Mindset Works CEO Eduardo Briceno discusses The Power of Belief: Mindset and Success at TEDxManhattanBeach conference (Transcript)
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Eduardo Briceño – Co-Founder & CEO, Mindset Works
What do you think is the key to achieving our goals, our success? Some people suggest things like hard work, focus, persistence. But research shows these are all by-products of something else, something much more powerful that we can all develop. It is this very special something that really is critical to success, and is what I am here to discuss with you today.
Someone who has achieved great success is Josh Waitzkin, a chess international master and the subject of the movie “Searching for Bobby Fischer“. Nobody has won all the national chess championships that Josh has. But even more impressive, when he turned 21, he took on the challenge of mastering something completely new and very different from chess: martial arts. He realized that he had learned how to grow and succeed, and he could apply that understanding to other domains.
And so, he devoted himself relentlessly to tai chi chuan. And after lots of hard work, many failures, and some broken joints, he became a great martial artist, and he won two world championships. Now he is off to jiu-jitsu.
So what does Josh say is the greatest thing ever happened to him? Believe it or not, he says, “Losing my first national chess championship, because it helped me avoid many of the psychological traps.” The key trap that Josh avoided was believing that he was special, that he was smarter than other people, and that he didn’t have to work hard. He could have thought of himself as a prodigy, but he doesn’t think that he has extraordinary intelligence.
He says, “The moment we believe that success is determined by an ingrained level of ability, we will be brittle in the face of adversity.” Josh often quotes Stanford Professor Carol Dweck who discovered that some people see intelligence or abilities as fixed what is called a fixed mindset, while other people see them as Josh does, as qualities that can be developed; a growth mindset.
More important, Dr. Dweck discovered that these two different mindsets lead to very different behaviors and results. In a study she did with Dr. Lisa Blackwell, several hundred seventh graders were surveyed to determine which mindset each student had, and then they were tracked for two years. Results showed that the students with a growth mindset, those who thought they could change their own intelligence increased their grades over time while those with a fixed mindset did not. You can see the trend, the gap in performance just widens and widens over time. The difference between these two groups: a different perspective on intelligence.