“Your ability to see an opportunity literally defines your opportunity!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
Mindset matters. More than you think!
Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, focuses her primary research interests on the topics of motivation and personality. Much of her research has focused on two key personality types, summarized in her book Mindset, and characterized by those with one of two mindset types, as summarized by ChatGPT:
- Fixed Mindset:
In a fixed mindset, individuals believe that their abilities, intelligence, and talents are fixed traits. They tend to believe that their qualities are predetermined and cannot be changed significantly. Consequently, individuals with a fixed mindset may avoid challenges, fear failure, and view effort as fruitless since they believe their abilities are fixed and cannot be improved.
- Growth Mindset
In contrast, individuals with a growth mindset believe that their abilities and intelligence can be developed and improved through dedication, effort, and learning. They embrace challenges, persevere through obstacles, and see failure as an opportunity for growth and learning. They understand that intelligence and abilities can be cultivated over time.
In other words, it’s truly a glass half full / half empty situation!
What personality type are you? Because literally, your ability to see opportunities will define your opportunities. Where others see negativity, you perceive opportunity. Someone else’s peril is your pathway to success. The insurmountable problem faced by others is seen by you as a massive opportunity. And the core of that opportunistic mindset is optimism, the topic of which found its way into the first chapter of my book, Now What: Reinvention and the Role of Optimism in Finding Your Next Future, which I’ll share here.
My belief is that embedding a similar mindset of opportunistic optimism within your soul will help guide you through your future, particularly when you need to ‘reinvent’ yourself.
My journey – and that of countless millions – has always been one that has had at its core a fundamental belief: that in this world of vast new and fast-changing complexity, we can never become complacent. We can never dare presume that the skills we have today will carry us forward into tomorrow. It would be folly to assume that our career at this very moment in time will be the same one that might let us earn our keep tomorrow. We would be fundamentally wrong if we were to believe that the life we are living today will look anything like the one we will encounter tomorrow.
With all that change underway, one thing is clear – to succeed in the future, we must continually reinvent our reality.
Adapting new skills, developing new knowledge, pursuing new careers, aligning to new ideas.
We must, in a world of constant change, always be reinventing ourselves.
The key to reinvention? Believing that opportunity lies at the end of the process.
Mindset matters, and turning problems into opportunities is the key. Pogo long ago caught this mindset in the comic strip:
‘We are faced with insurmountable opportunities.’
Think about that – it’s a massive admission of helpless defeat – but the embedded contradiction in the phrase is meant to get you thinking.
Because your ability to perceive opportunity literally defines your opportunity.