My Treasure Trove

Thomas Edison re-framed a reporter’s question about how it felt to fail so many times before finally succeeding with inventing the light bulb.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Thomas Edison

What if instead of uncovering 10,000 ways that won’t work, one could discover 10,000 different ways that will work?

That’s the way I feel when I’m learning something new that I thought I knew. Even more so when I’ve had the opportunity to apply and practice what I’ve learned against old, familiar problems.

Like Batman’s utility belt filled with tools to augment his superpowers, every time I learn a new idea, technique or tool, it feels like I’m filling up my treasure trove of ways to help people be the best they can be.

So, rather than simply going after “What I know I don’t know”, I also like to explore the space of “I know what I know” because it’s always good to know more than one way of achieving the same thing. It may even be a gateway to knowing “What I don’t know what I know” and “What I don’t know I don’t know”. All part of cultivating a growth mindset.

Here are my 5 growth mindset reminders to continue exploring what I think I already know.

  1. I’m not perfect. I’m only partially right.
  2. The world does not stand still. Nor should I.
  3. Yesterday’s solutions may be today’s problems.
  4. There’s always more than one way. Maybe even 10,000 ways!
  5. A teacher doesn’t have to be a Teacher. Be open to learn from everyone and everything.

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