Warning: 9 Dangerous Mind Development Killers You Should Avoid

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.

Mind development killers 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


  1. I agree with not confining yourself to just a small group of blogs that you read.

    I have a pretty diverse group of blogs on my blogroll that I use to go to from time to time just to spread my wings.

    I have role models. Although I don’t blog for money Garry Conn.com is one of my favorite blogs to read he is genuine and real and that is hard to come by these days.

  2. I get so frustrated by that “it’s boring” or “that’s not really my area” excuse for not listening and stretching. I ran across this quote years ago and it’s stuck with me as reminder of all you said above:
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
    -Robert A. Heinlein
    I can’t do all that, but I’m aiming to live at a level high above an insect.

  3. Mark,
    I’m glad you’ve avoided the mind development killers in the post. In my case, I try to spread my reading over books, magazines, and blogs in different topics. I’m naturally curious, so it’s fun for me.

    Amazing quote. It shows the diversity of experiences we should have. Though I don’t think we can become experts in so many fields, the diversity does help us have fresh perspectives in whatever things we do.

    Learning starts from very early stages of one’s life but education and/or training in schools and colleges is/are established to build one’s mind to to make one who one is in the future.One or more people in either of these faculties can also contribute to one’s mind development.Mind development killers can also source from one’s supposed mentor who one relies on, thinking one wants to be like someday but the mentor him/herself is pulling one down with discouraging comments. Ofcourse roads to life successes might not be bed of roses but there are bad mentors who are not patient enough to encourage one during the learning process.Some mentors can even threathen “You will not graduate!if you…”.Some can take adnantage of one.They might be one’s direct instuctor(s), supervisor(s) or boss(es).Inaddition, mind development killers may also be anyone who opposes (by utterances or actions) one’s good dreams and desires, one’s potential in life.

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