I’ve always considered myself to have an extreme growth mindset. I believe I can change myself much more than most people do. For example, I tend to think people can improve on skills that many others would attribute to “intrinsic intelligence”.

Even if I’m wrong about how much I can change myself, I’ve also always thought that life would feel pretty pointless if I felt that I couldn’t improve myself. I mean, what’s the point then?

But one day I realized that even though I had such a growth mindset when it came to myself as an individual, I didn’t have an external growth mindset. I saw the world as being mostly fixed. I never imagined the ways the world would or could change socially, economically, or politically.

This was pretty shocking to me. Considering how I couldn’t imagine how empty my life would be if I didn’t have a growth mindset about myself, I realized that I was probably missing out on something huge by not having a growth mindset about the world as well.

I had also always felt kind of guilty that I spent so much time thinking about improving myself and so little time thinking about the world. But I finally understood why, it’s because I unconsciously thought that the external world was outside of my locus of control.

But that’s not true. It’s just more of a challenge.

Ever since starting to view the world as being malleable, I naturally took an interest in so many things that I barely spent time on before: news (politics, tech, etc), history, philanthropy, etc. I found that I was completely right about how much I was missing out on.

Of course, having a growth mindset is just the first step. It may be necessary, but it’s not sufficient. Just like at the individual level, believing in change doesn’t do anything unless you have well-implemented strategies for improvement. There’s much work to be done!