Currently world is going through a very difficult phase due to the prevailing
COVID19 pandemic situation. The number of COVID19 positive cases are increasing
day by day and it is badly affecting various industries, nations and overall global
economy. On the other hand, scientists and pharma companies are working towards
developing some medicine or vaccine for the same, doctors are trying their best to
treat the affected patients with the limited resources available and have been
successful in the recovery of lakhs of patients. Additionally, Govt. authorities are
executing relevant measures to control the spread of this pandemic and we all are very
much hopeful that with all these efforts, we will be able to come out of this situation
soon. However, the post COVID19 world will have some unpredictable challenges and
difficulties for several sectors, economy and overall global business environment. In
such uncertain circumstances, Growth Mindset will be the key to progress ahead and
achieve the success.
Let us first go through few stories, where few individuals had to go through
some difficult phase in their life, but with the Growth Mindset they emerged out as
stars in their respective fields, and then understand this concept.
• Story 1:
In 1978, a young & adventurous lady Marilyn Hamilton met with an accident
while doing hang gliding, which resulted in serious spinal cord & leg injuries, because
of which she couldn’t walk on her legs. At that time, there used to be very bulky
wheelchairs and Marilyn experienced difficulties in moving such heavy wheelchair on
her own. Further she observed that other handicapped people using such “stainless
steel dinosaurs” (the term she referred for such wheelchair) were also facing the
similar problem of mobility and were mostly dependent on their family and friends to
move anywhere.
However, unlike those other handicaps she took
the challenge to make a lightweight wheelchair which
should be easy to move and feel as a part of her body.
She shared her idea of using hang gliding materials to
make the lightweight wheelchair with two of her friends
having some engineering background and thus she cofounded ‘Quickie Wheelchair’ company. Subsequently,
with the increasing popularity of such lightweight and
user-friendly wheelchairs Quickie turn out to become a
global leader in the wheelchair industry. However, she didn’t stop there, and in 1980s
started working on her next goal of making ultra-lightweight sport chairs, to enable
the disabled to play the sports and thus transformed the world of adapted sports.
In addition, she herself participated in such sports events and also won some
titles, including ‘Silver Medal’ in the 1982 ‘Winter Paralympics’ and ‘National
Wheelchair Tennis Singles Championship’ for two consecutive years 1982 & 83.
Moreover, Marilyn also received ‘Minerva Award’ in 2006, one of the top honours
California gives to its most successful and inspiring women.
Thus, this story portrays how Marilyn Hamilton bounced back after a major
accident in her life by developing a Growth Mindset to come out from the difficult
phase of her life.
• Story 2:
It was the 3rd test match against South Africa in March, 2018 series, when
Australia’s captain, Steven Smith was banned for 1 year by Cricket Australia, due to his
involvement in the ball-tampering scandal using sandpaper. During this period, he had
to face a lot of criticism not only from the cricketing fraternity & experts but also from
the cricket fans all over the world. Thus, he was going through a difficult period which
may have ended his cricketing career.
Finally, around one & half
year later he got the comeback
opportunity in the Australian team
for the popular ‘Ashes series’
against England during August,
2019. English fans were teasing
Smith with various comments &
gestures as he entered the ground. Furthermore, Australian team’s batting
performance was also poor, as at one-point Australian team was struggling at 122 for
the loss of 8 wickets. From this stage, Smith formed two important partnerships with
the tail-enders, and added valuable 168 more runs to take Australian team to a
respectable score of 284. Subsequently, Australia went ahead to win this test match
and Steven Smith was named as “Player of the Match” for scoring two consecutive
tons - 144 runs in the 1st innings & 142 runs in the 2nd innings. Moreover, Smith could
play 4 test matches in that series and scored 774 runs which was fifth highest ever in
a series, in the history of Ashes, despite of missing one test match due to his injury.
In terms of
percentage contribution to
Australian team’s total runs
(excluding extras), Smith’s
performance was at par
with that of Don Bradman’s
contribution in the
memorable 1930 Ashes
series, where he scored
35.5% runs of Australian team’s runs off the bat. And currently, as per the ICC records,
Smith has the all-time 2
nd highest batting average of 62.8 behind the legendary Don
Bradman’s batting average of 99.9.
Thus, the second story displays how Steven Smith with the Growth Mindset
reclaimed his lost position, performance and respect in the world cricket.
• What is ‘Growth Mindset’ & How to Develop it?
The term Growth Mindset may seems to be a common buzzword, but let us try
to understand as it has been explained in one of bestseller books “Mindset: The New
Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck. The book says, there are mainly two types of
mindsets: Growth mindset & Fixed mindset, which creates a significant difference in
the outcomes. Dweck mentioned that understanding these two mindsets, will not only
help people in determining their existing state of mindset, but also will help them in
providing direction for further improvements. Following table gives a gist to these two
On developing the Growth Mindset, Dweck shared about the importance of
‘Power of Yet’, where she mentioned the following experience: “I heard about a high
school in Chicago where students had to pass a certain number of courses to graduate,
and if they didn’t pass a course, they got the grade “Not Yet.” And I thought that was
fantastic, because if you get a failing grade, you think, I’m nothing, I’m nowhere. But
if you get the grade “Not Yet” you understand that you’re on a learning curve. It gives
you a path into the future.” She further added that, “Some of them reacted in a
shockingly positive way. They said things like, “I love a challenge,” or, “You know, I was
hoping this would be informative.” They understood that their abilities could be
developed. They had what I call a growth mindset.”
The following chart highlights, how Growth Mindset leads to the higher
Finally, regarding how and when to praise students or team members for
developing the Growth Mindset, Dweck shared: “We can praise wisely, not praising
intelligence or talent. But praising the process that kids engage in: their effort, their
strategies, their focus, their perseverance, their improvement. This process praise
creates kids who are hardy and resilient.”
Thus, Growth Mindset can develop a belief to face and overcome the
uncertainty and motivate people to put more efforts without having fear of failure.

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