You have a choice. Mindsets are simply beliefs.
What does success mean to you? To many it is acquiring something, living a certain lifestyle, having some amount of money in the bank, etc. It might probably not come as a shock to you that the multi-millionaires who won the lottery in the US have turned out to be more unhappy after winning the prize and before it. So having a lot of money is probably not success to them.
But success is seen differently between the fixed mindset and the growth mindset people. According to Prof Carol Dweck, when you enter into a mindset, you enter into a new world. In the fixed-traits world, success is about proving that you are smart or talented. It is about validating yourself. In that world, when you fail, you experience a setback, like getting a bad grade, losing a tournament, getting fired. It normally means then that you are not smart or talented enough. Certainly in this world, effort is a bad thing. If it is effortful, it means you're not smart or talented. Hence, success in the fixed mindset world is one of effortless talent that reinforces intelligence.
In the other world of changing abilities, success is about stretching oneself to learn something new. It is about developing oneself. Failure means that you are not growing, not reaching for the things that you value, not fulfilling your potential. It is not about how smart you are, how talented you are NOW, but how you will be over time. Effort, therefore, is a way of making one smart or talented! Success, therefore, is the opportunity to become better and better over time.
Which is right?
Well either is, really. You have a choice; mindsets are simply beliefs. They are something in your mind and they can change if you want it to, or stick to it, if that is what pleases you.
So ask yourself now...which would you rather have, success that is built around your abilities, or success that stretches your abilities?
Wait, you say? Aren't there implications for both? What are they? Good question... so here they are:
1. Fixed mindset will diminish
Just like Federer seeing his opponents besting him now, and thwarting his charge for the 18th Grand Slam (mind you, Federer is NOT a fixed mindset champion), ability will diminish. Hence to maintain "success" within the fixed-traits system, one will experience an ever-dwindling of accomplishments. This is so that one can maintain the "effortless" nature of success.
2. Fixed mindset is fixated on the outcome
Those riding the fixed mindset are only interested in the outcome - one that shows him/her to be an effortless genius. It doesn't really matter how they get there, those are just a means to the end. And the end sometimes justifies the means.
3. Fixed mindset success is all-or-nothing
Either I am a success or I am not. Either I am smart or I am not. Either it is effortless, or it is not. And when it is not, it is not success. That is how the fixed mindset person thinks. So I either get $10M in my bank or I don't. If I do (like winning the lottery), then I am a success. If I don't, then I am failure.
So, which success do you want to be?
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