7 Dec, 2021

#172 Growth or Fixed Mindset – The Truth Tuesday




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“It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”- Rocky Balboa

The world is definitely not made of sunshine and rainbows. Life will keep knocking you out every chance it gets, but how do we combat it, how do we win?

In today’s episode, I dive into Carol Dweck’s coined terms, Growth and Fixed Mindsets. In her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, she details how your view of yourself can dictate everything.

I also commemorate my good friend, Alex Flynn, one of the best examples of people with a growth mindset, and how he never let Parkinson’s disease hinder him from being be a true adventurer.


-A lot of people want to grow but they don’t want to do the work.

-Having a fixed mindset means you have to constantly prove yourself correct.

-Growth mindset is believing that the hand you’ve been dealt with is just the beginning. You can get better at everything.

Some important timestamps in this episode:

  • (7:28) Ronnie O’Sullivan’s story about how a kid thinks he’s just lucky because he is talented.
  • (12:01 and 20:03) Alex Flynn’s inspiring story about wanting to go to the top of Mt. Everest amidst his battle with Parkinson’s disease.

I hope these stories inspire you to stop fitting in and start standing out. 

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Pete Cohen 0:02
Happy Beautiful day. It is the Mi365 podcast. today's podcast we're looking at the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset. Let's get ready to rumble who's gonna win? Join us after the theme tune and find out.

Pete Cohen 0:22
All righty then. Hello, Happy Beautiful day wherever you're listening to this podcast. I don't know how many episodes we've done, but we must be close to 400 episodes. And that's pretty epic. I found out the other day I'm in the top 1.5% of podcasts and I thought what? Why aren't I in the top 1% Probably because there's some things that I could do. That will make it go into the top 1% But I love I love it. I love podcasting and I know that the key in life is to be consistent with anything and to do it because there's a big enough reason to do it and of the 400 episodes. It's been epic. You know, I have learned so much I've interviewed some amazing people. And today we're going to look at the growth mindset versus the fixed mindset, the red corner or the growth mindset and then the blue corner the fixed which one are you I definitely want to give you a different perspective on this you know as a coach as a as my background in sports psychology, you know, everything has to be about growth. Everything has to be you know if it's not about but the funny thing is, don't tell anyone this, but very few people come to me because they actually want to grow. They come to me because they have a problem and even the greatest athletes that I've worked with and I've worked with people that have won Olympic gold medals, broken world records, people have won World Championships, one Premier League's all of these things, but most of them came to me because there was a problem. And when they get out the problem I find it really fascinating that I mean I worked with Tim Henman, in 1998. They got to the semi final of Wimbledon, right there was a group of us four of us that were working with him. One of them was Paul McKenna sleep now, and sorry, he's a very famous hypnotist and he got to the semi final of Wimbledon we never saw him again. And we see this so often. It's just fascinating to me, because I think if we're being if I'm being really honest, I think very few people really, really have a growth mindset. Really. I think you might say yeah, I have got a growth mindset. I'm open to opportunities and you know, I've got, but honestly I think this is what I want us to do. Because the guy that started Alcoholics Anonymous, one of the things he said is the most important thing to do in life is to start off with the truth. Now, the truth is, well, I think the truth is up to you. I'm not here to tell anybody what they should and shouldn't do. What they should believe what's right, what's wrong. I think that's up to individuals to work it out for themselves. So when we're starting off with the truth, that means really well look at yourself. My coach is to say to me, how do you feel about where you are right now? And I used to go well, because that really that was a really tough question for me, because you know what? I had to be honest.

