There’s another benefit to having this outlook. The developmental psychologist Carol Dweck has shown that having a growth mindset — where you think your outcomes come through effort rather than innate talent — leads to success for kids and grownups alike.
Thinking about your thinking dispositions — rather than how innately smart you are — helps cultivate that attitude.
Sometimes I am leery of what Harvard puts out as truth. After all don’t many of our high level political leaders have Harvard degrees? I suspect that the majority of the CEOs that almost caused the 2008 meltdown were also Harvard alumni. But this list does make sense to me and it seems to be very much opposite to typical Wall Street thinking.
I am going to give you a redacted version of the seven reasons given in the article the original version just had too many words in it that clouded the list itself. To me it almost turns the list into “Blah, blah, blah”. In order to keep things straight I wanted to separate my redacted list from the original quote above. So here goes…
1. Be broad and adventurous: Be open-minded, to explore alternative views; an alertness to narrow thinking; the ability to generate multiple options.
2. Sustained intellectual curiosity: The tendency to wonder, probe, find problems, a zest for inquiry; an alertness for anomalies; the ability to observe closely and formulate questions.
3. Clarify and seek understanding: A desire to understand clearly, to seek connections and explanations.
4. Be planful and strategic: The drive to set goals, to make and execute plans, to envision outcomes; alertness to lack of direction; the ability to formulate goals and plans.
5. Be intellectually careful: The urge for precision, organization, thoroughness; an alertness to possible error or inaccuracy; the ability to process information precisely.
6. To seek and evaluate reasons: The tendency to question the given, to demand justification; an alertness to the need for evidence; the ability to weigh and assess reasons.
7. Be Reflective: The tendency to be aware of and monitor the flow of one’s own thinking; alertness to complex thinking situations; the ability to exercise control of mental processes and to be reflective.
Maybe it is vanity rising up here but I kind of think that I have most of these qualities. :) I definitely didn’t go to Harvard; I could never have afforded to pay for even a semester there let alone the time it takes to get a degree. My State college Purdue was fine with me.
I like to the think that some of my strongest qualities are that I am open-minded and can see narrow thinking from a mile away. As I have mentioned many times here the first thing that often pops into my mind is “why?”. I have a zest, maybe an infliction, for inquiry. That is what primarily drives this blog. So, as it turns out I can see I have 1,2 and 6 down pat and the other four to lesser degrees.
How about you? Where do you stand on this list?