Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson is a motivational psychologist, speaker, and author. She serves on the Board of Advisors at Columbia University’s Motivation Science Center, and her research on goals and well-being has been published in some of the field’s most prestigious journals.
The truth is, success only brings you lasting happiness and authentic well-being when you pursue certain kinds of goals – the ones that satisfy your basic needs as a human being. Too many of the goals we pursue each day don’t actually satisfy our needs, and leave us too preoccupied and distracted to ever be truly happy.
In this course, we talk about what scientific psychologists have discovered about the true nature of happiness and well-being.
THIS WEEK, we're talking about Mindsets – Thinking About Our Goals In A Better Way
Let's check out some of our favorite Big Ideas from this week:
Big Idea #1: 3 Components of Self-Compassion
As discussed in our last class, we want to “have” self-esteem and not “pursue” it. A great way to do that is to live in a state of self-compassion, which allows us to be gentler with ourselves.
There are 3 components of self-compassion:
Having true self-kindness means we’re able to love ourselves even when we fail, when we’re making mistakes, and when we’re getting negative feedback.
It doesn’t mean we think there’s no room for growth, it means that we’re OK with where we are right now, while being aware that we get can better over time.
By being accepting of others and recognizing that they’re human too, we’re better able to see our own humanity and practice self-compassion.
We want to find the balance between not ignoring the things in our life that need work and not blowing them out of proportion either. We want to be aware of what’s going on and see things objectively.
Big Idea #2: How To Get More Self-Compassionate
Becoming more self-compassionate is something that may require a bit of work for some of us. Here’s a great exercise to increase our level of self-compassion. It’s called the 3-list exercise.
To try it out, take a few minutes to:
List 5 things you’re above average at (ie, you’re funnier, more athletic, better in social settings, etc)
List 5 things you’re average at
List 5 things you’re below average
The point of this exercise is to see if we’re OK with the fact that we’re simply not great at everything. Many of us are used to thinking being average or below is bad… but it’s not! It’s absolutely normal, and everyone has these 3 lists!
To become more accepting of the items for which we’re below average, it can help to simply think of it in terms of “it’s just not my cup of tea”. It doesn’t mean we’re less worthy, it only means that it’s something we’re less skilled at.
Big Idea #3: The “Being Good” Mindset Vs. The “Getting Better” Mindset
In anything we do, there are 2 distinctive mindsets we can adopt, the “being good” mindset and the “getting better” mindset:
The “being good” mindset
In this mindset, we try to be good in order to prove our ability to others and to get validated.
It’s rooted in the idea that we are the way we are, and that we can’t really change ourselves.
Under this mindset, whenever we encounter a setback, it directly affects our level of self-esteem and it can even cause withdrawal (we give up).
We want to move away from the “being good” mindset and adopt…
The "getting better" mindset
This mindset is about developing our abilities instead of proving we have them.It’s about using our work as a way to grow, not as a way to feel worthy.
When we encounter a setback with this mindset, we tend to get more motivated, to work harder, and to get better results next time around. It’s much more empowering!
Isn't it a bit odd we went from science to math to history but somehow missed the class on how to live? We thought so, too. That's why we've recruited world-class teachers to share their wisdom on Optimal Living. Learn more and get your wisdom on at http://entheosAcademy.com.
Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson is a motivational psychologist, speaker, author of SUCCEED: How We Can Reach Our Goals, blogger for Huff Post, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, SmartBrief, and Psychology Today.