You are a beautiful work in progress

Keys to secrets that lie in plain sight are always great. I want to share some thoughts about MINDSET — and I’ll start with a simple observation:

You are a beautiful work in progress.

I want to repeat it. You are a beautiful work in progress. You are a learner. Your blunders, your obstacles, your failures, and even your illnesses are opportunities. Embrace them with a zest for the challenge.

There is no circumstance that can’t help but be transformed by this mindset.

The point is you can remain whole no matter what you find around the next corner. You can breathe with your entire lungs. You can stop hoping for certain outcomes. You can stop bracing yourself. There’s less need to numb yourself or shield yourself.

When you live in this developmental mindset fear cannot thrive. If it’s there it’s probably habitual. Whenever it’s there it needs to be challenged. Nothing at our border should be let in without our say. Loving but firm boundaries are best. 

The opposite of a learner is a performer. They see themselves and their skills as fixed. A stumble is more likely to have their task fall apart, at least temporarily.

The importance of mindset is well-known in psychology. The ideas you adopt determine so much. You are only as successful as your mindset allows!

A study looked to prove mindset could be trained. It looked at a group of students who were classified as having a performance mindset. They would struggle with challenging test questions and not recover for easy subsequent questions.

Through a series of exercises, the experimenters trained half the students to chalk up their errors to insufficient effort and encouraged them to keep going. Those children learned to persist in the face of failure — and to succeed. The control group showed no improvement at all, continuing to fall apart quickly and recover slowly.

Thinking matters. Remember are a beautiful work in progress. Your blunders, your obstacles, your failures, and even your illnesses are opportunities.

Did you ever see the TED talk by the psychologist Kelly McGonigal?

She discusses the science of personal attitude determining the stress response. Her point is stress isn’t bad for you unless you think it is bad for you.

She describes a study of 30,000 people followed for 8 years. They self-reported their stress levels. And they were categorized as to whether they believed stress was harmful or not. Stress levels weren’t the determinant of mortality in the study. It didn’t matter whether participants had a lot of stress or a little stress. Thoughts about stress were the strongest determinant of longevity. People who reported little stress had worse outcomes than the people who believed stress was a part of life and not harmful — no matter what level of stress they had.

It’s more science that staying whole, staying in harmony no matter what the circumstance is a powerful place to put our effort.

Or how about this study?: hunger hormones in the blood were observed to be lower in participants that drank a shake labeled high calorie than in participants that drank one marked low calorie. The shakes were exactly the same!

Ideas determine so much.

Couldn’t the best medical care train mindset? For example, hearing from survivors who talk about how illness can be a catalyst for a greater appreciation for life, as well as for personal growth, stronger relationships, new possibilities, and a greater sense of purpose. I think so. Mindset is medicine.

Since we mentioned it, I’d say best medicine also includes:

  • community
  • self-exploration and growth 
  • practice — every day, to adopt a healthy mindset 
  • nutrition which comes from practices that leave the earth whole
  • artistry — to name a few.

Those are my thoughts for today’s bulletin. Remember you are the source of so much power for good. Embrace today with a zest for the challenge!