Jigsaw puzzles are apparently making a comeback amid social distancing. There were only a few of the most difficult puzzles left on the barren shelves of a store I walked into the other day. The easier to solve puzzles were seemingly taken first.
When choosing a puzzle for yourself, would you:
- Choose the one you could easily put together and feel immediately successful?
- Choose the one that challenges you to learn to become better with over time?
Dr. Carol Dweck, in her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success would define the choice to select the easy puzzle as a fixed mindset where you experience immediate perfection. The choice to select a puzzle that would challenge you would be an indicator of a growth mindset where you confront challenges and make progress.
Do you naturally have a growth or a fixed mindset?
A key within her research is that how we perceive and approach this will dramatically influence our lifetime capacity and openness to learning. Obviously, with a growth mindset, you are setting yourself up to learn and to grow in a continuous practice toward some level nearing mastery. A growth mindset is choosing to learn.
How smart will we be in the end if we only choose the puzzle, the work and the relationships that makes us feel worshipped as we are with only uncritical acceptance by others?
“I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures…. I divide the world into the learners and the non learners.” — Benjamin Barber —
Select the more difficult puzzle and learn to solve it. I can’t imagine you would regret that you learned too much along the way.
Are we are still learning?