Happiness Workshop III: The Importance of Mindset

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Events do not make us happy. Happiness comes in large part by the perspective that we take to life -- through the application of a mindset. This presentation explores the ways in which a person\'s mindset frames one\'s approach to life. Our mindset is a central determinant not only of our propensity toward happiness, but also our ability to develop all aspects of ourselves.

Published in: Health & Medicine, Technology
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Happiness Workshop III: The Importance of Mindset

  1. 1. The Happiness Project The First Church of Salem, Unitarian Workshop III: MINDSET A Key to Cultivating a Good Life
  2. 2. A Brief Review <ul><li>1. Happiness is not merely “pleasure” </li></ul><ul><li>Pleasure fades fast… </li></ul><ul><li>2. Happiness is not a thing to be attained </li></ul>
  3. 3. A Brief Review <ul><li>Happiness as process and judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Cultivation : The process of working toward my goals and values; becoming a better person . </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciation : Appreciating what is good in who you are and what you have right now . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Happiness is about Cultivating and Appreciating A Good Life
  5. 5. The Happiness Process Everyday Life Cultivating my “best self” 1 Appreciate new attendees and make them feel wanted
  6. 6. The Happiness Process Everyday Life Cultivating my best self 1 2 Reflecting on My Actions Make new attendees feel welcome
  7. 7. The Happiness Process Everyday Life Cultivating my best self 1 2 Appreciate : What is good about… this moment? Cultivate : How can I continue to improve? Reflecting & Appreciation
  8. 8. The Happiness Process Everyday Life Cultivating my best self 1 2 Reflecting on My Actions Welcome new attendees Appreciate : There are some interesting people here Cultivate : I’m nervous; but it’s about them, not me…
  9. 9. Three Areas of A Good Life Work/ Contribution Health/ Self-Care Love/ Relationships A Good Life
  10. 10. Happiness is Work/ Contribution Health/ Self-Care Love/ Relationships Cultivation & Appreciation in Each Domain
  11. 11. Mindfulness <ul><li>One element of self-care is mindfulness : being aware of what is happening in the present moment . </li></ul>BREATHING is an act of centering focuses our awareness that can be done anytime, anywhere for immediate re-centering
  12. 12. Exercise I: Simple Breathing Meditation <ul><li>Close your eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Clear your mind of everything </li></ul><ul><li>Attend to your breathing </li></ul><ul><li>When your mind wanders (and it will), bring it back </li></ul><ul><li>Let’s do this for one full minute </li></ul>
  13. 14. Now is the time for the most important question for cultivating happiness: <ul><li>What does this moment have to offer? </li></ul>
  14. 15. Exercise: What does this moment have to offer? <ul><li>Close your eyes and clear your mind </li></ul><ul><li>Attend to what feels good about your breathing. Consciously appreciate it. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask: What does this moment have to offer? </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciate </li></ul>
  15. 17. CULTIVATING THE PRACTICE OF SELF-CULTIVATION Reflecting upon and Developing Your MINDSET Cultivating my best self Appreciation Reflection for Cultivation
  16. 18. Mindset <ul><li>How we think of the process of our own learning and development </li></ul><ul><li>Carol Dweck (New York University) </li></ul><ul><li>Fixed versus Growth Mindsets </li></ul>
  17. 19. <ul><li>Learn this and it can change your life </li></ul>
  18. 20. <ul><li>Really. </li></ul>
  19. 21. <ul><li>I kid you not. </li></ul>
  20. 22. Fixed versus Growth Mindsets Theory of Intelligence, Competence or Ability My Goals What I Do Fixed <ul><li>Seek Positive </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid Negative </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>If I believe I have ability, I </li></ul><ul><li>persist, seek challenge, </li></ul><ul><li>mastery </li></ul><ul><li>If I believe I do not have </li></ul><ul><li>ability, I am helpless/avoid </li></ul><ul><li>challenge/ do not persist </li></ul>Incremental Increase Competence <ul><li>Seek challenge that fosters </li></ul><ul><li>learning </li></ul><ul><li>persist, persist, persist </li></ul>
