If we were to try and sum up Be-Zing’s goal and purpose in as few words as possible, one way we might do it is to instil a growth mindset in our youth. A growth mindset is based around the way a person views their capabilities. If you believe that your skills and abilities are something that can be developed over time through hard work, dedication, and the correct attitude, then congratulations, you’ve a Growth Mindset! What we try to avoid at Be-Zing is the opposite of this- a ‘fixed mindset’ which can be summed up as the belief that a person’s talents, strengths, and weaknesses are innate to them, and can’t really be changed. We find that a growth mindset is far more effective for building motivated, empowered people, and there are loads of studies that back this up! Today, we’ll be looking at a few famous people who embody the growth mindset and might not be the same person they are today without it!
“There’s no such thing as failure. There are only results.”Tony Robinson
Michael Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time, and to many he’s even the greatest athlete of all time. Jordan would often attribute his success to his willingness to fail, and to learn from his mistakes, never accepting one loss as an overall measure of his worth. Perhaps the greatest example of Jordan’s growth mindset came in 1993-94, when he retired from basketball at the height of his first peak, only to begin playing baseball semi-professionally! Inspired by his father’s recent passing, Jordan craved a new challenge- he didn’t see himself as being above playing in a lower baseball league despite already being cemented as a basketball legend. He simply wished for another domain where he could push himself beyond his limits and prove to himself that with hard work comes accomplishment.
If you’re a music fan, John Legend probably needs no introduction. The soulful R&B singer has won every award under the sun for his musical talents, and gone on to be a trailblazer in social and humanitarian issues. He’s taken part in charity events covering all sorts of causes and raised awareness for women’s rights, prison reform and child poverty among others. But what is it that continues to drive Legend to pursue his goals, despite the fact he could easily rest on his laurels as one of the greatest R&B singers alive? Much of it is down to his strong growth mindset. As he’s stated before, “…this idea that things are just fixed is proven not to be the case. And even people that are innately talented still need to go beyond that basic talent that they have and cultivate it.” Legend is adamant that success comes not just from natural ability but hard work and willingness to turn everything into a learning opportunity.
Jonnie Peacock is the winner of multiple Paralympic gold medals among other decorations, and his story is one of continuous growth in the face of adversity. At only five years old, Peacock contracted meningitis which resulted in the loss of his legs, but young Jonnie’s enthusiasm for sport was unchanged. After first focusing on football, he ran his first international race in 2012, and in the same year broke the world record for the T4 100 metre sprint. Peacock is famous for his open and happy mindset regarding his leg, regarding it with a sense of humour, once quipping that “I lost my leg aged five, now I’m 1.9 seconds behind Usain Bolt.” This is one integral part of the growth mindset- don’t let failures overcome you, overcome your failures!
One of the most prolific inventors of all time, and somebody our lives wouldn’t be the same without, Thomas Edison is hugely important as not only an innovator in many fields, but also as an early adopter of the growth mindset. Edison never once stopped pushing himself to achieve at the highest of standards, and never viewed his mistakes (of which there were many) as anything other than opportunities to grow. He had no shortage of adversities to overcome- leaving school early to support his family and losing much of his hearing around age 12. Perhaps his most famous quote is “I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” This insistence on seeing the positive aspects of every error you make is something you’ll continue to see in everyone who embodies the growth mindset, and furthermore a huge percentage of successful people in general!