Begin Mindset Work Young

I’m wrestling with the influence of society on human performance and mindsets. Very quickly, we come to believe we lack the gifts/talents/skills/intelligence which leads us to 

  1. develop and HEAR self-destructive language 
  2. Value complacency and settling
  3. Dismiss our dreams as possible 
  4. Shift to coping with what life gives 
  5. Buy into social expectations 
  6. Become change averse
  7. Live with fear 
  8. Talk without action 

So I continue to engage my children in deeply philosophical and growth driven discussions. At the same time, I am now pressing them for action to anchor these lessons. Some people say they are too young to discuss, engage, and utilize these lessons.

While I don’t know for sure, I can’t help but believe that I can counter the norm if I 1) engage them here 2) model for them these conversations and 3) monitor myself in relation to their lives.

Here are two examples from Today

From my son as we drove to practice:

Me: what does it mean if you fail?

Finn: I’m still learning and not there yet. You never stop! 

Me: Will I be mad at you for failing?

Finn: Only if I give up or stop learning from it.

Me: will you fail at something today? 

Finn: No!

Me: If you do, what will you do?

Finn: hmmm…

Me: what could you ask your coach?

Finn: oh! How do I work on that area I failed!

Me: right on!

Before that at breakfast

Mac(19): talking about ISU

Fae (6): I want to go to @IllinoisStateU

Me: want or will- is there a Diff?

Fae: Will means I am – want means I might

Me: So…

Fae: I will! 

Oddly, this is the first time I’ve heard her use “want” instead of the assertive, positive language “will”. As we age, our declarative statements shift to these external hope and passive statements … I want… I’d love… Wouldn’t it be great…

As we enter into a new school year, I’m

constantly reminded of the paradox that exist between what we define as important and the actions we take to get there. This mindset work at any age along with the cultivation of social-emotional habits, dispositions, and skills through engaging, immersive experiences is where our work should sit. In other words, the growth of -self for maximum human performance. 

So what will be our work this year? What will be our driving focus? 

Will we think in terms of discipline? Content? Grades? Standards?


Will we focus on the cultivation of self? Human centric growth? Curiosity and Passions? Play and joy? All of the things that foster the mindsets needed to #livelaughlove for life and continuing growing!

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