It's been a while since our last newsletter! We got some plans for our superlearner blog and hope to have some more news soon!
Meanwhile, Ryan writes about developing a growth mindset while Dom reflects on the learnings from his recent trip.
We've all heard of the growth mindset. The growth mindset is essentially a frame of mind wherein you believe that you can improve, learn and do things that currently lie beyond your abilities. In other words, a belief that you can learn and do new things.
But what is not as well known is how you develop a growth mindset. Particularly if you are learning something on your own, without the support of a teacher or mentor.
How do you go from 'Maybe I can't do this' to 'If I try, I can do this'?
Changing your mind about your abilities is probably the hardest feat of mental acrobatics any of us will be involved in. But if you can take small steps to changing your attitudes about things you find difficult, it helps overcome any negative attitudes you might have towards learning.
So how does one do this?
One way to do this is to pick something you find challenging and to continually try doing things that are just outside your comfort zone. But this is where things can get tricky. If you try to do something which is too hard, it leads to disappointment and might cause you to give up.
If you try to do something which is well within your abilities, then you don't really improve so your skills stay stagnant.
So finding that zone of proximal challenge is where the magic happens. Being able to push yourself to do things that cause growth but at the same time keep you motivated to keep moving forward is how you keep expanding your growth mindset. This is often a reflective process and requires considerable self awareness.
Repeated exposure to the zone of proximal challenge also ensures that you are subjecting your brain to frustration. And frustration, though difficult when experienced, is what really causes learning to occur. Which is another key ingredient to developing a growth mindset.
I was traveling for the past week and a half. I visited some good friends in Berlin and London, some of whom I had only met online before.
Besides having fun and catching up, I found there was something I could learn from every one of them:
I learned about founding a startup with funding rather than bootstrapping (TH.), how talking to customers can help you improve your product (TN.), a way to create order out of the chaos in the world (A., who sent me this article), how to motivate the best people to work with you (MPa.), and where to find them (MPe.), how to create the most intuitive and easy-to-use app (H.), how to use learning techniques like spaced repetition for soft skills (CC.), how to collaborate with other founders (CS.), how to get a community talking about your product (J.), how to get the most out of serverless infrastructure (B.), how to cut away what's unnecessary to get to the essence of a course (P.) and how to build amazing learning communities (K.).
Now that I'm back home and reflecting on this I feel grateful for every encounter. It's a great thing to keep in mind that you can learn something from everybody you meet, no matter whether you agree with them or not.
Thanks, Dom & Ryan
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