Two Types of People

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David Hopkins

Two Types of People

Developing a Growth Mindset

There has been a lot of research into what separates successful people from everyone else, what separates those who get what they want and everyone else, and what separates happy people from everyone else. You will not be surprised to know that the answer comes down to a matter of perception. When confronted with a challenge, the way you view that challenge matters tremendously.

Simply put, there are two types of people — those with a fixed mindset and those with a growth mindset.

Some people view failure as a permanent setback. Others view failure as a momentary hindrance to fulfilling your full potential. Some people see effort as a negative. Some think it means you’re not naturally smart or talented. Others understand that effort is what makes you smart or talented. It goes beyond simply having a negative or positive attitude. The benefits of positivity have long been touted, and it certainly factors in. But the real issue is whether or not you believe you have the ability to grow or if you believe that your situation is fixed.

What is a growth mindset?

Author and researcher Carol Dweck, Ph.D., studies motivation. She explores the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this TED talk, Dweck describes two ways to think about a difficult problem.

 

“I wanted to see how children coped with challenge and difficulty,” explains Dweck, “so I gave 10-year-olds problems that were slightly too hard for them. Some of them reacted in a shockingly positive way. They said things like, ‘I love a challenge,’ or, ‘You know, I was hoping this would be informative.’ They understood that their abilities could be developed. They had what I call a growth mindset. But other students felt it was tragic, catastrophic. From their more fixed mindset perspective, their intelligence had been up for judgment, and they failed.”

Dweck’s research sheds light on something we’ve all observed. Some people just see the challenges that they face differently. It’s not a matter of ignoring the obstacles in front of them with some sort of blind optimism — or denying the effort it requires to be successful. Instead, these people embrace the challenge with an “I can learn anything to get where I need to go” attitude.

A fixed mindset says:

I’m either good at it, or I'm not.
When I’m frustrated, I give up.
I don’t like to be challenged.
When I fail, I’m not good.
Tell me I’m smart.
If you succeed, I feel threatened.
My abilities determine everything.

A growth mindset says: 

I can learn anything I want to.
When I’m frustrated, I persevere.
I want to challenge myself.
When I fail, I learn.
Tell me I try hard.
If you succeed, I’m inspired.
My effort and attitude determine everything.

(List created by Reid Wilson.)

Embrace a new perspective

It reminds me of this quote by Joseph Simmons of Run DMC: "Go forward. Fail? So what? Fall? So what? Fall better. Fail better. Just keep moving. Relentless."

If you want to move toward a growth mindset, Simmons lays out the first step perfectly. You need to fail better. You need to embrace the process, and not fixate on what you think it says about you.

At Saladmaster, our president Ayo Olaseinde often challenges us with the statement, “Anything is possible!” This statement could be the mantra of a growth mindset. We certainly embrace this perspective on life. We are an organization that encourages growth mindset, and to never stop learning or growing your potential.

We see the world differently, and the world around us changes.

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