Tag Archives: mindset

How’s Your Mindset?

How’s your mindset about the age you are right now?  What about the future? Do you think about aging and all the bad press it’s received?

Would you agree that there is a lot of information out there about aging and the assumptions of normal aging, or should I say… what people think is normal?

It seems that most people feel that there are many factors beyond our control.  I would agree that some factors are beyond our control, but there are so many more that are within our control.

O.K.  Let’s face it… lines and wrinkles on our face are going to happen.  That’s beyond our control to a certain extent.  Certainly lots of products have been developed within the past few decades that help that, but no matter what miracle, anti-aging product you buy, it’s not going to produce a twenty-something year old-looking face.  And probably not even a forty-someting face.  Maybe just a better sixty-something face!

One thing I’ve learned that is within our control, is how we keep moving.  You know, exercise.  In high school, I remember disliking the very concept of exercise, but over the past number of years I’ve realized how important it is.  And since being introduced to the Younger Next Year books, by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, MD. it’s enhanced my understanding of the real benefits of exercising.  We can be younger next year on the inside with the amount of exercise and weight work they advocate.

How’s your mindset about all of this?  Hopefully you have a positive mindset because it’s so very important.  It’s probably one of the most important factors of aging.  Aging successfully.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?

Aging Gracefully?

Aging gracefully is a term that has been used over the years it would seem to describe the epitome of aging.  I wonder if this is supposed to mean aging gracefully from a physical perspective or a mental and emotional perspective.  Well, I guess that begs the question of what is aging anyway.

When I was in my forties, I can remember having numerous discussions with a particular friend and we would talk about how people age and what they look like in the process.  Our discussions involved the observation that some people, (and I will focus on women because that was the focus of our discussions), seemed to start looking old in their forties and others still looked great in their sixties and beyond.

You know we actually came to the conclusion that the mental component and the physical component were actually connected.  Now you may not agree with this and you may say that genetics plays a big role in it and I would agree to some extent.  But I believe that more important than the genetic component is our mindset about the aging process.  For me, this belief has served me well.  After all, to be alive year after year at any age, I have found exciting.  I have always felt that the best is now.  I have decided to have a mindset to age gracefully.

Interview With Carol S. Dweck

This is a short video with Carol S. Dweck, PhD, author of Mindset.

As I’ve mentioned before, I find her work fascinating and perhaps you will want to explore it as well.  I’d highly recommend it if you have young people in your life, either children or grandchildren.  Great insight on how to help them learn to achieve in life.

Do You Have a Fixed or Growth Mindset?

A few months ago, I mentioned a book I’m reading by Carol S. Dweck, PhD, Mindset.  It goes into depth about the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.  It has been an eye-opener and I’ve been learning a lot about how people think, what they say to indicate their thought process.  Also, how we can correct our thinking or help us feel more comfortable with ourselves in our thought processes.

We all are probably aware that our beliefs are responsible for how we think and create our lives.  But sometimes we are not conscious of our beliefs.  Therefore how can we control them or change them?  We all keep a running account of what’s happening to us, what it means, and what we should do about it.  We are monitoring and interpreting everything that happens.  But what if this interpretation is extreme and creates feelings of anxiety, depression or superiority?

Our mindset is what is responsible for guiding this interpretation process.  The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that focuses on judging.  The self-talk or conclusion under this mindset would be, “I’m a looser”, or ” I’m a better person than she is”, or “I’m pretty stupid”, or … I think you get the picture.  A fixed mindset thinks in terms of a static condition, which is the way it is, and can’t be changed or improved.

The growth mindset, on the other hand, is also creating an internal monologue.  But this one is focused on the implications for learning and constructive action, instead.  The self-talk or conclusion under this mindset would be, “What can I learn from this?” or “How can I improve” or “How can I help my partner do this better?”…I think you get the picture.  A growth mindset thinks in terms of effort and continual learning and improving.

So, how do you see yourself?  Kind of a rhetorical question, but I found after reading this that over the years I have probably gone through phases where each mindset came into play in my life.  However, now that I’m aware of this concept, I realize that the growth mindset is the one that allows us to move forward in life and I believe the one that allowed the concept for Sixty Something Now to come into my mind.

To me, it’s always exciting to learn new stuff and more importantly, apply what we’ve learned.

Mindset–Fixed or Growth

The title of the book is Mindset–The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.  The subtitle on the cover is:  How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential–Parenting, Business, School, Relationships. Not sure why she doesn’t include on the cover:  Sports, since there is a huge chapter on that category.

The concept is a simple one.  Some people have a fixed mindset and some have a growth mindset.

Basically, a fixed mindset says ‘I’m perfect at __________.’  ‘I’m brilliant in _____________.’  ‘I’ve always been talented in _______________.’  I think you get the picture.  The fixed mindset person feels they are at the top of their game and therefore don’t have to further their skills because of it; they have nothing more to learn.  They feel they have natural ability.

