I’ve wrestled with the notion of “mindset” at least since 2006 when Carol Dweck published Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, February 28, 2006
I would rather have “mind flow” fast or slow, and not have it either fixed, or open,as Dweck suggests. I understand open is preferred over fixed, especially if you want to entertain something new and different in order to learn, grow and change. It’s not the modifier that concerns me, it is the set that follows mind. I suggest mind flow as a contrast to mind set. Set seems to suggest a fixed position, like being in a particular gear or a defined frame of mind, even if you’re willing to shift gears or go beyond the frame.
Picture a stream as opposed to a pond, a river compared to a lake. Each has its own particular characteristics, appeal and rewards. One is not necessarily better than the other, they are just different. Some people prefer the ocean and others the mountains. Nor does it have to be either/or, it can be both and.
My own mind is a peculiar mix, influenced in part by ADD because I can be easily distracted and I am ever curious about what I observe. There are times when my mind seems to be working overtime and it gets cluttered with a lot of extraneous material that I have to deal with, either by discarding, recycling or paying closer attention.
My wife reminds me of this frequently and her classic comment, especially when we are driving somewhere, is “Look, there’s a chicken.” That is my cue that I have just diverted the conversation to something else that is irrelevant.
I have fairly good peripheral vision and a bad habit of calling attention to something I see that has no connection whatever to what we’re doing otherwise. I know it’s a of stream of consciousness about the world that surrounds me and if I could just learn to keep my observation to myself and my lips zipped when my rude interruption is not appreciated, I would be a much better traveling companion.
All of this is to say that my mind is much more like the stream and the river where the current ebbs and flows, sometimes rushing on and other times slowing to almost imperceptible movement forward. If my mindset were fixed, as in concrete, rigid and unyielding, not so good. If my mindset were open and I couldn’t shut it off or slow it down, the noise would drive me crazy. There needs to be a position other than fixed or open and I call that flow, mind set to flow which I can regulate according to my own personal needs and preferences.
I think it’s more than semantics and terminology. It’s a window into how our minds actively influence our behaviors and how we make choices consciously according to our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual state of being at any particular moment in time. There are also those actions that are more automatic and less conscious but that’s another story for another time.