take the chance, and don't be afraid to ask questions. Get uncomfortable, step out, and be the person to take an extra minute of someone's time to ask why? or how? We all start somewhere. Even the best teachers were once in the places that we are, grasping for knowledge and understanding. And the more comfortable you are with asking for help the more wisdom you can gain, and the more character you build. We will always be learning.
Mindset 4: Remember your life is also teaching someone else
I think the one thing that helped me overcome the risk of "asking questions", was realizing that regardless of age, education, years "in the field" we all have something to bring to the table just based off of what God teaches us throughout our own lives. Realizing that everyone can teach something whether it's simple character qualities like integrity that our parents instilled in us since birth to biometrics and physics that took 10 years of schooling, God gave us all unique strengths and talents to contribute. He has led us and held our hands through the path of life we are each on and through that we each pick up things that someone else may not have learned on their unique path. The more we grow and learn, the more we can contribute back to those who are hungry for growth as well. The more we serve others.
Mindset 5: Think of all learning as a better way to serve and bless others
Piggybacking off the idea from above is one of the biggest things that stands out to me about looking at all of life as an opportunity for growth. When we are hungry for knowledge, learning, and growing, we never shut ourselves off from being too arrogant or prideful to assume the posture of a student. And when you are a constant student you are more moldable, trainable, humble, and relatable to all the people that God may put in our lives. And I think, all in all, growing the desire for growth truly helps us learn to love others more fully because we want to learn how God made them as well.
Our perspective and mindset can change everything. It can turn almost any situation into an opportunity for growth, or stunt our ability to learn . Even the most mundane situations provide the perfect ground for wonder, curiosity, and questions to expand our knowledge in one area or another if we have the right perspective and attitude.
So how can you challenge yourself to a new mindset that produces growth? Maybe you’re one that needs to get comfortable with asking questions? Or maybe instead of dread seeping in as you’re assigned a new task, you can shift your focus to excitement that you’re adding to your tool box? Whatever it is that may be keeping you from growth, maybe consider a mindset change that can pave a new path for growing the deep roots into Him that lead to a lasting desire for growth.