I HAVE previously discussed the importance of ownership and clarity in assisting us in sticking to our goals, as well as having a timeline for our goals. Also, for our satisfaction level with our overall well-being to improve, one must look beyond financial goals and consider other important aspects of a well-lived life.
One important intangible ingredient that can affect our ability to create and achieve our ideal future, I’d say, is mindset. Essentially, what we think affects our actions, so what we do will ultimately have an impact on what we achieve. Generally, I guess it is fair to say that we can find two broad categories in terms of mindsets.
As the name suggests, a fixed mindset is one where the status quo is preferred. This is the mindset that tells us our abilities and even level of intelligence are fixed. Growth is not possible.
This also means a person with a fixed mindset is more inclined to choose to remain in today’s (or yesterday’s) comfort zone.
While the comfort zone is a good place to be, staying there for too long may have negative consequences for our future.Yes, maybe one of the reasons we worked hard was to be comfortable. Despite that, I’d say that no comfort zone is here to stay forever.
A person with a fixed mindset, on the other hand, has strong tendencies to avoid challenges or stretch their limits.Since they believe that the potential is “fixed,” there’s a high potential for gradual decline over the long term.
If you suspect that this is the mindset with which you have been operating, keep an open mind and seek constructive feedback from people who you can trust and who can offer you impartial feedback and support.
With concerted effort and good intention to improve your life, supported by a good mindset and the people around you, we can then see that our inputs can move things and that things in life are certainly not fixed.
On the other side, we have a growth mindset. A growth mindset sees things differently than a fixed mindset. It believes that our abilities and qualities can be improved or developed.
This means people with a growth mindset, even if they stumble along the journey or process, will recognise that these bumps are normal checkpoints and will extract values and lessons from the temporary disappointments. They tend to view these as learning experiences instead of failures.
When we adopt a growth mindset, we will constantly be identifying areas that can be worked on and embracing new challenges in life.
A person who is operating with a growth mindset is like a worker who proactively and continuously sharpens his tools. However, we also should learn to prioritise the tools we can sharpen within a set period so that we avoid overcommitting our resources of time and energy to too many tasks at once.
In the next and final article of this series, we will talk about some checklists of financial matters we can review to keep our financial health in check as we refresh into a new year. — Jan 8, 2023
Kevin Neoh is a CFP professional and a certified member from Financial Planning Association Malaysia. He is also a Financial Life Coach.
The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.
Main photo credit: Inc Magazine