  21. 23. Ability See, I think of my ability as a fixed lump of coal in my head. It’s innate. Or God given, or sump’n like that. There’s nuffin’ I can do ‘bout it! Joe Fixedhead Thick shell around encased “ability-as-thing”
  22. 24. Growth Mindset Ability is not a fixed thing; it is a set of skills that can be and must be developed
  23. 25. Fixed Mindset <ul><li>I am my abilities </li></ul><ul><li>My self-esteem is tied to my abilities </li></ul><ul><li>My abilities are fixed </li></ul><ul><li>If I succeed, I feel good about myself! </li></ul><ul><li>If I fail, I feel bad about myself. </li></ul>
  24. 26. Fixed Mindset <ul><li>If I believe I have high ability, I persevere and work hard. This is because I know I will succeed. No threat…no fear…and no courage needed… </li></ul><ul><li>When I succeed I will feel good about myself. </li></ul><ul><li>I will have status, self-esteem, esteem from others… </li></ul>
  25. 27. Fixed Mindset <ul><li>If I believe that I have LOW ability, my self-esteem is threatened. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure means I’m dumb . I will see myself as dumb. You will see me as dumb. </li></ul><ul><li>I feel shame , low self-esteem </li></ul><ul><li>I will avoid the challenge; choose an easier task. I may devalue the task. </li></ul><ul><li>Since I do not put forth the effort to meet the challenge, I do not improve. </li></ul>
  26. 28. <ul><li>Smart and dumb are simply beside the point, thank you . They don’t come up. </li></ul><ul><li>Conceptions of high and low ability are simply beside the point, thank you . They don’t come up. </li></ul><ul><li>If they do, well, low ability simply means: I better work extra hard. </li></ul>Growth Mindset
  27. 29. Growth Mindset <ul><li>I am not my abilities; I am a process ; I am a work in progress . </li></ul><ul><li>Intelligence and ability – no matter what it is – is not fixed; it must develop </li></ul><ul><li>Any “ability” – set of skills – requires effort and hard work in order to develop. </li></ul><ul><li>My self-esteem is not tied “fixed ability”; it is tied to the process of becoming – to my progress relative to where I was or am. </li></ul>
  28. 30. Growth Mindset <ul><li>My Goal : To learn; to develop; to improve; to take the next step. </li></ul>If I put forth effort , I will improve. (I can’t help but to improve!) And baby steps count.
  29. 31. This, of course, naturally brings us to…. <ul><li>Napkins </li></ul>
  30. 32. Critical Feedback and the Growth Mindset
  31. 33. Failure and the Growth Mindset <ul><li>Failure doesn’t mean I lack a fixed ability. </li></ul><ul><li>It means that I haven’t developed the skill yet. </li></ul>Failure means I need to put forth more effort to develop the skill. If I adopt a growth mindset, failure need not threatened my self-esteem
  32. 34. Ability Joe Fixedhead Criticism and Critical Feedback Joe, I think that the diagram you made may need a few changes.
  33. 35. Joe Fixedhead Criticism and Critical Feedback WAH!!! YOU DON’T LIKE MY CHARTS. YOU DON’T LIKE ME. WAH!!! DON’T YOU KNOW THAT I AM MY DIAGRAMS?
  34. 36. Incrementally Improving Irma TAKE TWO Irma, I think that the diagram you made may need a few changes. Hmm… What can I learn from this? Esteemed Boss
  35. 37. A Mild Digression to a Complex Issue <ul><li>This is not to say that people do not differ in their abilities or dispositions. They do. </li></ul><ul><li>BUT! </li></ul><ul><li>Ability : She is able to do this. </li></ul>
  36. 38. Does this baby have the ability to do mathematics?
  37. 39. Does this baby have the ability to do mathematics? Of course not. This child will need to put forth a lot of effort and activity to learn how to add, subtract, do algebra, etc.
  38. 40. But, all things being equal, this baby…. may be more (or less) predisposed to develop mathematical skills in the future … … than this baby
  39. 41. Regardless of their dispositions , they can both learn math, and will have to exert effort to do so. All skills develop over time.
