Message #168 What Kind of Mind Do You Have?

Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great Carol Dweck PhD, the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and one of the leading researchers in the field.


In her new book, Mindset, Dr. Dweck talks about the two types of mindsets people have: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

The person with the fixed mindset is the one who thinks that they only have a certain amount of ability and they can’t do much about it.

The person with the growth mindset is the one who believes that with the right strategy and hard work, there is unlimited potential.

Let me give you a situation…

Let’s say you just played a tennis match and you lost. After the match, your parents start annoying you by telling you all the things you did wrong in the match. Then, you call up your best friend to get some consolation, but they get call waiting and blow you off.

In the fixed mindset, you would be thinking:

“I am such a terrible tennis player! I let my parents down. My friends don’t even want to talk to me. Maybe I should try golf.”

In the growth mindset, you would think:

“Ok, so I made too many unforced errors today and I could hit less double faults. I know my parents annoyed me, but they just want the best for me. I wish I could have talked to Jenny longer…I guess she was just busy.”

In her book, Dweck talks about Michael Jordan and even though he was the greatest ever, he was also one of the hardest workers ever. Everyone knows that Jordan got cut from his high school basketball team, but did he give up? No, he worked harder. Did he have a growth mindset? You’d better believe it. Towards the end of Jordan’s career, his skills didn’t diminish because he worked harder on the other parts of his game.

My Robbinsville Girls Tennis Team adopted this Growth Mindset approach this past fall. Last year they only had 1 win all season. All we focused on was giving it our all, learning and having fun. That is why we had 7 times more wins than last year. Winning was a by-product.

It doesn’t matter what you do…

When you have a growth mindset, you will have more fun, continue to improve and get better results!

Thank you, Dr. Dweck.

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