Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset

Where do you find the motivation and perseverance to keep doing the same thing over and over again without seeing the immediate result
"This question has always puzzled the innumerable youngsters who are reckless and impatient and want immediate results, something that their age and temperament naturally desires."
"This question has always puzzled the innumerable youngsters who are reckless and impatient and want immediate results, something that their age and temperament naturally desires."GK Layout Desk

BY ABDULLAH CHOUDHARY

How are human beings motivated to take up challenges. Any person with reason knows that success is sweet but at the same time, the efforts required to reach success are bitter to say the least. Everyone rejoices and applauds the one who reaches the top but the endless hours of toil and patience have to be spent alone, to hone the skills required to get to the top.

Where do you find the motivation and perseverance to keep doing the same thing over and over again without seeing the immediate result.

This question has always puzzled the innumerable youngsters who are reckless and impatient and want immediate results, something that their age and temperament naturally desires. But as mentioned earlier, success and excellence lie on a different route altogether.

The puzzle unlocks at the way we see and perceive, our beliefs whether conscious or sub conscious determine the way we interpret the outside phenomenon, which in turn directs our responses to any event whether pleasing or displeasing. Carol Dweck, the stanford psychologist has also highlighted this phenomenon in her book Mindset, where she says that, Mindsets can influence how people behave in a wide range of situations in life. For example, as people encounter different situations, their mind triggers a specific mindset that then directly impacts their behavior in that situation.

So these mindsets are divided into Growth Mindset which looks at every failure as an opportunity to learn, every setback as a chance to further improve and every loss as a moment to reconsider your strategy and reinvigorate your efforts

As opposed to fixed mindset which considers that human talent and potential is fixed, where every setback is considered as threat, every criticism is taken to be lethal.

Both these mindsets are all around us and within us. We all have heard of stories where people fought against all odds and persevered for long period of time to finally overcome all challenges and reach their destinations, while we applaud such efforts but do we recognize the mindset which was guiding them all along and can we also adopt that mindset, there is where the story gets interesting.

As Muslims we believe Prophet Muhamad ( SAW) as the seal of prophets but how do we perceive his character; as an infallible prophet whose sublime actions are beyond emulation, who was guided and protected by angels and was given the knowledge of things to come, or do we also see a Man who underwent challenges in this life, the diversity of which provides a wide range of reference for any person to look, learn and emulate.

And then most importantly did he exhibit a certain mindset which enabled him to be supremely optimistic in the darkest of times when he was facing apparent defeat and ridicule. What was that mindset and how did this optimism help him and those around him to navigate those tough waters, let’s see with the help of few examples:

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was always hopeful that people can change no-matter what their past, he even commented on Khalid Ibn Waleed who was a sworn enemy of Muslims, had inflicted sever losses on Muslims in the battle of Uhud, that why cant a smart person like Khalid recognize the truth of Islam. This message reached Hazrat Khalid and in turn softened his heart towards the Prophet (SAW) and let him close to Islam .

Prophet Muhammad (SAW)  never stopped trying. The incident of Taif was a very traumatic experience when the people of Taif totally rejected his message. What’s worse, they let loose the worst elements of their society and displayed their insolence on his exalted person when they threw  stones, jeered and pushed him all the way out of the city. Tired and exhausted he sat outside the city near a grape orchard when few a Mekkans saw him in this condition. They took pity and send their servant called Addas, a Christian, with grapes. Prophet took the hospitality and greeted the servant with cheerful face, his mannerism inspired that poor slave and changed his heart then and there.

There is a famous saying of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), “If the final Hour reaches upon one of you while there is a sapling in his hand, then finish planting it.” His teachings of stressing upon the intention before you look for the results, all point to this direction of Growth Mindset.

He took feedback from his close companions even though he was given directions from heaven. He took consultations letting the voice of those around him heard and echoed, stressing that in order to grow we have to be attuned to the voices in our environment.

No doubt, as a Muslim we believe that success and failure are in the hands of Allah the Almighty, and He has the knowledge of the unseen. But unless and until we know exactly what is required of us in any particular situation, then how can we even begin to display the rightful conduct of that situation.

And in these dark times when everything is seemingly gloomy and confusing, having the right mindset which enables you to wake up every day with a cheerful heart and face every challenge with a strong will, this can emanate from a belief and mindset displayed to the degree of perfection by the blessed Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and this same mindset is followed by everyone who wants to attain any degree of success in any field, grinding every day, long hours of hard work, learning from every setback, taking the feedback from people, improving oneself after every fault, and this process continues until you are prepared for that eventual success which silences your critics and establishes you among the triumphant, both in this world and hereafter.

Abdullah Chowdry delivers Personality Development Programs and is a trainee at Thinksite

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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