Growth: Anti-patterns and mindsets

selective focus photo of plant spouts

This blog post describes different growth anti-patterns that I have observed and experienced. Most of these are predominant in Filipino culture. I write this post by painting real life scenarios of how the world behaves as it is now (myself and others included), and how I would like it to be.

If you have met me already, you would clearly know that I thoroughly enjoying talking, practicing, and learning about growth. If this is your first time to read one of my writings, Hi! My name is Darren, and I enjoy learning about growth in the context of competitive games, writing, work, technology, and personal well-being.

I’ve been contemplating the stories in my past where I found myself really against certain behaviors, and reflecting why people behave that way and why I feel strongly against it. This blog summarizes those short stories in light of growth.

Complacency vs. Pacing – The “okay na yan” mentality

A common Filipino trait is the dismissive “okay na yan” mentality, which in English translates to “That’s enough; we don’t need to do better”. A better way of phrasing it would be “That’s enough for now; Let’s revisit this later when it’s aligned with our priorities and resource availability”.

Indifference vs. Curiosity – The “Meh” mentality

Not particularly tied to Filipino behavior, but there are friends and close acquaintances who generally have a disinterest in others, or a really rough social characteristic of not giving at least some conversational interest in what is important to other people. Curiosity, I believe, is not only a trait, but a skill. It is a frame of mind that is necessary when you want to pursue growth.

Delegation vs. Responsibility – The “This is your fault” mentality

I have a friend who used to feel so helpless. He would blame other people for the things happening in his life, but that also led to his frustration and very restless experience of feeling like he has no control. He described it to be that he felt like things simply happened to him.

african american couple having conflict at kitchen
Photo by Alex Green on

Keeping a focus on practicing blame leads to helplessness. Keeping a focus on what you have control of (and what is your responsibility) is the path to knowledge, control, and power.

Fate vs. Control – the “helpless complainer” mentality

A corollary to the previous pattern, this mentality focuses on the lack of control. It is possible that you may be responsible for something now, but currently lack control of it within a short time period.

For example, you might be struggling to manage to pay for rent every month while you are struggling with maintaining your job right now. However, this distinction between responsibility and control is necessary: You are responsible for your individual well-being, but you lack the immediate options or choices right now to change that aspect of your life.

No matter how limited your options are, you have to clearly see that you do have a level of control: Should I change my job to something that can better support me? Should I move to a cheaper place? Should I adjust my lifestyle so that I can bring down my monthly expenses? These things are the initial first steps you have to take before you can achieve greater control over the change in your life.

Knowing clearly what you are responsible for allows you to follow the train of thought of what you do have control of. It begins internally, and expands outwards. When we cover the basics of caring for ourselves, we can extend help to those who need it.

Things are either easy, hard, or impossible. Focus on the first two, and ignore the last. There are things that are out of our control: people’s opinions and expectations, natural disasters, unfortunate events… those are things that we surely do not have full control of. Opinions can be swayed, but people change. Be truthful and discern things that fall in the first two categories: easy and hard.

Be aware that there are things that are under our control: Practice, skill, mindset, awareness, and personal well-being. Shifting our attention from things that are outside of our control to that which is within our control encourages us to have a strong locus of control.

Despair vs. Hope – the “quit rather than pause” mentality

Climbing a mountain is not something you do in an instant. It takes time. People vary in skill level when climbing mountains. Don’t compare yourself to the experts; compare yourself constructively by analyzing your progress with your past self.

The concept of pacing is briefly discussed in the mental model: The Mountain.

Perfection vs. Progress – the “judgemental” mentality

What does a mistake-centric mentality look like? Remember that a mountain climber conquering the mountain takes a journey. Remember: don’t beat yourself up every step of the way just because you’re not at the top of the mountain.

Failure vs. Learning – the ‘mistake-centric’ mindset

An internal dialogue. Intra-personal interaction. How do you think of yourself?

Permanence vs. Change – the ‘dismissive mindset’

Ganyan na talaga yan, di na magbabago yan. A dialogue on external interactions. Inter-personal. How do you think of others?

Utility vs. Empathy – the ‘Machiavellian’ mentality

This mentality is not sustainable. People know whether you genuinely care about them, or if you’re only using them to further your agenda.

This as well, highlights the discussion on Timing (Future blog post). Ponder what you want to be contemplating at your death bed. Do you wish to be remembered fondly, stories spreading about what impact you left in the world? Or do you wish to be disregarded as an old person who is no longer useful?

Be very keen about how you associate the value of a person’s life, because utility (or benefit), I tell you, is a foundation that is not reliable throughout the course of lifetimes (See blog post on timing).

Justice vs. Mercy – the ‘unforgiven’ mentality

Expectation vs. Appreciation – the ‘disappointment’ mentality

External vs. Internal metrics – the ‘truth’ mindset

This brings a call back to the responsibility topic above.

Pride vs. Humility – the ‘attention’ mindset

What do you pay attention to? Do you excessively think about yourself? Or do you excessively think about others?

Lost in others vs. Lost in oneself – The ‘airplane oxygen mask’ mindset

Callback to responsibility topic. You must help yourself first, ground yourself, bring up the foundations of your well-being, so that you can lift others up.

Co-dependence vs. Independence – The “i-need-you” mindset; The reversal “savior” complex

Callback to Pride concept. The world does not revolve around you. You too shall pass, and the world will go on.

Empower oneself, and empower others. Enable one another. Become independent systems that reinforce and support each other.

Envy vs. Gratitude – the ‘attention’ mindset

What do you focus on? The things that you have or not have? What feelings do you sense when you reflect on these things? Gratitude? Envy? Contentment? Greed? Hunger?

Find your balance.


This blog post currently is very short, but it lays down the foundation of different dimensions that relate to me when it comes to growth, and my stances around certain topics or concepts.

I’ll go ahead and publish it, even though it’s currently a draft, because I might as well get something out rather than not get it out at all.

Thanks for taking a peek!


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