Why Is Having A Growth Mindset So Important?
Simply speaking, mindset is the way you respond to challenges. Life has and will always have many problems to solve. The way you approach these is the secret to success. You can choose to try and resolve them or you can lay down on the sofa while watching your favorite tv program.
Which Kind Of Mindsets Exists?
As described in the book Mindset by Carol Dweck, there are two types of mindsets:
- Fixed mindsets
- Growth mindsets
I will start by explaining the first one.
Imagine you were born with a natural talent and you’re the CEO of a big company. You’ve always done your job extremely well and you thought you didn’t need to learn anything more. It happens that one day you did a bad decision and everything went wrong. You must take dramatic measures to save the company.
A fixed mindset person would refuse to admit their mistakes nor learn the actions that could save the company. For them, that would mean that they were not so bright after all and would be embarrassing. They would yell at people that came up with new ideas because that would mean someone was better than them. Are you starting to see it?
What would a growth mindset person do?
People with the growth mindset will never want to stop learning and to become a better version of themselves. When they face an obstacle they don’t reject other people’s ideas and comments on what could be better done.
They motivate people around them to have the same attitude. They don’t judge a person by their currents skills. Improvement of skills is seen as a continuous work and not as a natural talent. One of their views and goals is to make sure they help others achieve their goals as well.
Whether in business, sports, politics or other areas, there are uncountable cases of where a fixed and growth mindset can lead people to.
Mindset In Business
Have you ever heard of Samuel Pierpont Langley? The most likely answer is… no.
Well, besides an astronomer, physicist, and inventor, he was also an aviation pioneer trying to be the first man to take a fly on earth.
The Wright Brothers were also trying to successfully be the first ones to build a plane and fly, back in 1900. There were several big differences though, between Langley and the Wright Brothers.
Langley had all the support from the government and from the media. Everyone followed him and all the hope was with him. He even received 50 000$ to help his cause (a lot of money back then).
The Wright Brothers didn’t have any extra help nor fame. Almost no one knew them. But they had one thing that Langley missed. They had the passion and they knew why they were doing what they were doing. How would they do it only came after they discovered their WHY. They didn’t care about fame nor money, and eventually, both came because they followed their passion.
Guess who was the first to take a fly? The Wright Brothers.
When Langley found out about it, he simply didn’t contribute more to the aviation industry. He had a fixed mindset rather than a growth mindset. In his eyes, he had nothing more to prove to people so why bothering waste more time contributing to a cause that he had lost?
Mindset In Sports
Michael Jordan was one of the best, if not the best basketball player in all the history of the sport.
A lot of people looked at Michael Jordan as a naturally talented player. They assumed he didn’t need to practice as much as the others. They were wrong. Michael Jordan practiced MORE than the others. That’s why he was the best.
Throughout the ages, instead of settling (because he had won everything he could possibly win), he kept increasing his levels and skills. He had a growth mindset. The moment you think you’re the best, someone will pass over you and outplay you. He didn’t let that happen. When he failed, he practiced more. Learned more. He made sure his teammates would learn with him. He was a true leader.
Never Stop Learning
I was a fixed mind person in the past. My mind thought I knew everything and I wasn’t interested in learning new skills. I always heard a lot of people mentioning the importance of reading or to fight for things. It didn’t interest me that kind of talk because I was comfortable with my life, until…
Until I started working and realized I didn’t want to spend all of my life working inside an office. I started reading books and learning new skills. I learned that the things that make you grow are easy to do. The thing is… they’re also easy not to do.
One of the tricks is to work on the things that you’re passionate about. Learn to say no to things you’re not interested in doing. When you find your path, keep working on it. Work for it. And never stop.