“In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” - Carol Dweck
Brad Stevens is a big fan of the Growth Mindset, so I thought it would be fun to ask the staff to reflect on what they’ve learned this year. Read our responses below.
Finally learning to let go and consider that maybe, just maybe, there will be a Celtic in my lifetime better than player of the week Jordan Crawford.
Love and trust the process. Great things take time to build. This applies to both the Celtics and bringing Green With Envy to CelticsBlog. If you enjoy the work and put in the time, the results will eventually follow. Can’t wait to see what 2023 brings!
I learned that sometimes it’s okay to fail in order to succeed. Just as the Celtics lost in the Finals, I’d had some things to learn and improve upon as well. But it’s about how you respond and the lessons you take away after coming up short. That’s where the true greatness of the journey is.
Last season’s Celtics really impressed upon me the value of patience in a basketball context. It’s not just the historic turnaround that team made, flipping the switch from frustrating inconsistency to absolute dominance – it’s the years of growth we’ve seen from this team in the era of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. We’re seeing the Celtics perform like the contenders we’ve always known they could be, and it’s the product of this franchise’s patience and belief in their core.
I learned that the better team doesn’t always prevail. My rec team often comes so close to winning the league and ends up falling short in heartbreaking fashion. We did win once, which was amazing, but we’ve lost in overtime in the championship game each of the past two sessions. As the Celtics showed, it happens to the best. Nothing is guaranteed, but the agony you experience until it finally happens makes it even sweeter when it does. No one wins everything. Well, except Bill Russell.
I try to never take anything for granted, and the past year has been a case study in why. From the still unbelievable midseason turnaround to the stunning fall of Ime Udoka to the unexpected success of Joe Mazzulla, the lesson that the 2022 Celtics reinforced to me was: You never know.
I learned to not take everything too seriously. Getting frustrated with little things isn’t worth it. There’s always a bigger picture and it’s important to remember that.
I legitimately got way better at basketball, which was exciting and fun. In terms of virtues, my patience, ability to live in the moment, gratefulness and reporting abilities all grew this year. I think I got more comfortable with being myself than ever before and learned to stop being so hard on myself in terms of getting to where I want to be personally and professionally, enjoying the steps in that process and understanding how young I am. As for the Celtics, it’s hard to pick a lesson other than things can change fast. For myself, consistency is everything.
To never take for granted that my job is covering basketball. It’s legitimately a dream come true. Even the bad days are better than a lot of my good days in my previous career. That’s something I’m striving to remember when things turn a little sideways.
I lost my dad in January and my mom to cancer eight months later after a five-year fight against breast cancer. If I’m being completely honest, there were so many times this year where I couldn’t enjoy how well the Celtics were playing. I felt nothing. But after a couple of months, I tried to take away the best thing about my folks’ lives and recalibrated my priorities. They both dedicated so much of their time to helping other people, whether that was raising my brothers and I or building a business abroad and treating everybody like family. I’ve tried to infuse that mindset into every facet of my life now.
I think the biggest thing that I learned (or rather re-learned) was that change is constant and continual. Sometimes I get lulled into thinking that basketball analysis results in conclusions. This team is bad. That player has peaked. This style of play is better than that. None of those things are ever set in stone and it is constantly evolving as the sport evolves. I thought perhaps Jaylen Brown had reached his ceiling, but he keeps getting better. I hoped that the Celtics would handle the Warriors in the Finals, but they didn’t. I thought Ime Udoka was going to be the next great Celtics coach, but nope. Things change quickly in this league so you have to evolve with the game and stay adaptable, even if you are just a blogger talking about the game. I think you can apply that to life in general as well.
How about you? What have you learned this year?