Mindset: Fixed vs Growth

One of the most important ideas I've learned is the difference between having a "fixed" or a "growth" mindset.

It's quite similar to "nature versus nurture" - and is the internal monologue that scores every aspect of our lives . 

People in a fixed mindset believe you either are or aren't good at something, because it's just who you are. 

People in a growth mindset believe anyone can be good at anything, because your abilities are based on your actions. 

This seems simple, but it's incredibly deep.  The fixed mindset is the most common.  It is also the most harmful.  It's critical to to understand and consider how it is affecting you. 

For example:

In a fixed mindset, you believe "she's a natural born musician" or "I'm just not good at math".

In a growth mindset, you believe "anyone can be good at anything and skill comes only from practice". 

The fixed mindset believes trouble is destructive.  If you believe, "You're either naturally great or will never be great", then when you have any trouble, your mind reiterates this believe and thinks, "I told you so.   You will never excel at this.  Just give up now". 

The growth mindset simply views trouble as helpful feedback in the learning process. 

Can you see how a subtle difference in mindset changes everything?

Some More Examples:

In a fixed mindset, you stick with what you know to ensure you keep your confidence.

In a growth mindset, you maintain your confidence by always pushing the boundaries and exploring the unfamiliar - to ensure you're always learning.

In a fixed mindset, failure defines you.

In a growth mindset, failures are temporary hurdles and minor setbacks. 

In a fixed mindset, you want to hide your flaws so you're not labeled a failure or judged.

In a growth mindset, your flaws are simply a list of things to do and to improve. 

In a fixed mindset, you believe if you’re romantically compatible with someone, everything should just come naturally and should both share all the same views.

In a growth mindset, you believe a lasting relationship comes from working through inevitable differences and continuously making effort.

In a fixed mindset, it’s entirely about the outcome. If you fail, you think all is lost.

In a growth mindset, it’s all about the process, thus the outcome hardly matters.

Overall, your mindset itself is not fixed.  The view you adopt for yourself significantly affects the way you lead your life. 

You can change your perspective simply by thinking it through. 

The Secret Killer of Relationships

Disappointment.  Jealousy.  Misunderstandings.

These are some examples of the side effects of unexpressed conflicts - the hidden poison that plagues most relationships today.

Many times, we tend to walk away from conflict instead of talking through it.  

Unaddressed issues tend to fester and produce huge rifts between people.  These issues lie dormant, waiting to explode when future conflicts arise.

Unexpressed issues turn assumptions into accusations and accusations into evidence, where one renders a verdict while the other does not even realize court is in session.   

A key issue with unresolved conflicts is that they can last a lifetime.

Some signs of unexpressed conflict can be storming into another room, arguing over small things, and waves of apathy.

Once you realize the specific unexpressed tension in your relationships, here are three practical ways to deal with it:

        1.  Take the Initiative

It takes real maturity and humility to bring up unexpressed conflicts first.  Despite possible repercussions, it is critical to have the hard conversations as soon as possible.  The sooner you address the issue, the sooner you can cut off its poisonous effects destined to harm the relationship.

        2.  Own and Confess Your Mistakes

This may seem risky, but owning and confessing your mistakes is one of the most powerful ways to disarm conflict.  No matter how difficult, confessing mistakes is the beginning of removing tension within your relationships.

        3.  Fight the Issue, not each other.

Unexpressed conflict can very quickly become extremely personal.  
Focus on fighting the issue at hand, rather than the other person.  An attack against one of you is a threat to both of you.

Relationships aren’t about winning, but about moving forward together in harmony.


Whether with your business partner, girlfriend or best friend, Open and Frequent communication is the cornerstone of effective relationships.    

Transparency cultivates trust.  

The very act of expressing a feeling, misunderstanding or frustration will typically create a stronger bond, help resolve the issue and ultimately enhance the relationship overall.

The Outlet Others Need

Most people just need an outlet — somewhere to vent their anger and to release their frustration.

Some people rely on sports, music or resort to drugs or alcohol.  However, most use people.

Let them.

A good metric of personal contentment is how often you allow others to use you as an outlet - without letting it bother you.

  • A doctor in Singapore loved RingMD.  He kept reaching out and insisted I hire him.  After many requests from him and my continued denials, he threatened to lodge a public campaign against me and the company, unless we paid him a large consulting fee.  I didn't comply and he publicly bashes me to this day. 
     
