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Mindset is More Important than Talent or Ability

“For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.”

― Carol Dweck, author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Let’s start discussing mindset by considering two questions:

  • Question 1: Can your intelligence and personality be developed, or is it a fixed, deep-seated trait?

  • Question 2: Are mindsets a permanent part of your makeup, or can you change them?

Experience, training, and personal effort can take you to another level of personal development. The view you adopt for yourself can profoundly affect how you lead your life and the person you were created to be. You will discover that mindsets are just powerful beliefs and that the brain is like a muscle; it can change and become stronger the more you use it and learn.

The Science of Neuroplasticity

The science of neuroplasticity studies your brain’s ability to continually change itself—who you will become and how successful you’ll be, will be less up to your upbringing or the circumstances of your life, and more up to the wiring you decide to create in your own brain. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to re-organize itself, both physically and functionally. The message of neuroplasticity is that the brain can change!

Science is proving to us today that every created being, whether in South America, Africa, India, China, Russia, Iraq, Ireland, Canada, Mexico, United States, has the capacity for lifelong learning and brain development. It doesn’t matter whether you are rich or poor, born into privilege or in the slums, whether you have white, black, red, yellow, or brown skin, or what your IQ or SAT scores are—you can grow, learn, and become the person you want to be. Nothing is set in stone. If you choose to become the person God created you to be, then none of the above factors should hold you back.

Experience, training, and effort can take people to a higher level of personal development. The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects how you lead your life and the person you want to become.

“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)

I was raised in a family where my father was the first person in his family to graduate from college. Going to college was emphasized a lot in our home. My sister has done very well for herself, getting her master's degree. My daughter has her master's degree as well. For some reason, going to college had minimal appeal to me. I consider myself a self-made man. I have developed myself over the years through reading hundreds of books and attending seminars and workshops on personal development, self-help, sales, business, health, money, relationships, spiritual things, etc. I have lived a very diverse and interesting life with my occupations. I have become an author, a business owner, a business and life coach to others, a Senior Pastor, and an evangelist. Though I have made plenty of mistakes and poor choices that had negative consequences, I don’t see myself as any less or any better than someone who has a college degree or higher education. My education came through the belief that I could become and be whatever I wanted to be, learn and develop new skills, and teach myself through experience how to do the things that would bring me to where I am today.

I tell you this because I felt very guilty and inferior for years because I did not have a college degree. I had this fixed mindset that I could only become so much of what I wanted to be without a college education. Now, I can see my path was definitely the right path for me. It’s not for everyone for sure, but don’t allow yourself to be put in a box that tells you if you do this or don’t do this, you will become this. As long as you have a growth mindset and an open mind to self-study, you can do and become whatever you set your mind on. I have embraced Napoleon Hill’s famous phrase and success trait, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

Remember, you can choose, and our mindsets are just powerful beliefs.

A person’s mindset is more powerful than their talent. Our brain is like a muscle that changes and gets stronger the more you use it and as you learn. What’s even more exciting is that you can do things to produce effective brain change and growth. Things like focus, diet, relaxation, daydreaming, reading, and holding negative or positive thoughts can change the brain for good or bad.

I’ve compiled a list of ways that you can keep your neuroplasticity growing and your mind ever-expanding:

  1. Stay curious and always keep learning.

  2. Having a definite major purpose and a big WHY for your life.

  3. Exercise and move daily.

  4. Get out of your comfort zone, learn new things, and take risks.

  5. Meet new people every week and engage in conversations.

  6. Try not to multi-task; instead, be focused on one task at a time.

  7. Challenge your old beliefs and seek new perspectives.

  8. Daily devotional, prayer, and Bible study.

  9. Be a strategic thinker and always look for ways to improve things.

  10. Develop new and different habits and mix things up in your life. Variety can be good.

Two schools of mindset exist, growth and fixed

Each with its own severe and profound consequences. The mindset you adopt will lead you to certain outcomes and potential for your life. Suppose you believe that no matter what befalls you, God has given you the ability to develop your intelligence, personality, and education continually. In that case, you will have certain definite outcomes based on that mindset. Likewise, if you believe intelligence, personality, and education is a fixed, deep-seated trait, unmovable and unexpandable. In that case, you will have certain definite outcomes based on that mindset too.

One of the biggest myths thrown around for years in the self-help industry—although thoroughly debunked now—is the idea that humans only use 10% of their actual brain capacity. This is not true at all. The human brain is very complex and difficult to fully comprehend, but the idea that 90% of your brain is just wasted space is entirely false. I believe the reason this myth exists is that people are confusing brain usage with human potential. Most of you reading this book know that you can achieve so much more than you actually do. You have the ability to reach goals and dreams, and to do so would not require our using the brain’s potential power but understanding how to use our brain better. With magnetic resonance imaging, scientists now can see how active the brain is all the time. The truth is that you use virtually all your brain every day! That’s why understanding how your mind works can increase your personal effectiveness many times over to help you reach your God-given potential and possibility.

When you pro-actively take charge of your mind, you ultimately will take charge of your life.

When you understand your thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, and desires, you can direct them toward your purpose and accomplish your goals. True wisdom comes from taking the time to study and know yourself, to know why you are the person you are. Taking charge of your mind is a thoughtful, reflective, daily, solitary process. Only you can come to understand the complex inner workings of your mind. You must be willing to spend the time and effort that gaining such insight requires to be the incredible creation that God always had in mind for you.

To help you gain further insight, go to and get a FREE copy of Rich Cavaness's new book as well as his book The Gratitude Effect.

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Rich Cavaness is best known as a popular author, trainer, and coach in the field of success and personal development. He is a Master in his areas of expertise; teaching the 17 Principles of Success by Napoleon Hill, personal development and training, helping individuals with divorce and marriage issues, and his passion is the Monthly Wisdom Program, which is a monthly group coaching experience partnering with Derrick Sweet, Founder of the Certified Coaches Federation. Rich has authored many books, includingThe Gratitude Effect, two seminar manuals, and produced the 16 sessions seminar“Living a No Limits Life.” Rich has the unique and powerful ability to take any topic and make it easy for people to understand and apply to their lives. He teaches people today how to master their lives - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, and relationally. Click here to connect with Rich and learn more on his website.

Rich has been a guest on our podcast before, check out this impactful podcast from last year when Rich taught us the importance of having an attitude of gratitude.

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