Mindsets: The Key to Personal Development

Ryan Gottfredson

by Ryan Gottfredson

Butterfly 3

If you were to Google “how to be an effective ______________________” (fill in the blank; leader, employee, parent, follower, fisherman), you will inevitably end up with a near-endless list of articles that resemble the following:

  • The 10 golden rules of _______________
  • 8 powerful habits of highly effective ________________
  • 7 keys to becoming a remarkably effective _________________
  • How to be an effective ______________ in 9 simple steps
  • 6 ways to be an effective ___________________

Now, if you were to click on each of those articles and identify all of the unique aspects of what it takes to be effective in the topic of your search, you will very quickly come up with a list of dozens of different attributes that you need to consider, be, and/or develop to be effective. Doesn’t this feel daunting? Further, you will find a decent amount of contradictory ideas. Isn’t this  frustrating?

Simplifying Development

What if I told you that instead of focusing on a daunting list of dozens of attributes you need to develop to be effective, a much better approach is to  focus on just four mindsets that fuel nearly all of the attributes necessary for effectiveness?

Wouldn’t that seem much more manageable?

The reason why we should focus on our mindsets is because they are foundational to who we are, how we think, and what we do. So, by improving our mindsets, we improve almost everything about ourselves.

Pyramid with mindset as foundation

The reason why I identify four mindsets is because that is the number of positive mindsets that have thus far been proven to be essential for effectiveness, and they encompass almost any positive attribute that fuels effectiveness.


Mindsets are typically studied in pairs representing a continuum from positive to negative. There are four such pair that I want to focus on:

Mindset Continuum

If you are not familiar with these, you can learn more about each of these sets here: What are the Four Mindsets Necessary for Success?

As we move from the negative mindset to the positive mindset, it becomes relatively easy to see how we will develop the qualities that drive enhanced effectiveness:

  • Fixed → Growth = More resilient, confident, empowering, hard-working, innovative, intelligent…
  • Closed → Open = More mindful, humble, self-aware, teachable, emotionally intelligent, effective communicator…
  • Prevention → Promotion = More driven, focused, creative, optimistic, passionate, self-reliant…
  • Inward → Outward = More empathetic, selfless, compassionate, patient, grateful, friendly…

These bullet points demonstrate how improving four mindsets will lead to the development of 24 attributes generally considered to be essential to success, and I could have kept going.


If you want to be a more effective at _________________ (fill in the blank), you will be able to develop yourself more effectively and with less stress if you choose to focus on a few mindsets rather than developing dozens of specific attributes. Not only will this enhance your focus, but because our mindsets are foundational to everything we do, it is a much more natural way to develop:

As our mindsets improve, our qualities will improve

As our qualities improve, our effectiveness will improve

If you would like to assess where your mindsets are along each of these four continuums relative to thousands of others, take my personal mindset assessment by clicking the button below:

Awaken to the Quality of Your Mindsets
Join over 30,000 others who have taken the most comprehensive mindset assessment available.

Subscribe for the latest posts

Sign up for updates

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to accelerate your vertical development journey. Includes cutting-edge vertical development articles, tips, and resources.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Newsletter

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter to accelerate your vertical development journey. Includes cutting-edge vertical development articles, tips, and resources.