Mindset Wars

October 31, 2018

Let's talk about mindset, specifically, two seemingly dichotomic mindsets that we must learn to balance in life.

 

The first is a minimalist mindset, or one that seeks to get through the checklist, put in the 8 hours, meet the requirements, and move on. The second is more of the "over-achiever", going above and beyond, taking the extra step, going the extra mile, and always looking for the next opportunity.

 

My phrasing might suggest the latter is superior; while these mindsets are different, I would argue that neither is objectively good or bad, right or wrong. Both are appropriate at different times and in different situations.

 

Let's take a look at the minimalist mindset. What stands out to me is that this mindset naturally sets a limit to your success in whatever direction you "set your sights". If you're at work and just doing your 8 hours, checking off your tasks, and staying in your lane, sure, you'll get paid; but will you get that promotion? Will your climb through the ranks? Or will you instead be passed-over for that other guy who comes in early to write some extra emails and stays late to help other departments when they're understaffed? If you have that "hungry" mindset, and take the time to look for opportunities to do more, you'll have a much better chance of finding workplace success.

 

But you might not want that. You might need more time with your family and want to stick to that 8 hour day, not take the stress home with you, and have a consistent schedule. Or you want to do the minimum so you work on your side-hustle, or spend time on your hobby, etc. It comes down to your current situation and needs, and auditing your mindset to match them.

 

One of the most important places we need to audit our mindset is in our marriage and/or relationships. Are we taking the minimalist approach with our spouse? Are we just putting in our "8 hours", so to speak, and checking off the boxes? Or are we looking for opportunities to go the extra mile and work a little "overtime". We can't expect thriving relationships if we are just looking to do the minimum.

 

Another caveat: you might decide, with your spouse, that you need to work some later hours or take some extra classes and be home less now so that you can enjoy a more prosperous career and improve your family's quality of life in the long-term. This requires us to communicate with those who are involved and affected so you can come to a decision and move towards success.

 

Can there ever be too much of the "over-achiever" mindset? Is it ever a bad thing? As the saying goes, sometimes less is more. Let's taking exercise for example. It's very possible to do too much. Rest and recover are vital aspects of successful training; going overboard can certainly be detrimental. Thais mindset can also become a problem if it causes your to neglect your other priorities in your life. The solution is to approach these issues with with prudence to find that sweet spot.

 

The takeaway here is that we all need to audit our mindsets that we have with regards to the various aspects of our lives and find the right balance. Situations, needs, and wants change as time goes on, and sometimes our mindsets need to in order to reflect those changes. You can be successful with either mindset, but wherever you put that extra attention, go that extra mile, and put in that overtime, that is where you will really flourish.

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