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I FOUND IT! + Miss you, Alex + Waving Like Crazy

I FOUND IT! + Miss you, Alex + Waving Like Crazy

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."

Previous article Ego & Blind Spots + Why is Theatre Essential? + Where Are You Calling From?
Next article We Are Not Wired That Way + Painful Regret + That Doesn't Last Long in Our House

Comments

Linda Q - February 8, 2021

I don’t know why I’ve passed over the last few blog emails from you—too busy with urgent but actually unimportant things, I suppose. But today while actively NOT watching the Super Bowl I clicked on an unread blog email of yours and reaped the reward—thinking about adding a goal of understanding, compassion, and learning from others this year, dancing to Happy (3 times!), and learning about and from the wonderful community of posters who engage with you and your blog. Thanks for making me happy today, Bruce!

Laura Shamas - January 19, 2021

Just read your blog this morning. This has been an overwhelming few weeks for me and reading this message came at just the right time. Time to take care of now and worry about later, well, later. Stay healthy!

Zyna in Winnipeg - January 17, 2021

Hello Bruce. It is now Sunday afternoon. I did check in yesterday and was cheered by ‘Happy’. Who couldn’t be. It’s infectious!
AND I was so pleased that you had now chosen your word. Congratulations! It seems like just the right word for you, and a challenge, but I think you enjoy/thrive on challenge. However, I checked out without joining in the conversation. I needed a spot of personal reflection. I had no personal word, I had set myself no specific personal challenge.

I then re-read your opening quote from Thich Nhat Hanh. ‘The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment’. That’s when it dawned on me. I needed to take care of the present moment. I realized that lately I have been in a state of pandemic procrastination. (I know I am not alone in this! ) There was no point in my treading water in the doldrums .
I had to take care of something that needed to be done. What I most needed to do was to speak properly to the important people in my world. Not with a text, or an e-mail, or even a phone call – which is always so much better. NO! with a letter. a real, pen and paper letter: and yes – even real ink!
To receive a letter in the post is always a joy to me. I still delight in the cards that arrive at Christmas time, when I recognize someone’s handwriting. Handwriting. Remember that? It is a true stamp of personality. It is an invitation to the dance. It is result of thought skipping through the brain into the hand and onto the paper and off to the receiver. It can be a true gift of friendship and love.

I have been a calligrapher for almost 60 years. My hand is no longer as steady as once it was, but it can still remember the joy of creating with pen and ink. SO…that is what I am going to do. In ‘this present moment’ I shall create, and communicate with those who matter most to me. The length will vary. The purpose will remain constant: the possible delight of someone finding an unexpected letter in the post. That’s all. I shall be ‘taking care of the present moment’, one letter at a time. This will make me happy, and hopefully the recipients too. Once again, Bruce, you have been the catalyst. Thank you!

Blessings for the days to come….Z

Julie MacKenzie - January 17, 2021

I just love your blogs Bruce. Great videos & great advice. Keep it coming…I enjoy reading them every weekend! ;)

Peggy Freeman - January 17, 2021

Here’s to growing and learning in 2021, Bruce! Thank you for the Happy song with the minions, such fun! I also thank you for including titles to books. I have a passion for reading and several of these have piqued my curiosity and interests. Have a wonderful week!
Peggy

Pat - January 17, 2021

2 great songs that really make you feel happy.
I have always told my granddaughter that you can learn something new everyday. She is studying to be an EMT. She learns something new in every class. I learn something new every time she walks in and tells me about her day.
Thank you for your blogs
Pat

althea - January 17, 2021

oh, Alejandro, how lovely and fabuloso. Just had to drop a note to you (thanks, Bruce for the availability) on your path towards being/becoming a polymath. You are so right in all the ‘more-s’ you did. I have spent the last few decades learning something new each year – something ‘big’ such as another language or something ‘small’ like learning how to ride a bicycle when I turned 70. Just small, fun, pleasure-giving things. Thank you for commenting…I cannot stop grinning.

Alejandro Gonzalez - January 16, 2021

At 60, I went back to school, to look for and obtain a Master’s Degree in Business Law and that coincided with my second year of teaching contracts in our local law school, and upon being asked by some of my students why I went back to school, I explained that, in my view, the more I study, the more I learn, and the more I learn, the more I know; the more I know, the more I can do and, finally, the more I can do, the more I am, and, therefore, the more I am the more happiness I can attain….I’m sure somebody before me has said that, but I have found it true…it’s my way to grow…regards…..Alex

Susan B - January 16, 2021

Bruce, love the blog !!
Growth is the perfect word and goal. You have inspired me, again.

Thank you
Susan B

Valarie LaBore - January 16, 2021

Re: growth. I like to say I want to learn something new every day. Today I learned that my convection oven turns itself off when the time its baking is up.
Val

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