Saturday, February 22, 2020

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck


Stanford University Psychologist Carol Dweck tells us about the power of mindset in this fascinating book. She figured that people use one of two basic mindsets in their lives - fixed mindset and growth mindset.




People with fixed mindset believe the abilities are largely fixed while people with growth believe that abilities can largely be developed with effort over time. If you think your capabilities are coded genetically and you can only vary to a certain degrees no matter what you try, you are applying a fixed mindset. On the other hand if you see that it's not just your gene but your environment, your overall context and how you utilize that will determine where you will end up, you are applying a growth mindset.

Do you remember the Denim aftershave ad where it says for men who don't have to try too hard? This is a perfect example of fixed mindset. People with fixed mindset put themselves into an imagined box and think that is the overall boundary within which they have to operate. They think other successful people operate within a larger box or outside of the boundary than their own. Effort can only take them to the edge of the boundary and no more.

However, Carol argues us to develop a growth mindset where failures are learning opportunities, challenges are not hardles but call for more efforts. She argues us not to put ourselves into a box, and keep pushing the boundaries, if any has been setup for them, with curiosity, focus, endurance, hard work. She asks us not to praise our children for their talents but for their efforts.

If you think deeply, it's a groundbreaking categorization of how we think of everything around us. I highly recommend everyone to read this book.