I often wonder how those who don’t believe in eternity are able to bear the weight of this very temporary world. If one does not believe that there is anything beyond what we experience on this side of death, what possible motivation is there to do hard things, grow, and move forward when life becomes difficult? Where is the hope? If all that there is and all that there will ever be is the world we now inhabit, then peace and comfort and avoidance of anything difficult seem to be the the only pursuits that make sense.
For those that DO believe in eternity though, I often wonder how they can NOT push through life’s difficulties and obstacles in pursuit of all that God has for them! As a side note, I ask myself a lot of questions.
There may be no real hope for those that believe this world is all we have, but there should be a powerful, motivating hope for those with their eyes on eternity!
The Bible says it this way:
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1Corinthians 15:19
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1Corinthians 15:57
Maybe the problem is that we are not living with this truth in mind. It’s one thing to believe in eternity and yet another thing to live with an eternal focus. I have to believe that when we get stuck in our lives, when we have decided to die where we are instead of marching forward, it is because we are not allowing the truth of eternal life to truly impact the way that we live.
Another well known verse makes this statement:
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
When we really take hold of these truths, that our lives are eternal and that God has a plan for us (a good one!), we will understand and then pursue a mindset of growth. Now, I realize that much has been said and written about “growth mindset”, and I think that much of it is very good. The problem that I have with some of the growth mindset philosophy is that it tends to focus only on the individual. This idea makes personal growth and development simply for the sake of growth and development the goal! When we view the idea of growth mindset from an eternal perspective, we learn and grow so that we can fulfill the purpose given to us by an eternal God. We don’t allow ourselves to become mired down in the difficulty of life because we understand that we were created for something so much bigger than the challenges we are facing today. We begin to view challenges and obstacles and even the difficulties of our past as an OPPORTUNITIES to continue to learn about God and trust Him for the path ahead.
Again, from the Bible:
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2-3
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. II Corinthians 4:16-18
We need to constantly be looking for ways to grow and learn regardless of what may stand in our way. How do we do that?
Here are a couple of thoughts to get you started as you develop a Growth Mindset with an Eternal Perspective:
1. Embrace challenges
Rather than avoiding challenges, actively seek out opportunities to challenge yourself and learn new things. Approach challenges with a positive attitude and view them as opportunities to grow and improve.
2. Emphasize effort and persistence
Recognize the value of hard work and persistence, and celebrate your progress and achievements along the way.
3. Learn from failures
Rather than viewing failures as evidence of your limitations, see them as opportunities to learn and grow. Reflect on what you can learn from the experience and use it to inform your future actions.
4. Adopt a “not yet” mindset
Instead of thinking “I can’t do this,” adopt a “not yet” mindset and believe that you can learn and improve over time with effort and practice.
5. Seek out feedback
Ask for feedback from others and use it as an opportunity to learn and improve. View constructive feedback as a gift that can help you grow and develop.
6. Surround yourself with positive influences
Surround yourself with people who support your growth and development, and seek out mentors or role models who exemplify a growth mindset.
7. Embrace lifelong learning
Cultivate a curiosity and a desire to learn new things throughout your life. View challenges and setbacks as opportunities to learn and grow, and approach new experiences with an open mind.
It is amazing the power that a new perspective can have on the way that we think and live. When we start to view everything in life, good and bad, as an opportunity to learn and grow, there is nothing that can keep us from moving forward. The Apostle Paul said it this way:
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; 11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. 12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:10-14