by Carol Dweck

  • Personal Development
  • Ashto = 9/10
  • Jonesy = 9/10

Mindset – by Dr Carol S Dweck

‘Changing the way you think to fulfil your potential’

This book is about one pervasive view we adopt for ourselves and our abilities: we either have a ‘fixed mindset’ or a ‘growth mindset’. Those with the fixed mindset believe that we have a natural level of talent or ability that we are born with and cannot change, whereas those with a growth mindset believe that everything can be learned and improved upon. These ‘mindsets’ rear their heads in business, sport, relationships. This simple distinction becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and permeates all aspects of our lives, from the way we view failures, to the success we achieve, to how we view effort, and everything in between.

Read this book. Adopt a growth mindset. Apply it to all areas of your life.

Grab a copy of the book here: https://www.bookdepository.com/Mindset-Carol-S-Dweck/9780345472328/?a_aid=adamsbooks

Mindset shows the power of people’s beliefs and how strongly affect what we want and whether we succeed in getting it. Small changes in simple beliefs can have profound effects. In this book you’ll learn how a simple belief about yourself, guides and permeates through every part of your life, whether it be in sport, relationships or in business.

The Two Mindsets

The Fixed Mindset

This is the belief that your qualities are carved in stone creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character – well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics. People with this mindset are all about proving to themselves and to everyone around them, how good they are and how much innate specialness they were born with. Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. It will be evaluated: Will I succeed or fail, look smart or dumb, be accepted or rejected? Or will I feel like a winner or a loser?

The Growth Mindset

The Growth Mindset believes that the hand you’re dealt with is just the starting point for your development. It is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. Although people may differ in every which way, everyone can change and grow through application and experience.

You can see how the belief that cherished abilities/qualities can be developed creates a passion for learning. Why waste time trying to prove yourself by doing the easy things over and over when instead you can spend your time getting better? Or settle for friends that will fluff up your self-esteem when you could find ones that will challenge you and stretch you? Why seek out the tried and true path when you could find a new path and carve your own way through it? The passion for levelling-up (and sticking to it when it’s not going well) is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.

How would you respond?

Imagine: One day, you go to a class at school that is really important to you and that you like a lot. The professor returns the mid-term papers to the class: You got a C+. You’re very disappointed. That evening on the way back to your home, you find that you’ve gotten a parking ticket. Being really frustrated, you call your best friend to share your experience but are sort of brushed off.

Fixed mindset people respond: I’d feel like a total reject, I’m a total failure, I’m an idiot’, I’m a loser’. In other words, they’d see what happened as a direct measure of their competence and worth.

The story was specifically written to be a little bad but not TOO bad. it was a C+, not an F

Compare that to people with the GROWTH mindset: they responded saying ‘I need to try harder in class, be more careful when parking the car, and wonder if my friend had a bad day. I’d start thinking about studying harder or in a different way for the next test, then pay the parking ticket and work things out with the friend next time, I’d look at what i did wrong on the test and resolve to do better’

Learning / Studying

How do fixed mindset students study? If their material is hard, their approach is to read them again and again, memorizing everything they can, like a vacuum cleaner, ‘wrote learning’ so they can pass the exam. If they did poorly on a test, they conclude that ‘chemistry’ isn’t their subject. After all “I did everything possible, didn’t I?” Far from it.

These students would be chocked with what the Growth Mindset students do. They took charge of their learning and motivation. Instead of plunging into unthinking memorisation of the course material, they said “I looked for themes and underlying principles across lectures”. They went over mistakes until they understood them. They studied to learn, not to just ace the test. This is why they got higher grades, not because they were smarter.



The fixed mindset believes: High Effort = Big Risk

The Fixed Mindset people believe effort is only for people with deficiencies.  Geniuses shouldn’t need to apply effort, so by applying effort you admit you’re not a genius, so you don’t apply effort. If your claim to fame is being naturally gifted and smart, then you have a lot to lose by trying at something and revealing a deficiency. Effort can therefore REDUCE you – if your identity is based on being endowed and naturally better than everyone, applying effort undermines that status and can reduce your perceptions.

Secondly – effort robs you of your excuses. If you don’t try, then you always COULD HAVE (I could have played NFL, I could have made it in to Harvard, I could have invented that product…). You’re leaving yourself an out, an excuse for if it doesn’t happen – that you didn’t really try, but you could have. If you try and fail, you have no excuses. You can say “I could have been XXXX” – but once you try, you lose the cop out.

The growth mindset believes: Low Effort = Big Risk

For the growth mindset people, the risk is in LOW effort. They recognize that effort leads to achievement, so without effort they’ll never achieve. It’s almost inconceivable to want something badly, to think you have a chance to achieve it, and then do nothing about it. The “I could have been” is heartbreaking for a GM; not comforting like it is to a fixed mindset.

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