I'm reading a superb book called 'Mindset,' by Dr Carol Dweck. The book really just focuses on one simple finding, but it's an idea that can change everything for our performance ability. 

Dweck says that at an early stage in our development, we make a choice, and we're generally unaware of it (It's a choice that can be 'unmade' too). The choice is whether to believe in a set mindset, or in a growth mindset. 

A set mindset believes that all talent, all intelligence, all ability is a 'set' thing. You are either naturally good, or you are naturally a loser. 

The growth mindset trashes this idea with the argument that absolutely everything is learned (a finding backed by mountains of research). No baby is ever mocked for learning to walk, learning to talk, or making mistakes. But as adults, if we aren't perfect at something immediately, we tend to declare ourselves untalented in this area and stop pursuing it. 

A set mindset renders the thought of flaws and deficiencies intolerable, and in so doing, makes learning, correction, growth or development impossible. To believe 'You either have it or you don't' precludes the possibility of learning it. It's the difference between viewing failures as valuable feedback - as fodder for growth - or seeing failures as full-stops. 

One easy-to-implement idea based on the finding is this: To praise someone's 'set status' (i.e. you are clever) tends to render them much more fearful of trying, because they don't want to disprove a positive judgement. To praise someone's effort and willingness to try is infinitely more useful, because it inspires them to tackle ever more daunting challenges. They feel they have nothing to lose. Besides, they're the 'kind of people' who take on incredible challenges. 

I highly recommend the book to you; both as an aspiring practitioner of any craft, and as a business owner growing talent around you. I recommend it even more strongly for parents.

Buy into the idea that all ability is gifted from above and set in stone, and you paralyse your own advancement. Buy into the notion of continual willingness to learn and struggle, and the world opens up to you. With the growth mindset, you can become the greatest in your game.