Updated: Feb 16, 2020
For the first WIL Talk of 2019, we asked ourselves the question: What is the power of mindset? How can we effectively use it in our everyday life? To join our conversation, we invited four experts to the table, all working in completely different fields. The first speaker of the day was Karine-Kayitesi Ponting, life and health coach. The second speaker, Steven Asei-Dantoni, works as an innovation consultant and university lecturer. Third speaker was the founder of the International Community Platform, Nicole van Haelst. And lastly, we invited Magdalena Bogdanowicz, trained psychologist and consultant. Although they displayed different approaches to the power of mindset, all speakers agreed upon the fact that the way we control our minds shapes our own reality. The mind is a controllable entity that should be nourished -not overused and abused. Let’s talk about that.
There are two kinds of mindsets: fixed and growth. To grow is to be flexible. This was the viewpoint underlined by Karine, who drew the yin and yang symbol to demonstrate that life is a dynamic process. Being flexible will allow you to move between the yin and yang forces, to establish balance in life. Being fixed, on the other hand, will create a static barrier, damaging your mental and physical well-being. So how do you become more flexible? Well, according to Karine, “a shift in mindset has to come from a place that feels right.” What she discovered by herself and through her clients is that “the right place” is not the mind but rather the body. By treating your body well through exercise and healthy eating, you can transform the way you control your mind, leading to a more balanced life.
Steven strongly agreed with Karine’s idea of the mindset but also added the element of love. He pointed out the fact that “reality is only what you focus on.” If you feed your mind with love, love is what you’ll see. To achieve the growth mindset, it’s not only important to nourish your body, you also need to have a higher purpose. Applying love to other people is the answer. Our activities should be guided by spirituality and compassion.
As opposed to Steven’s spiritual notions, Nicole approached the idea of the growth mindset in a more practical manner. As an entrepreneur, she’s gathered some tips for not only growing your mindset but also your goal. Number one tip is to be curious. How can you grow if you’re not curious about the world? Second tip is the act of being consistent. Being consistent is more efficient than working intensely for a short period of time. Third tip is to experiment, to act, to adapt. You should not overthink your actions but simply do it. As a result, practising all of these actions will stimulate and grow your mindset.
The last speaker, Magdalena elaborated upon the topic of overthinking. She demonstrated the downsides of being a high-achiever who didn’t listen to her body or health. Overthinking does not lead to a growth mindset, it only leads to burnout. Through her work, Magdalena noticed that many of us make the mistake of overthinking as it gives us the signal that we’re doing something good. This behaviour only makes us addicted to overthinking, limiting our mindsets. Instead, we should think of our mind as a loving yet demanding coach - not as a dictator. Your mind should guide you - not be the source of stress. Having a good relationship with your mind enables you to control your body, your mental processes, emotions, and spirits.
What did we learn from this talk? Well, according to the experts, the mindset has the power to shape our reality. It’s a tool, a coach, and our source to well-being. To nourish the mind, you need to take care of your physical and mental health. Treat your body and feed your mind with love and curiosity and you’ll be on your way to a more balanced and dynamic life.
Blog post by: Anh Thu Nguyen