McEnroe vs Federer: A battle of Mindset

In her book, Mindsets: The New Psychology of Success, Professor Carol Dweck uses John McEnroe as an example of a person with a Fixed Mindset. I think he’s a great example for many reasons.

You can’t argue with the fact McEnroe was an extraordinary tennis player. He is ranked 6th in the list of most career match wins on the ATP World Tour – that’s more than Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. He is often considered among the greatest players in the history of tennis.

A Growth Mindset is not Growth

Dweck’s use of McEnroe as an example of someone with a Fixed Mindset helps dispel one of the biggest misunderstandings about Mindsets: that you need a Growth Mindset to grow. You don’t need a Growth Mindset - it helps - but you do need to do the hard work! 

The Growth Mindset is just the understanding that growth is possible. It's an invitation to grow. But it's not the growth. In order to grow you must take action - and very specific...

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Agile Learners Choose Challenges Over Comfort

Agile Learners thrive in the most challenging and unpredictable environments. 

Whether it’s increasing the bottom line in business, responding to disruptions in the workplace, achieving academic success in schools, improving parenting skills or triumphing in any other challenging task, the Agile Learner achieves more.

Why? Because the Agile Learner recognises that they can develop their most basic abilities. They know they can increase their talents and intelligence, and they understand that becoming comes before being. In other words, they have a Growth Mindset.

More importantly, the Agile Learner understands how to translate their Growth Mindset into actual growth. They recognise that a Growth Mindset is simply an invitation to grow. To achieve growth, they develop their Habits of Mind, constantly step outside their comfort zone, challenge themselves to raise their standards and do more difficult things. They engage in what I refer to as Virtuous Practice.


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