Knowing what we shouldn’t do is just as important as knowing what we should. In fact, it could be easier to see something wrong in things we already do than to see something right in things we haven’t done. In mind development, it means that we should see how we do things and find what’s wrong with them. We can then take the necessary actions to remove those problems.
The 9 mind development killers I’m about to share are something all of us should be aware of. To be honest, there are some of them I’m dealing with myself. I use this list as a checklist to warn myself if I have done something harmful for my mind development.
Here are the 9 mind development killers you should avoid:
1. Saying that something is boring
Saying that something is boring is a sure way to kill your curiosity and – along with it – your mind development. When you say that something is boring, you create a belief that it’s something negative you should avoid. Unfortunately, that could be a door to new opportunities. You might not understand nor need it now, but someday you might. Whenever you say that something is boring, you have closed one more door of opportunity.
2. Always reading the same kinds of books, blogs, or magazines
You need to branch out to new fields. Again, curiosity plays a big role here. If you aren’t curious, there is little motivation to read something new beyond what you usually read. On the other hand, if you are curious you will be glad to read something different because it’s fun.
3. Only wanting to do the easy stuff
Often we just want to do things that do not require significant effort. While this may make you feel comfortable, it won’t do you much in developing your mind. You should be willing to try something challenging that takes you out of your comfort zone.
4. Feeling good enough
If you feel that you are already good enough in something, you won’t have the drive to improve yourself. At best, your improvement will only be modest. It’s especially dangerous when you feel that you are successful. Steve Jobs gave us good advice we should all remember: “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
5. Stop asking why
Often we are to busy doing things that we forget to ask why. We forget to ask why we do it in the first place. We forget to ask why we do it that way. Are you sure you need to do that? And even if you do, must it be done that way?
Just accepting conventional wisdom without asking why is a common mind development pitfall. It could kill the mind development of not only one person but also the entire community.
6. Saying “I’m not creative”
If you think that only certain people can be creative and you are not one of them, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Your belief is your limit. You won’t be creative if you think you aren’t. But the fact is everyone is creative. You are creative. So stop creating self-imposed limitations and start using your creativity.
7. Only having people who agree with you
If the people around you always agree with you, you miss a chance to develop your mind. While we can learn from people who agree with us, I believe we will learn much more from people who disagree with us. So expose yourself to more diverse kinds of people that have different perspectives.
8. Afraid of dreaming big dreams
Perhaps you failed in the past. Or perhaps people said that you won’t succeed. All these could make you afraid of dreaming big dreams. But if your dreams are small, your challenges will also be small and you won’t learn much. Only by dreaming big dreams can you stretch your brain muscles and achieve your full potential. So have the right mindset about failure and enlarge your dreams.
9. Not having role models
Role models act as pacers whom you try to pursue. They are concrete examples of the qualities you want to achieve. Without having concrete examples, it would be difficult for you to know whether and how something can be achieved.
In mind development, you can find people who have big dreams and beliefs despite being in difficult situations. You can also find people who have good intellectual discipline (e.g. reading one book one week) or generate ideas productively. Whatever trait it is you want to emulate, find your role models.
As I said above, this list can be used as a checklist to check whether or not you have done something harmful for your mind development.
Do you know of other mind development pitfalls? I would love to hear them.
This article is part of May 2008 theme: Mind
Photo by R’eyes