Pete Cohen 3:41
He was like a mirror. Anyway, he was literally you. I could see my reflection in him. He was so comfortable with who he was. He was just himself. He didn't. I introduced him to so many famous people and he just, it just wasn't fazed by anything or anyone pretty much you know, he was just himself 100%. So I could see my reflection in him and I could see my insecurities. I could see my doubt in him. And it was good because it was a good measure for me to go to work on myself to grow. And I think what's really interesting when we delve into this subject of the growth versus fixed mindset, and this has really come to the fore through a number of researchers, a number of scientists, number professors, namely Carol Dweck out of Stanford who is a real specialist on the whole subject of motivation. You know, what most what, what motivates people the word motivation comes from a Latin word motorists, which means to move, you know what's moving you and I'm I'm so fascinated when you meet people that what is the driving force behind you? What is what is your fuel that is putting fire in you that's moving you forwards and again, I'd say if I'm being brutally honest, for most people, it's really not a view of the future. It's really just a dissatisfaction of where you are, you know, and that's what pushes people to grow. But then as soon as people get comfortable, they tend to go back to where they were before. So I want you to think about the growth mindset and the fixed mindset being two different worlds. And you can enter into either of them, and we can enter into, you know, one of the two of them, but if you want to enter the growth mindset, you've got to face up to some truths, some some real real truths. I think so, and this is just my opinion, because if you've got a fixed mindset, basically, you eat really you've got to prove yourself all the time. And you you're in a state of urgency, and you feel that you're your identity, your personalities and somehow fixed you know, that kind of you're set in stone. And I think I was I was definitely brought up in an environment where I was kind of told maybe not to think too much of myself to just try and fit in and the fixed mindset often comes from just fitting in. So you fit in I mean, look, I'm you know, today, I'm going to work with the Gulf college that I work with, with a whole load of the this part of the Gulf college, they're 16 to 18 year olds, they do 50% of their golf, 50% education, probably do more golf. And I'm talking to I'm going to I'm going to be honest with him today, just about environment, because the environment there, it really doesn't. It's not like Premier League. It's not like you'd go in there and everyone's like, Hey, come on, guys. Let's let's really work hard today. Let's support each other. A lot of people are just going through the motions, and they don't want to expose themselves. They don't want to look stupid, so they try and defend their position. And it's not just them. I think it's 98% of people in the world today. They just defend their position. They don't want to stand out. And it's crazy, right because we seem to live in a world right now that really shines a light on, on maybe people that have done I've got a got a lot without doing a lot. It seems like we think it's a bit strange. When someone is really good at something that we think that's that we look at Cristiano Ronaldo and maybe think well, he's just talented. I remember actually working with a with Ronnie O'Sullivan for two years six times sneaker world champion. I took him to the golf college when I worked there at my first stint there 11 years ago. Maybe even more. And it was so fast. I mean, Ronnie is so gifted. He's so talented, but he wouldn't like that if he heard me say that because he'd say well, so well that I'm gifted and talented. I don't think I am. He is who He is because of hard work because of a growth mindset. And one of the students at the end said to him, Ronnie, you're just really lucky because you just really talented. Ronnie was kept cool, but afterwards he just said he said I felt like attacking that kid. He said if he knew if he knew just how much time and effort and energy I put into my my diligent my patients my practice.

Pete Cohen 7:51
He would be surprised and he wouldn't do the work. And most people won't do the work. And that's just the way that it is. Because we live in a world that almost says you don't need to do the work. You don't need to do anything. You can just sit on your ass and put your feet up honestly, if you live in this country, especially we look after we've got a nanny state for so many people, not for everyone because some people need help. And they're the people we should be looking after. But you know what we need to go first that's how I look at it. We need to become the example we need to but we then we have to go against our nature. Because the world is set up I believe to take advantage of us so that we do things we don't need to do so we consume things we don't need to consume. So we buy things we don't need to buy to impress people that we don't even like to fit into a world that says this is who you need to be this is what this is this is this is it guys this is who you need to become. And a lot of people just fit into that. And that's a fixed mindset to me. I might be wrong. This is just my opinion. A growth mindset is where you believe the hand you've been dealt is just the beginning. You believe the hand that you've been dealt with is just the starting point of all achievement. You believe that we're diligent patient practice, you can get better at anything, you know that your potential is basically completely unknown and unknowable. You know, and there's only one thing you can do, you can just get better. I don't know if you believe that, but I'm 52 years 5152 next year. I just feel like you know what I've just got started four years of my life. I had a fixed mindset I was looking for validation. I didn't think I was good enough I went to a scored I left with one GCSE or one oh level. You know, that was a mark that I wasn't as good as everybody else. So you know what? I've had to work hard at developing this growth mindset where I don't want to outperform you I want to outperform myself. That's why I created my my 30 Day program that many people have done, but of the six and a half 1000 People who have signed up and the 3.5% of people that are finished, you know that kind of says it all. You know, it just says it all is that a lot of people want to stay where they are. I think deep down they don't I think deep down people want to because all if I listen, if all I had to do was wave my magic wand. I'm rolling my magic wand right now. All you have to do is tell me what you wanted. What you really want. No seriously what you really really really want this is not the Spice Girls here right? All you have to do is tell me this. I want I want I want to be fair, I want to be strong and be energized. I want to have a better relationship. I want to keep my cool with the people around me. I want to respect myself. I want to be better at my my work. I want more more clients. You know, some people say yeah, please just wave the wand. That's how a lot of people think things happen to people just it just happens by by wanting it but then there are some people I know that would say I want it but I don't want you to do it for me. I'm going to do it myself. Very few people would actually do that. So I don't want you to do it for me. I want to do it. I'd love it. If you helped me and supported me. And they're the people I love to work with. I just when I find people like that, whether they're whether it's raw talent, you know, or is actually someone who's already in the habit of just overachieving and they want to go bigger and better. But of all the people in my life who I've met with a growth mindset, I met one of them on clubhouse. I came into a I don't know whether he came into a room I was running. I don't know I don't remember and I heard this guy speaking and his voice was shaking and you could hear like it hear something in the background. And he introduced himself. And as soon as he introduced myself, I just went wow, I literally literally just went Wow. In fact this is an Episode Episode 112 of series three.

