There’s a grave and widespread misconception about successful people.
It’s a “thought virus” spreading from person to person at near light-speed.
The virus infects your mind.
You never notice it happening.
And once it happens it’s a pretty dire situation.
The virus takes over your mind and…
Then it crushes your chances of succeeding in just about every way.
The virus operates on your belief system.
And it causes you to believe the following…
Some are naturally gifted
This is virus should be called a “thought virus.”
It’s a very interesting malady.
So subtle. And so insidious.
Unless you intentionally resist the thought virus you’ll develop what Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck calls
A Fixed Mindset.
People with fixed mindsets have trouble achieving success.
Much more than those with a Growth Mindset.
If you want to learn more about this virus, and how to overcome it, read Dweck’s book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.
It’s pretty stunning.
She’s done over 30 years of research and apparently zeroed in on a very insidious problem.
What’s the problem?
The gist of it is this:
People with growth mindsets believe that success is tied to effort, while people with fixed mindsets believe that success is based on natural talent.
People with fixed mindsets tend to give up more easily because they don’t devalue effort and overvalue “natural talent.”
Maybe you’re nodding your head in agreement.
Maybe you think you’re not prone to fixed mindset thinking.
But maybe you’re wrong.
It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t have a fixed mindset (remember the virus is subtle and insidious).
Of course, it’s true that people don’t have a universal mindset about everything.
You can have a growth mindset about some things, and a fixed mindset about others.
For example, I used to believe that comedians like Jerry Seinfeld were just naturally funny.
I’m sure a lot of people believe that too.
It wasn’t a problem for me to believe that comedians had to have natural talent because I didn’t aspire to be a stand-up comedian.
But if you want to stamp out fixed mindsets in every area of life you have to learn to see the problem everywhere it manifests itself.
If you let your mind tell you that the reason Seinfeld is successful is because of his natural talent the virus will remain implanted in your mind.
Let’s start rooting that virus out of your brain by examining…
Your fixed mindset about comedians having to be naturally gifted will be shattered when you watch a 5-minute interview of Jerry Seinfeld.
In the video clip below, Seinfeld provides a rare, enlightening glimpse into his joke writing process. Apparently, most short bits (e.g. 90 seconds long) take a few days to write.
That might be surprising. But then you might start thinking, well, maybe that’s how long it takes people with natural talent to write jokes.
Check it out and see what I’m talking about, and then scroll down.
So, do you see how much effort Seinfeld puts into his craft?
Lots of other comedians are “naturally funny” like Seinfeld, but they’re not as successful.
Why do you think that is?
Apparently, to be successful like Seinfeld it takes is persistence.
In other words…
Effort Trumps Talent
If you want more insight into the rigor of Jerry Seinfeld’s work ethic and focus, check out this other video on how the Seinfeld show was produced.
It’s about 30 minutes long, but it’s fascinating.
After you watch it, see below for more insight into Seinfeld’s secrets of success.
(it’s something that helps him foster a Growth Mindset)
Okay, so you’re finished watching the video…
Or you were eager to learn the next “Seinfeld secret.”
So here’s something else that probably contributes to Seinfeld’s successful mindset…
He is a long-time practitioner of meditation.
So his success makes even more success, at least to me.
I understand firsthand how meditation helps you create and maintain a positive mindset.
I practice a different kind of meditation than Seinfeld, but…
All meditation works pretty much the same way.
People practice in different ways, but the results are the same.
If you’re interested, read the blog posts about my experience with meditation.
P.S. If you want a practice optimized for remote work & virtual collaboration, get this 24-page guide.
I continue to like your ‘paw marks’ in the sand. <>