I’m weak. I can get strong.
I’m slow. I can get fast.
I’m smart. I can get smarter.
We aren’t a match. Marriages take work.
I’m the best and there’s no reason to practice. I can always get better.
The former of each is an example of the fixed mindset. The latter are examples of the growth mindset. You want the growth mindset.
Three years ago I had a big goal. I wanted to be an IRONMAN. Just one problem… I didn’t know how to swim. My first triathlon outing was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. It took me 21 minutes to swim 600 yards. I had to swim to the shore multiple times and walk in waist high water. I swam to a kayaker who nearly took me out of the water. My buddy Old Flame Dave Moore swam by and asked “dude, are you okay?” No, Old Flame, I was not. Hearing my friends and family cheer me on had the opposite effect. They made me want to cry. I couldn’t believe people, including my children, were watching me fail so spectacularly. As I write this I cringe just thinking about it.
I didn’t stop after that day. I didn’t have a fixed mindset telling me “just stop, this isn’t for you.” I kept at it and got better and better. Now I’m an IRONMAN who has completed numerous triathlons and even swam 2.5 miles in the Charleston harbor. And I’m not finished.
I’m proud of my accomplishments but I’m not telling you this to say “hey, look how awesome I am.” I want you to see how much I absolutely sucked, got over my fear of both drowning and embarrassment, and went out and accomplished my goal. You can do that, and much more, if you develop a growth mindset in everything you do — business, fitness, marriage, parenting, friendship… everything!
I told you this before. Once someone told me on Facebook “Wesley, you think you are so much better than everyone else.” That’s only partially true. My goal isn’t to be better than you. My goal is to always be better than I was yesterday. But yes, I do believe I am better than some people because I believe people with a growth mindset are better than people with a fixed mindset. That’s because people with a growth mindset are actively trying to be better.
The parts of the book about self improvement are fantastic, but even better are the parts about parenting. Dr Dweck goes into amazing detail about how parents can help their children develop a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. Thus, I recommend this book to all parents.
This book is a game changer and should be read by everyone. Stop being satisfied with who you are. GROW! Never stop growing! Go reach the potential God has given you.