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Relentless Self-Improvement

Crafting Parenting Reading Relentless Self-Improvement

…and this concludes the intermission…for now…


My goodness; I had never intended for the blog to go so silent for so long.  My schedule has been kicking my butt lately – I’ve been working on a Master’s in Psychology focusing on Child Development, which has been AWESOME.  The program is through a venerable (online) university and I think they didn’t bank on candidates like me when they set up the system that bills me a set fee every three months until I finish.  What better motivation could there be to crank out 55 papers in six months?  So I’ve been a bit busy with that.

Oh yes, and with a little podcast I started.

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Crafting Relentless Self-Improvement

Changing Mindsets Update: Learning to Draw

Update: Reader Survey Still Open!

Many thanks to those of you who have already completed the reader survey; it will still be open for a couple more days.  If you haven’t yet filled it out I’d be most grateful if you would do so – it’ll help me tailor my content to make it more useful to you.  I decided not to promise a ‘prize’ so as to avoid having droves of random people show up just to do the survey, but if the responses are exceptionally helpful then I may reward one of them in some way.

And, in other news…

It seems like I’ve ended a number of my posts with some variation on “I’ll let you know how it turns out” – and I’m not always so good at following up for a variety of reasons, usually related to a feeling that I don’t quite yet have enough to report and that if I wait just a bit longer, the subsequent post will be just a bit better.

Several weeks ago I talked about how I’d been reading Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, which I’d read mainly to get a better understanding of the idea with a view to applying it in parenting.  I did not expect it to change my own mindset about something I’d assumed was a fixed (in)ability in myself: the absence of any skills related to drawing.

I’m about half way though the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book, and I’m getting better!  I’ve taken a sneak peak ahead and it looks like I’m coming to the end of the major building blocks of techniques, and I’m about to start putting things together to move beyond simple line drawings.

Here’s a picture I drew of my own hand, which was one of ‘pre-work’ exercises, designed to give you a baseline to compare back against.  Note the short, ‘sketch-y’ strokes, building curves out of straight lines. Continue Reading

Parenting Relentless Self-Improvement

Changing Mindsets

Last week on the plane to New York I read the book Mindset, by Carol Dweck.  It’s been on my radar for a while now and I’ve tried to incorporate its principles into our parenting from things I’d read about it online, but I wanted to dive a bit deeper into the original material.

I was surprised by what I found.

The premise is that there are two types of mindset, and which mindset you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.

The Fixed Mindset believes that our qualities are carved in stone.  We’re either smart – or we’re not.  We are outgoing, or we’re not.  We are good at sports, or we’re not. Continue Reading

Parenting Relentless Self-Improvement

Highly Personal Posting Alert: Which of your beliefs are not meeting your needs?

I’m almost a quarter of the way through a year-long program called the Compassion Course.  (It’s closed for the year now but you can sign up to take it next year.)  It’s helping me to increase my compassion for myself and others – it continues to be a journey for me, and I will say that poor Alvin receives the brunt of my non-compassionate self after I’ve been on ‘good behavior’ with everyone else.  It’s interesting how well it aligns with RIE principles – things like noticing and acknowledging feelings (in self and others), making observations rather than judgments, and using the judgments you make (’cause we all do it) to help you understand your needs and the needs of others, and find better ways to meet them.

Last week’s assignment was to figure out which of your beliefs are not meeting your needs.  The facilitator gave an example of a concert he wanted to attend but he had no-one to go with (and a belief that he wasn’t the type of person who attended concerts alone) and no ticket (and he wasn’t the kind of person who would approach people outside the event and ask to buy an extra ticket).  He ended up in a great single seat at the front of the show, and then let go of a belief that he’s not the kind of person who dances.

A lot of beliefs about myself and others have prevented me from starting this blog until recently.

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