Unknown Speaker 12:04
A, I live in New York City. I'm a 49 year old adventurer with Parkinson's disease. I've been and some crazy crazy adventures.

Pete Cohen 12:17
And tell us how tell us how you and I met

Unknown Speaker 12:21
on clubhouse. Yeah, clubhouse it's about a five o'clock every morning and I'm pushing missed it a couple of times this week. So sorry, Bella.

Pete Cohen 12:32
I listen. It's all good. Like it was amazing. When I heard your story. I thought this is a story that has to be told because you want to put Parkinson's disease on top of the world on top of Mount Everest. Why? Why do you want to do that? Why do you want to go and climb Mount Everest?

Unknown Speaker 12:49
Well, I've crossed continents I've crossed jungles, across deserts. Where do you go when you cross continents and deserts and jungles got to go up. And you might as well pick the biggest thing around and hopefully make an impact impact around the world raise awareness of Parkinson's and funds for Parkinson's awareness and Parkinson's UK.

Pete Cohen 13:15
So Alex unfortunately passed away. Whether it was yesterday or the day before, I'm not entirely sure. I'm not actually entirely sure exactly what happened. I think he was doing what he loved climbing it was funny because I spoke to I said it's funny. I spoke to him a couple of weeks ago and he was climbing and a few a couple of people who were climbing with died and it is very sad. You know it is because of all the people I've ever met in my entire life and believe you me I have met a lot of people. My dad always told me some it is not what you know. It is who you know. And I've just love people. love people and I love to find out about people I love to connect people and I know I connected Alex to a lot of people. And a lot of people are in this room, listening on this podcast wherever you are in the world. Maybe you've listened to that podcast, maybe if you hadn't, but in my mind, what I'd be asking all of you to do is to ask the question, what can you do? What could you do? Right now, on the back of what you've just heard. What could you do you see the thing about Alex for me? Is this is the sort of person that could have every single reason not to have a growth mindset. Right. A growth mindset is where you believe that your potential is unknown and unknowable. That basically the hand that you've been dealt with is just the beginning. And he did go into a massive depression originally when he was diagnosed, but eventually, excuse me. Eventually he decided that he needed to do something he needed to find something to aim for. And I don't know how closely you heard what he said there about, you know, because he's done some crazy adventures, raising money for Parkinson's UK. And it's just incredible what he did. And then he decided, well, I've done all these things. Now I need to go up, and I think we all need to go up. I thought I think we all need to I hate to say this. I think we need to grow up, grow up, get it grow up. And I'm going to ask you, maybe this isn't for you, but where do you want to go up to? Where is up? Do you not want to be a warrior? Do you not want to be a soldier of life? Do you not want to be someone who can look at yourself in the mirror and go, I'm really proud of you and proud of who you are. I'm proud of who you're becoming. And Alex touched my life in a way that very few people do because he's one of those few people that I think about when I'm tested by life. When I'm faced with a situation I will say to myself, What would Alex do in this situation? You see, I see the world through my own lens. My lens was basically I don't know whether it was programmed from a young age not to look at the way that I now look at life but deep down the ability to look at life that way was always there. It was always there. The ability to just want to advance as opposed to stay where I am. You know, Alex, you know that? I snapped my Achilles tendon my Achilles tendon, not long ago, playing cricket with guys who I grew up with who I've known some of them since I was eight 910 11 years old. And when we got to the age of 1314 1516, we started experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and I kind of got bored of all of that. Because I felt deep down there must be more to life than just doing this even though it felt good. I felt something inside me that was calling me away from it. And I remember my friends kind of thinking I was a bit crazy when I didn't want to do what they were doing, because that's just their identity. That's who they were. And I massively broke away from that. And I've always looked for the opportunities to test myself. It was I don't know who it was that once said, If you're the smartest person in the room, you know, get out the room. Get in the people in the room were the people who they're smarter than you. They'll challenge you. And I've often done that. And can you imagine how many people in the world right now are struggling with mental health problems because they've been stuck in a room stuck on social media stuck in their house, stuck seeing the same four walls. The world is facing a another massive pandemic. It's already happening around mental health.

