Mindset – The New Psychology of Success
By: Carol Dweck
Eduttainable Idea #1
People with the growth mindset are not seeking validation of their worth by being better than others. The growth mindset helps people recognize their ability to change. The growth mindset encourages people to focus on effort rather than outcome. An effort focus allows one to grow by virtue of understanding that their ability is not fixed. Our ability to grow is based on the decisions we make consciously and unconsciously. Whether we believe we can learn something or not becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. In every area of our lives we have both growth mindsets and fixed mindsets. Some people lean more towards a growth mindset, whereas others lean towards the fixed mindset. People with a dominant growth mindset often believe they can learn anything given the time and enduring effort required. The fixed mindset individuals believe that they have already learned everything they can and nothing can change that. They believe that people are born with ability. People with the growth mindset believe that ability, however poor in the beginning, can be developed. Many growth minded people have a natural enthusiasm for what they do. This enthusiasm perpetuates an appetite for learning. The growth mindset helps people keep going despite the inevitable difficulties they will face on their journey. Those with the growth mindset will more likely love what they do as obstacles appear as opportunities to learn something new. By believing their talents can be developed, it allows them to fulfill their true potential.
Eduttainable Idea #2
Mindsets are important and you can change them. Just by learning about the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset you set the stage for identifying areas in your life where you hold these beliefs. You start to recognize the stories you tell yourself. There might be an area of your life where you’ve always had a fixed mindset. For example, when you were young, maybe you developed the idea that you were not good at math. This idea becomes a fixed mindset. “I am not good at math” is what you tell yourself. As a result you will not put the effort required into your math homework in order to be good at it. There may be another area in your life where you are recognized as being good at something. When you are recognized as being good at something, you may have unintentionally developed a fixed mindset. For example, if early in your career you were identified as being good at sales. You may have associated a natural ability of yours to sell and not needed to learn anything new. You’re fixed mindset essentially prevents you from learning because you don’t want to be wrong. With the fixed mindset when you make a mistake, you are contradicting the belief that you hold about yourself. This is most evident in children when teachers recognize outcome instead of effort. By focusing on outcome, a student can learn to associate the results with themselves. By making the association that the result equals who they are, they may avoid certain activities that don’t show how smart they are. They avoid these activities to prove that they are as good as they think they are. By lacking a growth mindset, they won’t take the steps necessary to go beyond their self-limiting beliefs. Who you are and what could be possible for you is entirely dependent on the way you think.
10,000 feet view
This book changed my life. While reading it I had identified several areas in my life where I have maintained a fixed mindset. Unconsciously knowing that it was a fixed mindset, I held beliefs about myself that I am now able to change. I would highly recommend that anyone who is interested in developing themselves and others read this book. It is full of excellent stories, incredible examples and what should be new timeless truths. This book should be required reading for anyone in training or development. As a primer to any educational program, the ideas in this book will help prepare students to learn in a more open and accepting way. The difference between the fixed mindset and the growth mindset can make the most profound impact on your life if you are open to change.