interest-150x150Sometimes people wonder whether it isn’t better to have a fixed mindset now and then. When I ask what they mean, it usually turns out that they have the impression that having a growth mindset means that that you can never be satisfied and that you always feel the pressure to be engaged in learning and improvement. Someone said: “Why should kids always have to learn? Just let them be kids!” Such remarks betray a misunderstanding of what a growth mindset means. A growth mindset means that you believe that development is possible, not that you are constantly feeling a pressure to learn. 
The desire to learn and grow is something which comes naturally to all of us. The drive to be competent and to learn is present in people of all cultures and ages (Elliott & Dweck, 2005). The degree to which people feel competent contributes to their well-being and functioning. Investing in the development of one’s own competence does not have to be exhausting or frustrating. Research shows that two surprisings things happen when we engage in something which interests us. First, our energy and resources are replenished. While we are putting in effort in something which interests us we are, at the same time, acquiring new energy. A second mechanism operates when we are doing something which interest us, which is that our interests our refreshed and renewed automatically (Silvia, 2008). We generate new questions and a new curiosity emerges which stimulates further learning.
Working at your personal development is a natural thing and, normally, we don’t have to feel sorry for children and adults who are intensely engaged in it, especially when they are following there own interests. On the contrary, interest-oriented competence development can bring much fulfillment and enhance vitality.

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