The Steward Mindset: A Key Mindset to Maximize Your Personal Growth

Your mindset plays a key role in maximizing your personal growth. Why is that the case? Because your mindset determines your actions. The right mindset will lead you to the right actions. The wrong mindset, on the other hand, will lead you to the wrong actions.

The question is: what is the right mindset to adopt to maximize your personal growth?

Well, I believe that you should start with the growth mindset. This is what I wrote in How the Right Mindset Can Help You Grow:

The growth mindset believes that you can develop your abilities. You can learn and get better at what you do. The fixed mindset, on the other hand, believes that your abilities are fixed. You are either good at something or you aren’t; there is nothing you can do about it.

Having the growth mindset is a must for your personal growth. There is no way you can reach your full potential if you have the fixed mindset.

But let’s go beyond the growth mindset. Having believed that you can develop your abilities, how can you maximize your development?

There is a mindset that I believe is helpful here. I’d call it the steward mindset. Here is how I define it:

The steward mindset believes that you have the responsibility to develop your abilities as much as you can.

The key word here is responsibility. It’s not something that is up to you; it’s something that you are obliged to do.

The way I see it is that I have been entrusted with God-given abilities. It’s now my responsibility to develop them as much as I can. It’s not just a responsibility, though; it’s also a privilege. I feel honored to be able to develop my God-given talents.

This idea came to my mind when I realized that I didn’t develop my talents well. In particular, I realized that my skills in iOS app development were outdated. I didn’t follow recent developments in the field and only used the knowledge that I learned years ago. Needless to say, I didn’t feel good about that. But now I have a renewed motivation to become a good steward of the talents entrusted to me.

With this mindset, your goal is to get better at what you do. But how do you know that you are getting better? A good gauge is your level of contribution. The value you provide to other people is a good measurement of your abilities. Here is how Michael Hyatt put it in Free to Focus:

Aptitude signals skill alone, while proficiency signals skill plus contribution. It’s what you offer the world that the world rewards… No matter how talented you are, if you’re not making a contribution in a certain area, you’re not truly proficient.

When you are good at what you do, you are proficient. And the proof that you are proficient is your contribution.

In this view, financial reward is simply a byproduct. As you take the responsibility to develop your abilities and increase your contribution, the world will reward you financially.

One nice thing here is that your motivation is now intrinsic, not extrinsic. It doesn’t depend on what’s happening out there. Instead, your motivation comes from the inside. As you take the responsibility to develop your abilities, you will feel fulfilled. It’s a great way to live.


  1. Thank you, Donald.

    This piece… | When you are good at what you do, you are proficient. And the proof that you are proficient is your contribution| rhymes well with my conscience or self concept.

    I have read somewhere that contribution is an emotion of power and that the greatest gift or the secret of life is GIVING. So is contribution in any way the same as giving?

    • Thanks for stopping by, Moses!

      I think contribution is part of giving. Giving also includes giving financially and giving your attention, for instance, while here it means giving value to the world through your talents.

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