My parents taught me early on to focus on growth over greatness.
The idea was that while natural ability can take you only so far, it’s things like curiosity, challenges, continuous learning, the power of persistence, taking risks, etc. that would take you further.
They also taught me that if I worried about whether I was naturally good, that I would give up on things where I didn’t start off so great.
It was great advice, even if it wasn’t scientific.
But there is science.
In fact, there’s a lot of science about how choosing a growth mindset over a fixed mindset help people to become the best in their field. A growth mindset is what actually creates better parents, teachers, coaches, and CEOs. A growth mindset creates better students, better artists, and even better geniuses.
Because people with a growth mindset embrace the challenges, struggles, criticisms, and setbacks as a source of growth.
And that’s how they rise above any limitation of “natural” ability.
Teaching, learning, and continuous growth takes them further than relying on talent or fear of taking risks where they might look bad or might not start off so great.
Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. wrote an outstanding book on how our mindsets shape us and how they can limit or enable us to realize our potential.
I wrote up my take aways using a “10 Big Ideas from …” style:
I think you’ll enjoy the insights and I think you’ll appreciate how you can apply them to work and life.