A goal mind-set emphasizes achievement and status, whereas a growth mind-set values development and stretching oneself. A goal mind-set prioritizes hitting a target and asking how long it will it take to get there, whereas growth mind-sets simply ask, “How far can I take this?”

If you do adopt a growth mind-set, you may be surprised by the results you achieve. When Maxwell was younger, he met Elmer Towns, a Liberty University professor and someone he admired. He discovered that Towns had sold 110,000 books, and decided that selling that many copies of his own books would be his goal.

But in time, his shift from goals to growth occurred, and he focused instead on simply becoming a better writer, and not worrying about sales. Years later, his publisher presented him with a crystal trophy engraved with the words “one million books sold.” It turned out that by focusing on growth, he had achieved far more than he would ever have set for himself as a goal.

The key to embracing a growth mind-set is to have a teachable spirit. That means not just saying you want to learn, but taking practical steps to do so. Think of it like gardening: just wanting your garden to grow into something beautiful won’t achieve anything. You need to plan, prepare and work at cultivating it. So each day, recognize that opportunities to learn and grow are there, whatever you are doing and whoever you are with. Stay curious, and be intentional about learning.

And make sure you are surrounded by other people with a growth mind-set.

Source: from the book “Leader Shift” of John Maxwell, summarized by Blinkist.

Goal mindset vs. Growth mindset
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