Growth Mindset Weekly Challenge and Intervention: Learn Zanshin Process

Growth Mindset Intervention Weekly Challenge:  “Everything is aiming”.   

Another technique that is very helpful in keeping your eye on the process of developing a growth mindset  is called Zanshin. It is a word used commonly throughout Japanese martial arts to refer to a state of relaxed alertness. Literally translated, zanshin means “the mind with no remainder.” In other words, the mind completely focused on action and fixated on the task at hand.

” Zanshin is being constantly aware of your body, mind, and surroundings without stressing yourself thus being mindful. It is an effortless performance based on focus and relaxation. In practice, though, zanshin has an even a broader meaning. Zanshin is choosing to live your life intentionally and acting with focused purpose rather than mindlessly going through life on autopilot or just reacting to whatever comes your way. This way of living is a little different than mindfulness because you need to embrace your sense of commitment, and paying attention to what is in front of you this moment. This is zanshin as well: the act of living with alertness regardless of whether the goal has already been achieved” James Clear  

This philosophy of living has many positive implications for living on purpose in to many areas of life:

  • Public speaking: The challenge to become a better presenter does not end when your present speech is delivered. It does end until you consider yourself a polished and confident public speaker, when you lose the desire needed to continue improving your presentations your performance will fall off.
  • Fitness:The challenge does not end when you hit a “personal record”. It ends when you lose concentration and skip workouts or when you lose perspective of why you are doing this activity.
  • Learning and Growth:The battle does not end when you make a big win like high SAT It ends when you get complacent and do not keep working on improvements or new strategies for success.

So in this philosophy of constructive living the barrier of  performance improvement is neither failure nor success. The enemy of improvement is boredom, fatigue, and lack of concentration. The enemy of improvement is a lack of commitment to the process because the process is not the resultsaccomplished.

The Art of Zanshin in Everday Life

“One should approach all activities and situations with the same sincerity, the same intensity, and the same awareness that one has with bow and arrow in hand.” – Kenneth Kushner, One Arrow, One Life

We live in a world obsessed with external results. Our culture has placed a high value on winning, so we have a tendency to put too much emphasis on whether or not we hit the target or bulls eye. If, however, we put the effort and focus into the process of say hitting a good golf shot on– where we want the ball to fly and land, how  position our feet, how we grip the club (relaxed) how we breathe during the release of the club– then hitting the target is simply a side effect of the process.

The point is not to worry about results or hitting the target. The point is to fall in love with the process of learning and doing the activity at hand.  The goal of growth becomes to take that moment of now or zanshin, that moment of complete awareness and focus, and carry it with you everywhere in life.

Remember, it is not the target that matters in this philosophy. It is not the finish line or winning and losing that matters. It is the way we approach the goal that matters by focus and committing to the practice of getting better. “Everything is aiming”.

Self-Coaching Challenge: How are you going to implement the ideas of Zanshin into your daily life activities?

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