Becoming and being

I used to always aspire to “be the best version of myself.” But, I’ve been switching that verbiage to “becoming the best version of myself” instead – thanks to Carol Dweck’s book on Mindset.

The exercise of reading books on topics like human psychology has changed a lot for me over the years. A few years back, I used to take many notes and share all the interesting experiments I came across on this blog. Doing so helped me grasp ideas better.

But, over time, I’ve found these concepts to come together and to build on each other in interesting ways. Reading a book now is about reinforcing these mental models with small, and powerful, tweaks every once a while.

As a result, I find myself reading fewer and fewer psychology books over time. They all resonate deeply now. Maybe that’s a sign that I need to find other, more challenging things, to learn. Nevertheless, I made an exception recently for “Grit” and “Mindset.” I’d put away reading these books for a long time as I’d come across their chief findings in many others. But, perhaps thanks to my circumstances, I felt I needed a reminder of these ideas.

And, my conclusion from these books is a reinforcement that mindset comes first. It precedes every other trait and quality. Grit is a combination of passion and perseverance. And, I don’t think it is possible to persevere if you don’t cultivate a growth mindset, i.e., focus on becoming something over being something.

As Carol Dweck – “Becoming is better than being.” Commit to the process of becoming and the rest will follow.

PS: If you’re wondering how you should cultivate a growth mindset, I always go back to a concept called “The Choice Map.” We always choose between asking 2 kinds of questions – learner questions and judger questions. As we choose which questions to ask, so we choose our mindset.

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