The growth mindset

If you haven’t read the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, then all I can recommend is read it. Like seriously, it will change your life.

The basic take-away from the book is the encouragement that it’s ok to make mistakes. Like seriously don’t worry. Wherever you feel you are in life now, even if you tried your hardest to be perfect. You won’t be. You will make mistakes; many, many mistakes, we all do. Just try. Keep trying.

The book, Mindset by Carol Dweck, is a book that I recommend everyone to read. The idea is very simple. There are two very basic very simple very distinct mindsets that people have: The fixed kindest and the growth mindset.

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People with the fixed mind set believe that the capabilities that they have now, their intelligence, their way of thinking, skills and mistakes are fixed. They cannot change. This mindset believes when they make a mistake or do not perform as desired believe it is due to their fixed capabilities. When they don’t achieve something they believe it’s because that’s the way they are built and that they can never be better.

The growth mindset is different. And this is where the successful people in the world come into play. They believe in growth. That capabilities, attitudes are not fixed and that through trial and action they learn. The growth mindset when they make mistakes, they get up and go again. When they do not perform, they keep practicing, they focus on effort and persistence.

You see the further problem with the fixed mindset is that in front of people they don’t like to appear to make mistakes or are not capable of doing something. Because they believe traits are fixed. If there is a new skill or capability that they are not particularly naturally good at, then they will not usually dare to try and practice that skill or attitude or whatever, because of how they perceive they will look like in front of people when they do not perform.

The growth mindset here is vastly different, and here is their key to success: practice, practice, trial, error, action. For example David Beckham, the famous football player (soccer for any American readers :p), in-front of goal he is a Free-kick taking masterclass . On many an occasion he will put the ball down and with pinpoint accuracy put it into the corner of the goal or onto another player’s head. Was this through sheer natural ability? No, not necessarily; it mostly came from practice, practice and practice. On the training ground or when young David was in school he would go to the park or stay extra hours in the training field and keep on practicing taking those freekicks. When he first started out did he shy away from not getting it right. Or even in big games when he makes a mistake or fires the ball high in the sky, he wouldn’t stop. He’d get up, keep practicing off the field, and keep taking action on it. The fixed mindset does not see the effort, in the background, that successful people put into their skills.

Steve jobs, along with some of his friends, created Apple in 1976 from a garage to a multi-million dollar company. Later on, in 1985, he got fired from the company by the board of directors. Just imagine that, getting fired from what is essentially yours. But that didn’t stop him; he went on to create a further two companies: one of them Pixar, the multi billion dollar animation company. Years went by and then, as Apple were on their knees and making sustained losses in 1997, they asked him to come back. He came back to Apple, with a stronger mind, more experienced and through his inspirational leadership moved Apple to become the most valuable company in the world. They’re worth $700 billion and have cash reserves of $200 billion. Cash reserves. As in cash that is just laying in a bank.
But you know the secret wasn’t that Jobs came back but it is because of his mindset and desire to keep growing and learning that when he was young he had that no fear mindset of trying to make a company, from his dad’s garage.

How about something that just happened recently? Steven Howse, a 32 year old app developer. He had created many apps but wasn’t getting any success. But he kept trying. He reached the staged when he was struggling to pay rent but in his mind would not stop his dream. He thought of creating a new game app. It was a simple idea, a snake eating things to get bigger. He thought to himself, if this doesn’t work he is going to have to go and find a job at a supermarket or Tesco, because he was struggling financially. He struck through and created the viral app Slither.io. This game brings in $100,000 for Steven, every day. Yes, every frickin’ day.

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So, I just want to say. Do not be afraid to keep trying. Nothing is fixed. We can be whatever we want to be. Keep taking action. Be proactive and never say never. There are times when we need to think about things. But most of the time. We just need to keep on practicing.

 

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