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Growing Mindsets

8 June, 2015

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“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.” 

Carol S. DweckMindset: The New Psychology of Success

The story of another person’s success can inspire us to aim higher and achieve greater. Yet we often fail to see the same potential in ourselves – The ability to overcome struggle, think outside the box and commit to success no matter what hiccups we may encounter along the way.

Virtually all of the world’s “heroes” have had to show dedication and resilience on their road to achievement. These Growth Mindset qualities are essential to their success. We are all capable of developing the same attitudes, essentially a belief that our talents and abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, a love of learning and desire to continuous improvement and a resilience that allows us to continue when the odds are against us.

There are many inspirational tales of how ordinary people with a Growth Mindset have exceeded all expectations to become role models for a whole generation, here are just a few:

Albert Einstein – As a child, Einstein did not show the genius that he is famous for. A slow learner, Einstein was unable to speak until the age of 4 and did not read until 7. At 15, he was expelled from school, labelled a rebel and a dunce, and went on to fail his university entrance exam, having to retake a year later. However he went on to excel as a scholar and scientist, winning the Nobel Prize, and changing the way we think of physics.

Steven Spielberg – Considered one of the founding pioneers of the New Hollywood era, Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential film-makers in the world. Credited as producer of 149 films, and director of 55, he is the highest-grossing director of all-time. His triumphs include such hits as Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park and Schindlers List and it is hard to imagine how modern film would be without his influence. However, without his dedication, commitment and resilience none of this would have happened. Being rejected from film-school 3 times would have put many people off, but happily, Spielberg had the Mindset needed to persevere, learn from his mistakes and take his place in history.

Harland David Sanders – Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, had to show real resilience on the road to his success. His now-famous chicken recipe was rejected by over 1000 businesses when he embarked on his mission to franchise his restaurant. KFC state that Sanders used to carry a bag of the secret spice recipe around with him so that he wouldn’t miss an opportunity to find a new business partner.

Babe Ruth – Babe Ruth is one of the most famous Major League Baseball players of all time. He holds the Home Run record, having hit 714 during his 22 seasons. However, during his career he was also known as the King of Strikeouts, having led the American League in Strikeouts 5 times. His grand total of 1330 strikeouts was the Major League record for 30 years, however he didn’t let this dissuade him in his perseverance, saying “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

Henry Ford – Ford Motor Company is one of the biggest automobile manufacturers in the world, yet Henry Ford’s first 3 attempts to build a motor company failed for reasons varying from quality of production, personality clashes and slow production speed. He was left bankrupt twice before re-grouping and applying the lessons he had learnt from previous failures to found Ford Motor Company.

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