Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,

Let’s have a cuppa!

Thank you allowing me into your world today.

First things first, here is the PEI Covid News and the weather forecast.

While rolling into 2021, I had been seeking/listening/searching/watching for a word that would theme the year for me. The word finally landed this week.

GROWTH

I cannot give the definitive aha moment when it became clear that this would be the word. It was a combination of life’s moments that led me to this word since I began thinking about it in November.

What is growth?

For me, it was pretty simple:  to have more understanding today than what I had yesterday.

-to grow in my faith and love for others

-to increase the health and wellness of our family

-to develop the health of my relationships

-to boost the health of our company

Merriam-Webster says…

1: a stage or condition in increasing, developing, or maturing. The tree reached its full growth. 2: a natural process of increasing in size or developing growth of a crystal. 3: a gradual increase in the growth of wealth. 4: something (as a covering of plants) produced by growing.

I’ll take number one, Alex. (miss you already, Mr. Trebek)

What is personal growth? For me, it is a mindset.

When researching growth/mindset/attitude this morning, I came across Carol Dweck’s name a lot.

From her website: Over 30 years ago, Carol Dweck and her colleagues became interested in students' attitudes about failure. They noticed that some students rebounded while other students seemed devastated by even the smallest setbacks. After studying the behaviour of thousands of children, Dr. Dweck coined the terms fixed mindset and growth mindset to describe the underlying beliefs people have about learning and intelligence. When students believe they can get smarter, they understand that effort makes them stronger. Therefore they put in extra time and effort, and that leads to higher achievement.

Recent advances in neuroscience have shown us that the brain is far more malleable than we ever knew. Research on brain plasticity has shown how connectivity between neurons can change with experience. With practice, neural networks grow new connections, strengthen existing ones, and build insulation that speeds the transmission of impulses. These neuroscientific discoveries have shown us that we can increase our neural growth by the actions we take, such as using the right strategies, asking questions, practicing, and following good nutrition and sleep habits.

For way too many years, I made the mistake of listening to the negative voices in my head. Those who didn’t know better in my formative years drummed into me I was stupid. One consequence of this drumming left me always comparing myself to others. As an example, I always looked at anyone who went to university as being smarter than me.

During my late teens and early twenties, I worked with several employers. Many with different levels of education and management styles. After these experiences I kind of woke up and told myself, I can do this. The common thread between most of them was passion.

If I could find something I could be passionate about, I'd be all set. I love great customer service, so set out to find something involving food and customers.  I also decided, I will not listen to anyone any longer who says I can’t do something. 

But I will listen to anyone who asks, ‘why?’

It has been a journey with lots of life lessons handed to me through many failures.

So, I have chosen 2021 to expand my understanding, be less critical of myself, others and the world around me.

I will have a growth mindset. 

Definition:

A growth mindset leads me to believe I can learn anything with dedication, effort, and persistence. A growth mindset sows the seeds for happy living; a positive attitude and a fondness for learning.

I purchased a book two years ago. So this week, I started reading it - Principles by Ray Dalio.

Three underlines so far:

  • “It is far more common for people to allow ego to stand in the way of learning.”
  • “Pain + Reflection = Progress”
  • “Above all else, I want you to think for yourself, to decide 1) what you want, 2) what is true, and 3) what to do about it.”

I may have been a little too excited; having found my theme for 2021. And the gift cards from Christmas were burning a hole in my wallet, so this week I purchased:

Peace and Good Order, Harold R. Johnson

(I recommend listening to his interview with Shelagh Rogers)

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Blood on the Water by Silver Silver Donald Cameron

(recommended by three of you, thank you)

Keep Sharp, Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta, MD

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Issacson

I love the Minions! LET'S DANCE! 

I hope you a wonderful happy weekend. Thank you for listening. 

With Love from Prince Edward Island, 

Bruce & Millie

ps. Your Morning Smile

From a passenger ship, one can see a bearded man on a small island who is shouting and desperately waving his hands.

"Who is it?" a passenger asks the captain.

"I have no idea. Every year when we pass, he goes mad like that."