What is a Growth Mindset? | Interview with Doug Platts

Doug Platts Growth Mindset

Nowadays, the term growth mindset is used prolifically amongst business owners, professors, and fitness lovers. To be sure, a growth mindset is a desirable thing. But, what is a growth mindset? And how do you get one? 

We spoke to Gardenuity COO Doug Platts to discuss what a growth mindset is, how to begin getting one, and more.

What is a Growth Mindset?

Let’s break it down. A mindset is a set of assumptions and methods held by a person — specifically where it concerns learning and intelligence. Growth is the process of increasing.

“To be in a growth mindset is to be in a constant state of learning — a constant state of seeing what’s around the corner and being efficient about getting there,” Doug says. 

A growth mindset believes you can get better, makes improvements to achieve the goal, and embraces effort.

Rather than a fixed mindset, where one believes that there’s no more to be learned and is devastated by failure, a growth mindset knows there is room for growth and is motivated by failure.

Tips for Developing a Growth Mindset

Now that we’ve identified what a growth mindset is, how do we develop one? Doug walks us through his tips for developing and maintaining a healthy growth mindset.

1. Consider where your opportunities are.

“Part of it is simply thinking about where you have opportunities in your day-to-day life to spend the time advancing your goals,” Doug begins. He thinks about the things that are important to him: career, family, my personal growth. Then, Doug says, he considers the times of the day that he can actually dedicate to developing these goals.

See the gym as an opportunity to listen to audio books, use social media to follow companies that you admire, read on your evenings off…these are all ways to integrate a growth mindset into your everyday life. 

“Consider: What are the opportunities right in front of you?”

Doug Platts

2. Don’t force a round peg into a square hole.

According to Doug, part of a growth mindset is being smart about how to pursue opportunities. “If you’re just inefficiently being busy, you’re not making progress. You’re not growing,” he avers. It’s not about consumption — it’s about consuming information that you then can use to grow.  It’s not about being busy, it’s about efficiently pursuing opportunities to create advancement. 

Every so often, step back and consider the method you’re employing. Consider your goals again and ask yourself: how does this action take me toward my goals?

3. Embrace discomfort.

“From a personal perspective,” Doug says, “It’s about not getting comfortable.”  Only stagnancy is comfortable — growing, changing, and challenging yourself is inherently uncomfortable. By embracing this discomfort and keeping the perspective that discomfort will eventually lead to advancement, the moment of discomfort becomes bearable. It is, after all, only a moment.

4. Step away occasionally.

“You know how some of your best ideas come while you’re having a shower?” Doug asks. “Know that stepping away and letting your mind water are imperative for your growth.” While it’s important to be zeroed in on your goals, stepping away and opening up your mind allows you to explore the new and stumble onto genius. 

Doug offers gardening and meditation as good ways to step away daily and let your mind wander. 

Looking for ways to expand your mind? Here’s why trying new things is good for you.

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