Most people working in education will have already been introduced to the Growth Mindset (the belief in potential/we can grow). Along with that they will have been introduced to the Fixed Mindset (our abilities are pre-determined and cannot change). This work from Carol Dweck has caused a massive amount of change and discussion in education all over the world, and as with any piece of work it has opened the possibility of new concepts, new ideas and new theories. Here at Tree of Knowledge we find some of these ideas good, some bad and some that blow our mind. Falling very much into the latter category, this blog is to introduce to you the Benefit Mindset.
While the Growth and Fixed Mindset seem very much in contrast with each other, the Benefit Mindset introduces a completely different angle; allowing us to use this approach alongside the oft-desired Growth Mindset. And the way to introduce it really is as simple as this:
The Fixed Mindset focuses on what we know and what we don’t know.
The Growth Mindset looks at how we learn.
The Benefit Mindset looks at why we do what we do.
Study of the original mindsets offer us so much in terms of ourselves and our achievements, but this new concept asks us to focus on the bigger picture and the role we play in it. It’s not just about making the world a better place, it’s very much how we can make the world a better place. The aspiration is ‘not to be the best in the world but to be the best for the world.’ Building on Dweck’s work, personal wellbeing can play a part in a collective wellbeing.
Looking specifically at education, there is an undoubted advantage to handing facts down from generation to generation as this creates advancements in healthcare, science, engineering, architecture etc. However, the need to develop a world that is more aware of their strengths and how that can help us and everyone around us is becoming increasingly recognised. Add this to the possibility of a more caring and compassionate world of love, peace and tolerance and we see just why the Benefit Mindset is so special.
“The purpose of life is to discover your gifts; the meaning of life is to give your gifts away”
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value”
Put simply, the Benefit mindset is concerned with the wellbeing of the self and our role in collective wellbeing. It is a more emotion focused view on success and happiness in life. Given that happiness is an emotion, it is incredible to think that this wasn’t the first mindset discussed. However, as is a common theme with mental health, we took our time recognising its significance.
Whilst the quotes above and concepts such as ‘start with why’ (Simon Sinek) have existed for a long time and are very well credited, this provides another easily-accessible way to look at holistic development in children and adults all over the world. Although Benefit Mindset might sound like a scaremongering headline in the Daily Mail, the impact it can have in and out of education should not be underestimated. It doesn’t just give us a new way to achieve success as many self-help articles out there aim to do; this gives us a whole new definition of success and what that means in life.
We live in a world where each and every generation has the ability to build upon an existing platform of knowledge. Once we learn what there is to know about sciences, maths, engineering, medicine, and everything else, we have the opportunity to add to that before passing it on. Yet we still live in a world lacking in confidence, compassion, and happiness; yes of course they exist but we need more! The Benefit Mindset can help encourage people to become smarter, wiser, and most importantly happier. This new mindset can fix the Fixed Mindset, Grow the Growth mindset and Benefit all of us.
Stuart Fenwick (@StuFenwick7)
Motivational Speaker at Tree of Knowledge (@tree_of)