The definition of failure/success…

Mortimer Adler once said, “there is no such thing as good writing, only good re-writing.” I believe it was C.S. Lewis who said something similar about reading, hence his urging for all of us to read good books and re-read them six times to gain an author like understanding.

I recently challenged some of the OSU athletes we practice with to work on changing their mindset and decided, as a result, to go back for some more study on the subject myself. I went to my library in search of my favorite book among many on this topic and couldn’t find it. The book is titled Mindset and authored by Carol Dweck a leading research psychologist out of Stanford University. So, like any good student, I bought a fresh copy of her book and began the re-read without the benefit of my notes (I had read the book twice and had two reads worth of notes scattered in the front/back/margins). Funny, the book is hitting me differently this time as I’m not at all interested or focused on what I wrote from previous learnings, only what my eyes and mind connect to in this one.

Her research on mindset is boiled down to belief. Belief in a fixed mindset is defined as someone who thinks intelligence, personality, character, and the like are mostly fixed features brought about through birth and environment. Belief in a growth mindset is defined by ones ability to reach, stretch, fail, and learn. A fixed mindset values winning. A growth mindset values improving. A fixed mindset picks easier targets to avoid the ultimate failure – losing. A growth mindset picks stretch targets to avoid the ultimate failure – not learning. Looks like it matters when it comes to your beliefs, especially those around the definition of failure/success.

Do you believe success is defined by your accumulation of wins/losses or by your growth and learning through both? How do you define failure? How do you define success? Tell me more, my elite athlete/professional. Tell me more…

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