American psychologist, Carol Dweck shared in her book Mindset ‘For thirty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value’.
Scientists are proving time and again that people have more capacity for lifelong learning and brain development than they ever thought. Across the world, we could realize this fact, some people are becoming successful at an early age, but others at their fifties. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way.
Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence, writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise “is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement.” Or, as his forerunner Binet recognized, it’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.
Similar Situation & Two Approaches
Carol Dweck shared this very insightful scenario in her research on the Mindset approach, “Visualize as vividly as you can—that you are a young adult having a really bad day: One day, you go to a class that is really important to you and that you like a lot. The professor returns the midterm papers to the class. You got a C+. You’re feeling so much down in energy & very disappointed.”
What would you think? How would you feel? What would you do?
Fixed Mindset Approach
When she asked people with a fixed mindset, this is what they said: “I’d feel like a reject.” “I’m a total failure.” “I’m an idiot.” “I’m a loser.” “I’d feel worthless and dumb—everyone’s better than me.” “I’m slime.” In other words, they’d see what happened as a direct measure of their competence and worth.
This is what they’d think about their lives: “My life is pitiful.” “I have no life.” “Somebody upstairs doesn’t like me.” “The world is out to get me.” “Someone is out to destroy me.” “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me.” “Life is unfair and all efforts are useless.” “Life stinks. I’m stupid. Nothing good ever happens to me.” “I’m the most unlucky person on this earth.” “I am broke.” “My financial life will remain poor only.” “Debt is now a permanent part of my life.”
She further shared, Excuse me, was there death and destruction, or just a grade and a bad phone call? Are these just people with low self-esteem and who do not want to improve? No. When they aren’t coping with failure, they feel just as worthy and optimistic—and bright and attractive—as people with a growth mindset.
So how would they cope? “I wouldn’t bother to put so much time and effort into doing well in anything.” (In other words, don’t let anyone measure you again.) “Do nothing.” “Stay in bed.” “Get drunk.” “Eat.” “Yell at someone if I get a chance to.” “Eat chocolate.” “Listen to music and pout.” “Go into my closet and sit there.” “Pick a fight with somebody.” “Cry.” “Break something.” “What is there to do?”
What is there to do! You know, when she wrote the vignette, she intentionally made the grade a C+, not an F. It was a midterm rather than a final. But fixed mindset people just flow with their own fixed thoughts. Nothing catastrophic or irreversible happened. Yet from this raw material, the fixed mindset created the feeling of utter failure and paralysis.
Growth Mindset Approach
When she gave people with the growth mindset the same vignette, here’s what they said. They’d think: “I need to try harder in class to improve my grade.” “The C+ would tell me that I’d have to work a lot harder in the class, but I have the rest of the semester to pull up my grade.” There were many, many more like this, but I think you get the idea. Now, how would they cope? Directly. “I’d start thinking about studying harder (or studying in a different way) for my next test in that class. “I’d look at what was wrong on my exam.”
“Work hard on my next paper, speak to the teacher.” You don’t have to have one mindset or the other to be upset. Who wouldn’t be? Things like a poor grade or a refusal from a friend or loved one—these are not fun events. Yet growth mindset people were not labeling themselves and throwing up their hands. Even though they felt distressed, they were ready to take the risks, confront the challenges, and keep working at them.
Approach towards life
Years ago while lecturing in Bombay, India, Joseph Murphy was introduced to a man who said he was 110 years old. He had the most beautiful face Joseph Murthy have ever seen. He seemed transfigured by the radiance of inner light. There was a rare beauty in his eyes indicating he had grown old in years with gladness and with no indication that his mind had dimmed its lights.
A similar situation happens in our financial world also. When you are short of money for doing something or purchase some item which is very essential & important.
How do you feel at that moment of time? How do you approach that situation?
Linear Approach People
They curse their financial life, low income, their family, who they think is a spendthrift, business losses responsible for that, their friends who asked them to purchase particular company shares to make a quick profit, but actually made loss!
They will recall all such bad experiences of the past & just drop the idea! On the financial aspect, they are linear thinkers, they trade money for time. They think they can only earn more if they work for a longer duration. Do you think that this is true? If your answer is YES then it’s time to change your approach too.
Leverage Approach People
They know that this is a very essential and important thing to do or purchase, so they will devise ways. Their commitment towards improving their finances will show the ways. They are putting extra effort to, increase income means, grow business & improving their professional performance.
These situations are not new to them as they had managed well on such situations in past. For them, money doesn’t become a constraint in their growth path. If they are not capable enough at that point in time, they find out ways to improve on those financial capabilities.
They didn’t think money in a linear way. In their mindset, money can grow more in a leveraged way. Their mind is set to constantly increase their knowledge on finance. They don’t hesitate to take advice from experts on financial aspects related to business, personal life & investments.
“A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” –Jonathan Swift