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The Global Implications of Personal Awareness

The Global Implications of Personal Awareness

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Published by Nauroz Khan
Be Aware Any Time.........
Be Aware Any Time.........

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Published by: Nauroz Khan on Dec 25, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/31/2012

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Whether you think you can change or not you are probably right. Your mindset will
determine, to a large extent, the possibilities you are willing to entertain. Some people
believe that we are born with certain talents and capacities (such as intelligence) and
that we should concentrate our efforts on making the most of the hands we have been
dealt rather than beating our heads against the proverbial wall in the vain hope of
outsmarting our destinies. On the other hand, there are those who like to think that
nothing is preordained and that anything is possible if we just believe we can make it
happen.

Most people probably fall somewhere in between these two extreme positions.
However, which side of centre you fall on can make a very significant difference. In her
book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Carol S. Dweck discusses two
fundamental mindsets that people tend to adopt. One she calls the “fixed” mindset.
Those with a fixed mindset subscribe to what, until recently, was the conventional
wisdom concerning personal change. They believe that we live lives mainly determined
by heredity and that most of our attributes are, if not carved in stone, largely resistant to
efforts to modify them.

The other mindset that Dweck identifies is the “growth” mindset. People with this
mindset see themselves and their lives as amenable to choices and effort. They are not
wishful thinkers like those I described above who think that simply believing something
is possible is enough to make it happen. Growth mindset individuals are willing to make
the effort required to bring about their goals and to realize their dreams.

A typical example of a person with a growth mindset is Wayne Gretzky. Known by
hockey fans as “The Great One”, Gretzky was the most prolific offensive player in the
history of the game. Are his accomplishments the natural consequences of God given
talent or a determined effort to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the sport he
loved? The truth is probably a combination of the two but if Gretzky had relied solely on
his natural talent it is unlikely that he would ever have reached the unusual level of

Up To The Challenge

26

success that he did. The stories of the countless hours he put in practicing as a
youngster on a frozen pond in his back yard corroborate the theory that determination
and effort played a significant role in his later success.

Interestingly, the mindset you have determines the meaning of both success and failure.
To a fixed mindset person a failure is a reinforcement of their “why bother” mentality. A
success is just a natural result of an innate talent. In contrast, a failure for a person with
a growth mindset is diagnostic. It tells her what needs to be worked on and is not seen
as the result of some inherent handicap or innate inability to succeed. Success for these
people means that they have worked hard and earned their just rewards. They have
made something happen through their consistent effort and determination.

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