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A Blurb From Bruce

Your words = Your mindset




Dr. Carol Dweck is internationally renowned for her inspiring work in the field of motivation.  Her book, Mindset, has generated lots of interest particularly in the area of "growth mindset".  Teachers from around the world have capitalized, expanded and interpreted her work through catchy slogans, creative bulletin boards and colorful posters.  After taking a look at some of them, I'm not sure they are only appropriate for the school setting...perhaps putting a few of these in our workplaces might help to shift the negative culture of a disparaged work environment.  Here are just a few:

- I will never do it like they do.  What can I learn from them?

- It is good enough.  Is this really the best that I can do?

- I am not good at this.  What am I missing?

- This is way to hard.  This might take some effort and time.

- I give up.  I'll use strategies that I've learned to handle this.

- I can not do any better.  I can always improve.

So how does this relate to rocks or plants.  The sentences above are "mindsets".  Rocks (non-growth) are the bolded, black text and the plants (growth) are the bolded, red phrases.    I tend to think of rocks as those who believe intelligence and ability is fixed and boxed.  It defines who and what they are - and not succeeding inhibits them from pursuing new challenges.  They also believe they possess a certain set of capabilities and skills - and they are really good at doing them.  However, there are a lot of other skills that they do not have - those on the outside of their box - and they are comfortable letting them stay there.

Plants tend to have a growth mindset.  They are able to receive nourishment, resource it and use it to grow and develop.  They believe that they can control when and what they learn.  They embrace challenges as another opportunity to spread their branches and extend their roots.

Whether rock or plant, the choice is yours...


Bruce Hoffman is a critical care nurse, paramedic and current graduate student.  He works as both a clinician and educator in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maryland, with background in the division of critical care (ICU, ER, Cardiology, and Flight).  He enjoys professional gigs in clinical and distance medical education, advocacy, leadership, consultation and blogging.  He is a frequent and national lecturer for a host of Emergency Medical Services and Critical Care continuing education programs. He remains a member of his hometown ambulance service where he has served in a variety of administrative and operational roles. In his spare time, Bruce enjoys spending time with his wife Stephanie as well as traveling, hiking and biking.

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