“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
I had recently finished reading a book titled “Mindset”. The book’s author outlines the differences between two mindsets, a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. The belief is that people who have a growth mindset tend to look at life’s challenges as opportunities to grow and learn. Those with fixed mindsets tend to be those who rest on past knowledge and experiences as their basis to deal with current challenge and change. This book has opened my eyes to understand people differently and has given me some tools on how to be more patient with others. That being said, the more I believe in this philosophy, the more disappointed I am of the leadership of our country and more specifically, our province.
I am not going to get into any political debate but I have questioned how I can remain optimistic during a time of such pessimism surrounding the future of our province. I am not one to bury my head in the sand when it comes to the local news. I pay attention when all that I hear is that we cannot progress unless we cut this or cut that, while forward-thinking investment ideas are given the cold shoulder. I have been starting to feel as though many of my fellow New Brunswickers appear to have a fixed mindset. Some of us are relying on our past history of selling natural resources and government hand-outs to get us through the storm. This pessimistic viewpoint had me down, until one morning a couple of weeks ago.
As I was in my car awaiting my turn to bark out my usual “large double-double” order to the Tim Horton’s drive-thru speaker. I heard on the radio that the Moncton Wildcats had no place to play their weekend playoff games because of a scheduling conflict. The mayor of Moncton had used that as an example of why the city needs a new facility to be a better host to simultaneous events going on but the provincial government was noncommittal of their support for such a project. I was reminded of my earlier conflict with how our province is seemingly stuck in a fixed mindset. I am not going to get deep into my opinion of why we must move forward on this, but I do equate building it to grow as a province. Unfortunately, many of the opponents are only fixated on the initial upfront investment and not the bigger picture. I understand that education, healthcare and roads are very important social structures, but our current spending habits on them are not sustainable. We need to find investments that will haul outside money from other provinces and countries into our small chunk of the world. This facility will do that for a relatively small investment. But alas, I am disappointed that there is a fair share of folks not willing to see this as an investment into our future. Not to mention, the short-term pride of building something we can be proud of. Well, all that negativity towards my fellow citizen changed in a split second when I reached the pick-up window to fetch my morning Java. I reached out to pay and the server said: “No, you don’t have to pay, the guy in front of you paid for your coffee.”. Oh… really?
The guy in front of me obviously had a growth mindset. He believed that one small investment into the stranger next in line could inspire a positive change. He believed that by paying it forward, he could help someone next in line. Had he spent that money on something he normally spends his money on, nothing would have changed. His investment in the future customer has paid off. He had given me some hope that this province does have a bright future. We do have forward thinking people living among us. I just hope there is enough of us growth-minded folks to look at our current challenges as opportunities to learn, be creative and invest wisely in projects that will allow us to “grow it forward”.
And yes, I paid it forward. 🙂
Updated resolution numbers:
352 of 1000 KMs walked
20 of 50 blog entries posted
10 of 10 books read (goal reached April 17)