It’s the Mindset That Matters

Throughout history there are countless stories of people who overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve success.  What is it that caused these people to persist where others gave up?  Why were they able to stay focused and motivated despite all the setbacks?  Why did they so steadfastly believe that it was possible when everyone around them was telling them it wasn’t going to work out?

What caused these people to beat the odds?  Was it luck or circumstances?  Perhaps, it was something much more fundamental.  Something internal that caused them to “think” differently.  Perhaps, it was the mindset that they possessed that mattered most.

Over the last two decades, researchers in the field of psychological science have found that human beings operate under two distinctly different mindsets.  The first is a fixed or limited mindset.  The second is a growth or unlimited mindset.

Through extensive research, scientists have found that the electrical activity in the brain and the portions of the brain that are activated are markedly different depending upon which of these two mindsets a person is operating under.

In a study that was conducted at Michigan State University, test subjects with limited mindsets and those with unlimited mindsets were given a challenging problem to solve. This is what they found: 

With sensors attached to measure electrical activity in the brain, the people who had an unlimited mindset showed significantly more electrical activity within broader areas of the brain.  This shows that they are more engaged, leveraging larger portions of their mind, of their past experiences and of their creative abilities to solve the problem.

Conversely, test subjects with a limited mindset showed significantly less electrical activity.  They activated few portions of the mind and thus leveraged less of their capabilities to solve the problem.

The research shows that our mindset physiologically changes the way we leverage our brain.

However, you don’t have to have electrodes attached to a person’s skull to see the difference between a person with a limited mindset and an unlimited mindset.  You can readily see the difference in their behaviors on a day in day out basis.

The great news is, this unlimited mindset isn’t born to some and not to others.  On the day that we were born, we were are all gifted with an unlimited mindset.

If you have any doubt of this fact, just think of a toddler.  What are the most difficult things a child will learn prior to the age of two?  Most would agree, walking and talking.  Arguably two of the most complex skills we will develop in our lifetime.

So let’s take walking:  most of us have been around a child as they are learning to walk.  Invariably the process always looks about the same.

One day, this child is crawling across the floor.  They look up at all the adults around them and a thought crosses their mind.  “Hmm, all these adults are walking and here I am crawling across the floor.  This crawling stuff is a little hard on the knees, maybe there is something to this walking thing.”

So they make their way over to a table or a chair, they prop themselves up on their wobbly legs and as soon as they take their hands off that table or chair, down they fall.  So once again they prop themselves up, and once again, they fall.

Over and over they will go through this process, falling forward, backward, sideways, hundreds of times.  Until eventually they learn.  They learn about center of gravity, about balance and slowly but surely, they put one foot in front of the other and they begin to walk.

In a study published in the Journal for Psychological Science, researchers at New York University found that the average toddler will fall 17 times an hour as they are learning to walk.  Over and over again, hour after hour, falling hundreds, if not thousands of times, in order to perfect this intricate skillset.

The amazing thing is, never once will this toddler say to themselves, “maybe Mom and Dad are supposed to walk but I am meant to crawl.”

Look at how that child moves; they are fearless, determined, goal-directed, motivated, inquisitive and eager to learn.  These are the hallmarks of an unlimited mindset.

They don’t quit.  They don’t give up.  They don’t doubt themselves or their capabilities.  They relentlessly practice until eventually, they walk.

You see, as a one year old child, we all possessed the unlimited mindset necessary to succeed.  If you doubt that, ask yourself this:  how often do you crawl anymore?

Yet how many adults would be willing to fall down seventeen times an hour if that was what was required to learn something?  Very few.

Recapturing that unlimited mindset is the absolute key to building a life of our dreams.  It is the key to accomplishing what we desire most in life.  Regardless of setbacks, regardless of obstacles, an unlimited mindset assures success.

For more than two decades, 2logical has helped individuals and organizations develop the unlimited mindset necessary to achieve success.  To date, leaders in 49 countries and in many of the largest and most successful companies in the world have leveraged 2logical’s proprietary development process to create the mindset that matters.


David Naylor is Executive Vice President of 2logical, an industry leader in Training and Development field.  Two decades ago, 2logical pioneered at transformative approach to developing peak performing employees.  Far transcending the traditional means of closing skill gaps, 2logical perfected a method of closing the underlying belief gaps that are the root cause of virtually every employee performance issue.  Forward thinking, industry leaders at many of the world most recognized companies have embraced this strategy to develop their Leadership and Sales talent.