  • Some ex-girlfriends and ex-colleagues despise me, still spreading rumors in attempt to harm me.  People I've never met publish how much they hate me on blogs and social media.

The interesting thing is: I'm happy to help them. 

Some people can only feel good about themselves by tearing others down. 

I know what I'm doing is helping others (and has the potential to help many more). I am filled with so much passion and purpose that none of this behavior can get me down. 

Be confident in your personal mission. 

Allow others the opportunity to use you as their outlet. After all, they need you.

Be the outlet others need. 

Healthcare

I often think about how important affordable and prevalent access to healthcare is to our future.  More than 29,000 people die every day from treatable and preventable causes and more than 45,000 people from general lack of healthcare.  Many other issues, such as poverty, economic, and war stem from insufficient access to healthcare.  

Simply put, access to healthcare is the greatest challenge of our generation.

I believe that if you could choose one technological advancement to help the most people in the world, connecting every person on the planet to quality and affordable healthcare is probably it.  As history shows, societies and individual quality of life have dramatically improved in direct correlation to improved access to affordable healthcare.  

From the elucidation of human anatomy in 1543 to the invention of body imaging in 1895, and to recent advancements in pharmacotherapy, the effective treatment and prevention of disease has extended life expectancy, reduced disability and holistically increased public optimism beyond what anyone could imagine.  The overall improvements have been outstanding.

The 21st century is one of transition.  I am confident the 22nd century is going to be the century of complete democratization of healthcare.  How exactly this transition will unfold is a mystery, but the challenge is ours to make it happen.

Currently, most of the focus on improving healthcare is targeted at a political level.  In many countries, such as the United States, healthcare is systematically broken.  Governments, which tend to focus on solutions that increase complexity, cannot effectively solve the problem of providing access to quality and affordable healthcare across the globe.  

Although some may cite countries such as Sweden, Singapore and Switzerland (among others), which objectively are working quite well, these models have yet to be effectively proven at scale.

Moving forward, we must focus on instantly connecting every person on the planet to quality and affordable healthcare.

Our future depends on it.

Passion

Many times I am asked the question, "How do I find my passion?" 

It is counterproductive to think in terms of "passion" because it sounds so daunting and more complicated than it really is. 

If you feel you haven't found your passion, you're probably expecting it to fall out of the sky. 

This rarely happens. 

Rather, take note of what excites you or even scares you a bit. 

If you find yourself spending hours playing guitar, pursue it further.  Perhaps that is your new calling. 

If you keep dreaming about being your own boss and the idea of going out on your own scares you but interests you, it is likely worth a shot. 

It is from these terrifying times where you grow the most. 

We are passionate about what challenges us and what helps us grow. 

For me, RingMD started as a curiosity.  A curiosity that kept me up until 3am every night, experimenting and building.  A curiosity to determine how to solve one of the biggest problems of our generation. 

It continues to grow from there and makes me come alive. 

“Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” - Howard Thurman

What makes you come alive?

How to Overcome Every Challenge You Face

We’ve all been there - time and time again.  
Feeling completely overwhelmed as the challenges of life surround us.  

Finances.  Family.  Health.  Friends.  Love.  

So what do you do?

Turn to: Alcohol?  Shopping?  Food?

These mechanisms only serve to distance ourselves from our obstacles - increasing anxiety and inertia.  

Distance kills.  

The absolute worst thing one can do is ignore the issue and hope it disappears.

It won’t.  

The good news is that the strategy to triumph over any obstacle is incredibly simple.  

Here is how to overcome every challenge you face:  

 

1.  Acknowledge

Face your challenge head on.  Specifically describe it.  

Write it down.  Draw it out.  Study it.

Do whatever it takes to make it absolutely clear.  

Only then can you determine the best next step.  

 

2.  Act

With a solid understanding of the situation, take action.  

Sooner is better than later.  

It doesn’t matter if you aren’t sure it will work or what will happen.  

Trust your gut and do it anyways.  

 
3.  Persist

Most people fail because of one reason: they quit.  

As an entrepreneur, the foundation for success is survival. 

The key to living an effective life is persistence.  

Persistence shows you care and what you value.  

The Japanese have a saying:

JapaneseProverb

If your course of action doesn't produce your desired result, repeat 1 and 2 until your challenge is eliminated.  

Never quit.

Persistence is key.  The last man standing wins.  

What challenges will you overcome today?