The growth mindset person says, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that.’  ‘Tell me more.’  ‘Teach me more.’  ‘I want to improve myself at _____________.’  They want to advance through effort.

It’s amazing that for such a simple concept, she goes into each of the categories listed and explains how each type of person displays their mindset.

One of the questions I’ve always had about parenting and how we raise our children, was actually answered in this book.  How many times have you watched a child display some kind of talent at an early age and yet down the road their work or performance in this field seems to go awry and they are not the prodigy turned super-star everyone thought they would be.  The author goes into quite a bit of depth about John McEnroe, the tennis star back in the 80’s who was so belligerent to officials during his matches.  Nothing was his fault.  Dr. Dweck attributes this to having been praised early on for natural ability, therefore eliminating the supposed need for effort to get any better.

She also goes into depth about some super-stars of the business world, whose names would be familiar.  Who knew how these people were behind the doors of their companies.  The fixed mindset in business displays itself by someone who wants to surround himself or herself with ‘yes’ people who won’t disagree with them.  Can you see how this has been the demise of so many companies.

I’m not finished the book totally, but thought it worth sharing.  What are some books you’ve read that have given you an ‘Aha!’ moment?

Attitude Matters When It Comes To Aging

One thing I normally don’t dwell on here at Sixty Something Now, is aging and all the things related to this concept.  But let’s face it, aging is what it’s all about, right?!  We do not want the alternative, so aging is it!  And Monday is the day we write about various aspects of it or about people who have aged well.

Recently I read about a study that was done and written about concerning the biology of this concept.  I chose not to copy it here but to provide the link, in case you choose to read the entire article.  It’s not too terribly long, but longer than I typically provide here, thus this link.

What is your mindset about aging?  One question raised by this article is about whether there has been a self-fulfilling prophecy concept of aging well or not aging well.  That being said, I believe I’ve had a fairly good mindset about aging, for the most part.  I believe I figured out many years ago, that to some extent how we age is related to how we think.

Actually, I think our culture’s concept of aging has changed in the past few years because the ‘baby-boomers’ are quite different in so many ways than any other segment of our population previously.  And there is so much information everywhere we turn on ways to age well.

How do you feel about aging and how are you thinking about it?

Feelings of Success

How do you feel when you have success at something?  Wouldn’t you agree that success makes us feel good.  It seems to awaken something inside us that just seems to allow us to realize that we have so much to offer.

Think of a time when you had success at something.  Write down some of your past successes over a week’s time on a note card.  Think of the feeling you had when you achieved each success.  Then every so often, when you carry this note card with you, look at it and remember each success and how you felt.

Maybe you will generate more thoughts and feelings that will lead to more successes.  A good mindset:  expect success and you will get it.

How Do You Feel About Your Age?

I’m sure you would agree that we all have feelings about our age.  The question is are your feelings about your age serving you in every way?  Have you ever given thought to what your self-talk is or has been about your age…at any age?

So here we are in our 60s and beyond.  Perhaps when you were younger you thought that 60 was pretty old.  Well, I would imagine you have re-thought that one!  And if not, then I would encourage you to do so, for your own benefit.

For me, I think I’ve had a fairly healthy mindset about age.  (I’m resisting using the word aging, which seemed appropriate here, but that is such an icky-sounding word! Hmmm! Now that’s telling about how I really think!)

When I was in my 30s, 40s and even into my 50s, I was doing aerobics pretty steadily anywhere from three to six days a week.  There was a woman in the class I attended for a number of years who was known to be in her mid to late 50s.  That was when I was in my late 30s and early 40s.  So we were thinking that was pretty old to do aerobics.  But she had been a dancer and was in really good shape.  My thought, was that she was my role model.  I would often think about her as I moved to various other locations over the years and continued to do aerobics and other ways of working out.

Around town whenever I would see an older woman, well put together–neatly and stylishly dressed, make-up and hair looking great, I would always consciously think, now there’s my role model.  And then there were the conversations I would have with a friend who was a couple years younger than I, about why some women seem to age well and others not so well.  We decided it was a little about genes and a lot about their thoughts about their age, whatever age it was.

Today, we hear so much about continuing to remain in good health as we age and that’s great.  I believe the mindset and our conscious and unconscious thoughts are a big piece of that as well and perhaps at the core of it all.

How do you feel about your age, any age you are now?  Here’s a way to think:  Live young a long time!

Success

How do you feel when you have success at something?  Wouldn’t you agree that success makes us feel good.  It seems to awaken something inside us that just seems to allow us to realize that we have so much to offer.

Think of a time when you had success at something.  Write down some of your past successes over a week’s time on a note card.  Think of the feeling you had when you achieved each success.  Then every so often, when you carry this note card with you, look at it and remember each success and how you felt.

Maybe you will generate more thoughts and feelings that will lead to more successes.  A good mindset:  expect success and you will get it.