  40. 42. Abilities and Dispositions <ul><li>Abilities aren’t fixed; they develop </li></ul><ul><li>People differ in dispositions … </li></ul><ul><li>But dispositions are not abilities … </li></ul><ul><li>Abilities aren’t abilities until the person </li></ul><ul><li>is, well, able ! </li></ul>
  41. 43. The Happiness Process Everyday Life Cultivating my “best self” 1 Make a pretty napkin
  42. 44. The Happiness Process Everyday Life Cultivating my best self 1 2 Reflecting on My Actions Make a pretty napkin
  43. 45. The Happiness Process Everyday Life Cultivating my best self 1 2 Appreciate : What is good about my napkin? { It stands up; It looks like a fan } Cultivate : How can I make it just a tiny bit better? { Make it tighter next time } Reflecting & Appreciation
  44. 46. The Happiness Process Everyday Life Cultivating my best self 1 2 Reflecting on My Actions Welcome new attendees Appreciate : There are some interesting people here Cultivate : I’m nervous; but it’s about them, not me…
  45. 47. Cultivating my best self Appreciate the Moment Take the Next (Baby?) Step Happiness as Appreciation and Cultivation
  46. 48. GOAL STATE Look at how far I have to go! How overwhelming! I’ll never get there! Never, never, never! I’m a failure… How Not To Cultivate a Self Don’t judge yourself simply in comparison to where you want to be…
  47. 49. Yes, it’s important to know where you’re going… GOAL STATE
  48. 50. But don’t judge yourself on how far you’ve got to go, but instead on how far you have come. GOAL STATE Just last week I needed help just to stay on my feet!
  49. 51. Mindfulness: Appreciate the present. GOAL STATE I have farther to go, but I appreciate where I am.
  50. 52. Mindfulness: Cultivate the future. GOAL STATE I’ve got my eye on the NEXT STEP
  51. 53. Some Cultural Illustrations: American Self-Esteem vs. Chinese Self-Cultivation
  52. 54. The US-Chinese Learning Gap <ul><li>Chinese Students outperform American students in mathematics (and science) at all ages and grade levels beyond the age of 4 </li></ul><ul><li>American students outperform Chinese students on some open-ended tasks and tasks involving creative outcomes </li></ul>
  53. 55. US Approach to Learning Self-Esteem/Task/Ability Focus <ul><li>I am motivated to enhance my self-esteem . </li></ul><ul><li>My intelligence and abilities are fixed. </li></ul><ul><li>If I do well, I am smart and feel good </li></ul><ul><li>If I do poorly, I am dumb ; I feel bad </li></ul><ul><li>Goal : Focus on task ; do well to show ability and enhance self-esteem </li></ul>
  54. 56. <ul><li>Life-Long Process of Self-Perfection </li></ul><ul><li>Improve the Self to Bring Honor to Family </li></ul><ul><li>Learning as Moral Process; Filial Piety </li></ul><ul><li>Discipline, Concentration, Hard Work </li></ul>Chinese Self-Cultivation GOAL : Focus on Learning, Improvement and Self-Perfection
  55. 57. Alternative Approaches to Learning USA Ability Orientation CHINA Virtue Orientation <ul><li>Self-Esteem </li></ul><ul><li>Ability Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Task Focus </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome Focus </li></ul><ul><li>but </li></ul><ul><li>Rampant “Me-ism” </li></ul><ul><li>Moral Self-Cultivation </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental Life-Long Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Academic and Moral Discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Love of Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Modesty in Success </li></ul><ul><li>but </li></ul><ul><li>Threat of Familial Shame </li></ul>
  56. 58. Development of “ Hao-Xue-Xin ” (China) “ Heart and Mind for Wanting to Learn ” Jin Li, Brown University College Students: What is Learning? USA CHINA Need for Self-Perfection/ Spiritual Power .15 .79 Information/Facts/Skills/ Understanding .95 .32
  57. 59. Perceptions of Source of Success/Failure Jin Li, Brown University Preschoolers: Finish the story… Bird who tries hard and succeeds in learning to fly... Bear who tries but fails to catch fish… Nation Content USA <ul><li>Ability </li></ul><ul><li>Learning as Task to be Performed </li></ul><ul><li>Creative Strategies </li></ul>China <ul><li>Diligence </li></ul><ul><li>Persistence </li></ul><ul><li>Concentration </li></ul>
  58. 60. The Point of this Cultural Analysis … is NOT to say: the Chinese are happier than the Americans It is simply to say: Effort and Reflection Bring Development What values determine your developmental path? … Identify them … cultivate them, … and appreciate the moment and the movement..
  59. 61. Prelude to Some Exercises <ul><li>Serenity Prayer </li></ul><ul><li>God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. </li></ul>The Serenity Prayer acknowledges that we cannot change everything; that we must accept situations that we cannot change, and even forgive ourselves our trespasses …. And then, work toward the changes that will make for a better life .

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