Mindset maketh Man…or Woman!
My secret crush on Prince Harry began on the 31st of July 2014 and I realise as a 47 year old woman this maybe inappropriate never the less, I couldn’t help myself! He was on The Chris Evans breakfast show talking about The Invictus Games and why he was supporting this project. You can listen to the short interview here however be warned, you may develope a crush!
So jump forward to the last two weeks watching the 2017 Toronto games, a remarkable feat of human endurance, teamwork, motivation and mindset. As the daughter of a serviceman, I grew up in the military family. My father was part of a team, where discipline, leadership and respect are the watchwords. I have throughout my life, rightly or wrongly, attached a high valve to those in uniform. To the members of the armed services, police officers, doctors and nurses who have their own front line to contend with. I am continually astonished by their commitment to the whole of society and their protection of others, an interesting set of traits.
I feel this is also true of the those in the royal family, Harry said in his interview with The Telegraph newspaper in 2016, he is still “trying to fill an unbelievable pair of boots” left by the death of his mother in a Paris car crash in 1997. “What you see is what you get with me,” he said. “It’s genuine. I will always try and bring an element of fun and happiness to everything I do. That probably is subconsciously very much a part of my mother — trying to fill that void. Trying to fill an unbelievable pair of boots, whether it’s her… or especially the Queen. It’s a hard thing to do.”
Firstly let me explain my secret crush on Prince Harry, the competitors of The Invictus Games and doctors and nurses. It is that they persevere against huge odds and adversity to muster a tremendous amount of discipline, consequently returning to their growth mindset. Carole Dweck, a professor of Psychology at Stanford has over the last 20 years of research, shown how mindset can shape who we are and how we relate to the world. Her TEDTalk is really worth viewing, she explores traits that are in the Fixed Mindset or a Growth Mindset.
Fixed Mindset Vs Growth Mindset
A Fixed Mindset person believes their qualities, personality and character are carved in stone so exhibit the following behaviours:
- Avoid Failure
- Have a desire to look clever
- Avoid challenges
- Stick to what is known
- Feedback and criticism are taken personally
- Stuck and fail to improve
A Growth Mindset person believes that their qualities, personality and character traits can be cultivated leading to:
- A desire for continuous learning
- Confronting uncertainty
- Not afraid to fail
- Feedback is about current capabilities
- My true potential is unknown
Which mindset do you have and how has this shaped your life? If you had a disability like those in The Invictus Games how would you cope?
The Power to Change your Mindset
The wonderful thing about mindset is, you do have the power change it. Opening the fixed mindset door, you are stepping into an environment of validation, proving you are clever and talented at something. However by choosing the growth mindset door, it is about taking charge, learning and developing your skills, knowing you have to put more effort in and stretch your capabilities. You can flex and change your mindset; it just comes down to choice. So consider believing in yourself, and who are your role models growing up. Carole Dwek says, ‘ this has a direct impact on your mindset today.’
Prince Harry and Prince William, had Princess Diana and Prince Charles as their role models and their growth mindset is obvious in their children. Harry has shared his own personal struggles and challenges and in collaboration with his brother Prince William and sister in law Kate, set up another charity, Heads Together. This is a mental health campaign, which focuses on the “invisible injuries” suffered by former military personnel. They are challenging the thinking, learning new skills and confronting uncertainty, true growth mindset in action.
So my secret crush on Prince Harry is really born out of admiration, for a young man that is championing the strength, courage and mindset of others. He is also simultaneously reinforcing his own growth mindset traits – Win Win. The Invictus Poem by William Ernest Henley, who was also an amputee ends with the line, ‘ I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.’ We are all masters and captains and we always have a choice.
Finally I should say Meghan Markle you have indeed pipped me to the post ! I will continue to follow and support these two amazing charities and always have a space in my heart for Harry.