I usually write about tech and business in these posts. But with my daughter’s due date quickly approaching, it’s naturally causing a lot of reflection and thought around those existential questions and emotions in this journey we call life. I’m now 18 months into this father thing with our boy Harrison, and in that time, he has already surpassed my 11th grade history teacher, Nick Prowse – who until now was untouchable as far as teachers go.
I know it’s an age old cliche that children are our greatest teachers, but I am now starting to realize where it comes from. Harrison teaches me new lessons on a daily basis and they tend to fall into one of two themes. 1. The power of cultivating a growth mindset, 2. and the importance of being present.
The power of cultivating a growth mindset
To see the world through our boy’s eyes is a very unique and rewarding experience. Literally everything he encounters is new and interesting. He is by far my greatest teacher and reminder on the importance of the here and now.
Carol Dweck describes this in her book Mindset, where she talks about the spectrum between a fixed vs a growth mindset. A fixed mindset lives in a rigid world of winners and losers, where talent is fixed and abilities cannot be learned. A growth mindset on the other hand is embodied by failing forward often in order to achieve rapid learning and progress. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
Yesterday Harrison practiced going up and down the stairs no less than 20 times, and for me it was a perfect example of that. Through this growth mindset, he is changing and developing at a remarkable pace which is incredibly inspiring.
The importance of being present
I’ve never paid as much attention to the birds and trees in our backyard since Harrison came around. He is utterly fascinated by the “birdies”. And I apologize in advance for this, but I’m quickly learning that the tweets in our backyard are far more significant than the ones in my Twitter account. I think C.S. Lewis succinctly captured this idea of being present that as adults we are constantly striving to rekindle.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”
And with that, I’m going to end with an amazing short film put out by Radiolab a few years ago which summarizes the above, entitled Moments. Enjoy!