I read an article the other day about fixed versus growth mindset and the way we raise our children. It basically explained that if you believe your mindset is fixed, you are as ‘smart’ or as ‘creative’ or as ‘ethical’ as you are ever going to be. You are born with a set amount of intelligence and character and you have to work with the hand you are dealt. The growth mindset is the idea that your brain is flexible and can change with experience and mistakes and lessons. That you can increase the amount of connections in your brain and grow your potential.
If you believe in the fixed stream, then you might be afraid to ask a question you don’t know the answer to because your goal would be to prove your ‘smarts’ not show your weakness. If you believe in the growth concept, you want to find answers and fail because that is how you will increase your knowledge and your life intelligence.
Thomas Watson once said, “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure.”
Are we comfortable with failure? Do we ask our children what challenges they face and how they deal with them or are we just concerned with marks? Do we want them to memorize or think critically?
And as parents and adults are we willing to try something new? Something we might not be comfortable with? Are we living on the edge or are we sitting in our comfort zone?
Gilbert Keith Chesterton said, “How you think when you lose determines how long it will be until you win.”
Do we see failure as a stain on our character or a step towards success? If we are open to growth and willing to lose, anything is possible.