Michael Jordan said, “Why would I think about missing a shot that I haven’t taken yet?” or in other words (or non-basketball terms), why would I think about failing at doing something that I haven’t taken yet?
I mean why? It might seem obvious that I should not think about that or even spend time ruminating about it but I find myself last night, somehow worrying whether I can do it or not. Here comes Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” If I think I can, I am right. If I think I can’t, I am right too. And this is a psychological fact too.
“For thirt years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life,” wrote psychologist Carol Dweck on her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,
Then if that is so, if I changed my mindset or actually think of myself that I can do all the things I wanted, will I be as great like Picasso or Henry Ford? “No,” Carol Dweck writes, “a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passions, toil, and training.”
And I think that’s amazing. We can be great in our own way and we do not need to be like someone else. It takes the pressure off of trying to be someone or trying to prove something and instead, we focus on how we can live our lives to the fullest.
Psychologist Carol Dweck shares,
“Did you know that Darwin and Tolstoy were considered ordinary children? That Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time, was completely uncoordinated and graceless as a child? That the photographer Cindy Sherman, who has been on virtually every list of the most important artists of the twentieth century, failed her first photography course? That Geraldine Page, one of our greatest actresses, was advised to give it up for lack of talent?
You can see how the belief that cherished qualities can be developed creates a passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them?
…the passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.“
So, going back to the first sentence, why would I think about failing at doing something that I haven’t taken yet? Why would I even waste time thinking about it when I should use the time-that I will use for ruminating- to just do the work?
But what if you think you can but in the end, you still failed? My answer for this is, so? Believing that I can do it doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll get through all the impediments in my life with flying colors. Having the belief that I can do it and that I am growing and learning allows me to thrive and keep going through challenges. I will never be perfect and I will never not know everything, hence, I will always fail. But as I fall, I will not fall backward but fall forward. I’ll make sure that I learned something from the experience and continue to do and live life.
And remembering what Nelson Mandela has said, ” I never lose. I either win or learn.”
Michael Jordan has not time to think of whether he’ll miss a shot or not because he knows he’ll learn something at the end. We either win or we learn.