What is your mindset?
I grew up in a wonderfully diverse community outside of New York City. The network of communter train brought people from all different geography backgrounds into our community.
Growing up was a rich experience, culturally. But every culture has it's own mindset, behavior patterns to follow. When you grow up in a culture you don't often see the mindset. You just copy the patterns to fit in.
Despite our diverse back round, every child in the culture learned that mindset. We were taught to lock your door, walk briskly, you do not look at strangers in the eye and you don't talk to anyone personally known to you. The underlining belief was that anyone who might try to engage you on the way from point A to point B had hidden agenda with bad intentions.
This was unspoken and understood without ever being verbally taught.
So, when I went on to higher education I choose to go to a school in Virginia. This geographic choice was mostly because I wanted to go to a place the ground didn't freeze solid for 4 months out of the year.
The first day of classes as a newly minted freshman I locked my dorm door securely and began walking to my classes on campus. As I followed the sidewalk (Holy crow!) people I passed looked at me, total strangers greeted and everyone was walking a bit slow... you could even call it sauntering.
I was freaked out. What did these people want from me? What was their ill intention? Of course, that was just old software running in my head. After a week of being in Virginia I realized that friendliness was the cultural norm. No one had ill intentions. Although disconcerting at first, the new culture was a wonderful change from what I was used to.
When I went back home it was easier to understand the other cultural norms because I had a new set of lens to see through. Of course, it was simple to unpack this experience from the past. Hindsight has that easy button, right?
What I wonder about now is what old mindset beliefs am I running without realizing it? Meditation helps. Laughing at myself helps. Traveling to other places and new cultures help as well.
What have you realized about your mindset?