It's been said that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. As my dog gets older, he's behaving like an archetypal middle-aged man, grumpy and stubborn. People say that about people too that as we get older, we become fixed in our ways, but is this really true?
I would like to think that as people, we are better than that.
Have you read the book Mindset? The book explains that there are two kinds of mindsets - the growth mindset and the fixed mindset. However, the fixed mindset can be trained to think like one with a growth mindset and I believe this to be true. We cannot stop learning and growing, this goes against human nature. Our nature has always been to evolve, just like all things natural, it is part of our journey to evolve. So even if you are born with a fixed mindset, you are perfectly capable of developing a growth mindset because it is in your nature to do so, unless you have bought into society's cookie cutter idea of how you should be.
When people believe that you become a certain way when you hit a certain age, they have bought into a societally accepted way of living so that you do not become an inconvenience to others. I for one, will not accept that I have to stop doing what I'm doing when I reach a certain age, I do not believe in retirement as well. I have found myself time and time again eager to learn new things, experiencing new things in life, and this is rather inconvenient to others in my life because they prefer that I stop rocking the boat. But I cannot stop for others, because of their fears, I have to do it for me, even if I happen to be the only person doing it.
Having a growth mindset means doing things differently, this also includes living life vastly different from what is expected of you. If you expect to live a life exactly like how the rest of society has been droned to live, eat, sleep, find a spouse, have kids, eat and sleep more, and then die. Okay maybe these days, include a little more things like gaming, Netflix and other activities that people do JUST TO PASS TIME. If this is how you have been living your life, then you have lost the game of life.
Is this how you want to spend 42 million minutes of your lifetime if supposedly you live till 80. When we break down our years into minutes, we will realise that it is a lot of minutes to waste. Now, think about it, over the weekend, how much time have you spent on mindless activities specifically for the purpose of passing time? Count the time in minutes, and if you want to be more brutal, count them in seconds.
Of course, you can use your time to rest and reset where you do nothing, this is absolutely fine and it is encouraged, especially if you have been busy doing the things you love during the week. But when you feel deep inside you, certain boredom and you do not know what you're living for anymore, and you are literally looking for things to do to pass the time, it is time for you to rock the boat. Ask yourself if this is how you want to live for the rest of your life, or is there something you can do to stretch yourself? Take yourself out of the factory of drones. How can you live and do things differently? Is making a choice in your life so different from others that you fear judgment, you fear that you will not be accepted, but can you accept where you are?
At the end of the day, the question you have to ask yourself is do you have peace, do you know what is peace? Peace isn't when people leave you alone, peace isn't when there is no noise. True peace is being so at ease with yourself inside and out that no matter what is happening around -- people may be judging you, people may be talking behind your back, people may not even like you, you are at ease with yourself and you are truly happy. This is what really counts.
Often people think that if they have found a formula in life, and everything is fixed in place, and life is automated (as if you are a drone), then they will have peace and happiness. That is a very foolish philosophy to follow. Because if you have a growth mindset you will understand AND KNOW that happiness and peace cannot be attained and confined in a fixed way or method, as such the only way to experience happiness and peace is through the growth mindset.
People are not like dogs. Dogs only have one purpose in life -- that is to please their pack leader. It is through following the rules in the pack order, that they find their happiness. So as my dog gets older even though he is grumpy and stubborn he still wants to please me by following my voice, and can I teach him new tricks? Yes, sometimes because ultimately his goal is to please me.
So if you're not feeling the peace and happiness right now, chances are your mind is now fixed, you may need to take yourself out of the cookie-cutter mould and explore ways to develop a growth mindset.
©2020 Shamala Tan
Let me know how I can assist you if you have any questions [email protected]
Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly level.
One of her success stories as an author is to being featured alongside New York’s bestsellers Sonia Choquette, Robert Allen, Arielle Ford, Marci Shimoff as well as Christine Kloser in the book Pebbles In The Pond.
Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.