Pete Cohen 18:03
What's the way out of that? I'd say it's helping people express how they think and feel in a way where they're not going to be judged. Helping people have role models and mentors, of people who can inspire people to look at the world from a fresh pair. of eyes. Rather than thinking that the world is about what you have and trying to hold on to what you have and not get found out a world that encourages you to grow and to contribute a world that encouraged encourages you to fail. Because you know that it's not failure. It's such a pathetic word that wants you to literally just got knocked down so you can get up learn something and keep moving forwards sounds like you know, one of the Rocky films, you know that great that that great, amazing line that has been heard so many times. It's not about how hard you hit you know it's not you know, but it's those films were literally that we've watched all of our lives if they were not about growth, right if they if if they weren't then you know, you wouldn't watch him if they weren't about challenge. You know, and Alex Flynn, this is to you my friend because I tell you, I will never ever, ever forget you my friend. And I promise you like today in the work I'm doing today I'm going to talk about you I'll keep your memory with me forever

Pete Cohen 19:41
even though you've never made it to the top of Mount Everest man. You give it your best. You literally gave it your best. And I know how difficult that was because, you know, you were raising funds and but you really, really inspired so many people. Tell us a little bit about that.

Unknown Speaker 20:04
I always thought Parkinson's disease was an old person's disease. But reality is it doesn't discriminate. It encompasses every age, color, creed, religion. Anything else that you could imagine. The youngest ever diagnosed was a two year old boy. And what Parkinson's disease is about it's about rigidity. That simply in a nutshell, it's not about waving your arms around like crazy thing and having shakes that's generally your medication but the problem is, is that it takes away everything that most people take for granted. walking, talking, writing, swallowing, sleep, sex, all of everything because you're losing those these little cells in your head these things called neurons that produce a chemical

Pete Cohen 20:59
so if you want to listen to that podcast, I would encourage you to you know to you know to do that was episode 112 of episode series three. You know Parkinson's disease is about rigidity. Your body locks up, right it becomes fixed and yet he chose to keep moving forwards. Now I know everything in life is relative. And you might hear this story and just think, well, what's that got to do with with me? Well, you might just find today that there's something in you that you want to do. But you find direct opposition to that. And that opposition is the duck in your head that is quacking away telling you to stay where you are. But there's another part of you that is yearning is speaking to you just listening. It's the genius inside you. You know that's what I believe. The Romans believed that every house had a genius every every body, every person, something inside them that was talking to them, telling them to go forward no matter what. And I'm just looking for people genuinely looking for people who want to be the difference that makes a difference in this world. You know, and if that's you, then let's talk because Alex you know what, my friend

Unknown Speaker 22:23
ready you're not here Ranko you can Hi

Pete Cohen 22:27
I'm stronger because of you. I have no idea what you've given me. Many you're not gone. And you know what, Alex? The strange thing about this song is I played this song on top of Mount Fuji because it was by the Fujis I don't know why I got to the top of Mount Fuji and I played this because ready or not. Here. I can't know if anyone else wants to join me to change our world by changing ourselves to grow. So when we look at the growth or fixed mindset, it's all about one fundamental belief, one fenders fundamental belief. You know what that belief is?

Unknown Speaker 23:17
God bless, think fast.

Pete Cohen 23:20
You want to know what it is you

Unknown Speaker 23:21
might still exist? I think no, I I'll send a letter to my friends of one again the hooligan.

Pete Cohen 23:31
Belief is simple. I'm fixed. That's a belief. I'm fixed. This is the way I am. And the other belief is the complete opposite of that. I can cultivate I can grow I can advance the best is yet to come. Alex Flynn, my dear friend, rest in peace. You touched my life. You touched many, many people's lives. And you will never ever, ever be forgotten. I really appreciate you and rest in peace my friend.


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