I’m supposed to be packing and cleaning right this very minute (we are mostly moved in at our new place, but still have a ton of stuff at my parents’ house — apparently, we have way too much stuff!) but instead I was reading a chapter from Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. If you’ve seen me in the last year, there’s a very good chance we’ve discussed mindsets. I’ve been lecturing about this book and Carol Dweck’s research to every captive audience I meet — my students, my parents, my friends, Neal. In September, I’ll do a presentation at a teaching conference. I’ve even outlined about eight blog posts I’d like to write on the topic. (But you probably better just read the book since who knows when I’ll get around to those.) It’s a game-changer.
While I don’t have time for an extensive discussion today (Neal just pulled into the driveway! Quick, how do I make it look like I’ve been packing?!), here’s a little food for thought:
Conventional wisdom says that you know who your friends are in your times of need. And of course this view has merit. Who will stand by you day after day when you’re in trouble? However, sometimes an even tougher question is: Who can you turn to when good things happen? When you find a wonderful partner. When you get a great job offer or promotion. When your child does well. Who would be glad to hear it? (157-158)
I had never thought of friendship in quite this way. In hindsight, I can see some relationships that became heavy in part because I was always censoring or downplaying my happy news, afraid that it would make them feel bad. Does this resonate for anyone else? Who would be glad to hear my good news, without reservation, no matter the state of their own life? Am I always happy to hear others’ good news, without reservation, no matter the state of my own life? What enlightening questions!
If you want to know how all this relates to a fixed vs. growth mindset (as just about everything seems to for me these days), read the book!