Blog Title : Mindset Summary
Author : Carol Dweck
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About the Author
CAROL S. DWECK, PH.D., is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading researchers in the fields of personality, social psychology, and developmental psychology. She has been the William B. Ransford Professor of Psychology at Columbia University and is now the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Her scholarly book Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development was named Book of the Year by the World Education Fellowship.
Author says growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.
Chapter : Why Do People Differ
Author says Believing that your qualities are carved in stone—the fixed mindset—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.
Believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.
You can see how the belief that cherished qualities can be developed creates a passion for learning. Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?
Author says Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you?
Author says The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) 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.
What is truly amazing is that people with the fixed mindset would not agree. For them, it’s “Nothing ventured, nothing lost.” “If at first you don’t succeed, you probably don’t have the ability.
Author says risk and effort are two things that might reveal your inadequacies and show that you were not up to the task. In fact, it’s startling to see the degree to which people with the fixed mindset do not believe in effort.
Author says When you think about it, this makes sense. If, like those with the growth mindset, you believe you can develop yourself, then you’re open to accurate information about your current abilities, even if it’s unflattering.
The other thing exceptional people seem to have is a special talent for converting life’s setbacks into future successes.
Author says When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world—the world of fixed traits—success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other—the world of changing qualities—it’s about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.
Author says You have a choice. Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change your mind. As you read, think about where you’d like to go and which mindset will take you there.
Brain Waves Tell the Story
Author says People with a fixed mindset were only interested when the feedback reflected on their ability. Their brain waves showed them paying close attention when they were told whether their answers were right or wrong.
Only people with a growth mindset paid close attention to information that could stretch their knowledge. Only for them was learning a priority.
Author says People in a growth mindset don’t just seek challenge, they thrive on it. The bigger the challenge, the more they stretch. And nowhere can it be seen more clearly than in the world of sports. You can just watch people stretch and grow.
Sometimes people with the growth mindset stretch themselves so far that they do the impossible.
Author says people with the growth mindset thrive when they’re stretching themselves. When do people with the fixed mindset thrive? When things are safely within their grasp. If things get too challenging—when they’re not feeling smart or talented—they lose interest.
Author says The idea that one evaluation can measure you forever is what creates the urgency for those with the fixed mindset. That’s why they must succeed perfectly and immediately.
Who can afford the luxury of trying to grow when everything is on the line right now?
Proving You’re Special
If you’re successful, you’re better than other people. You get to abuse them and have them grovel. In the fixed mindset, this is what can pass for self-esteem.
Author says people who believe in fixed traits feel an urgency to succeed, and when they do, they may feel more than pride. They may feel a sense of superiority, since success means that their fixed traits are better than other people’s.
The growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.
Author says when people believe in fixed traits, they are always in danger of being measured by a failure. It can define them in a permanent way. Smart or talented as they may be, this mindset seems to rob them of their coping resources.
When people believe their basic qualities can be developed, failures may still hurt, but failures don’t define them. And if abilities can be expanded—if change and growth are possible—then there are still many paths to success.
Author says The story of the tortoise and the hare, in trying to put forward the power of effort, gave effort a bad name. It reinforced the image that effort is for the plodders and suggested that in rare instances, when talented people dropped the ball, the plodder could sneak through.
The idea of trying and still failing—of leaving yourself without excuses—is the worst fear within the fixed mindset, and it haunted.
In the growth mindset, it’s almost inconceivable to want something badly, to think you have a chance to achieve it, and then do nothing about it. When it happens, the I could have been is heartbreaking, not comforting.
Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways.
Thanks For Reading Mindset Summary.
Courtesy of the books publisher and author who worked to spread book’s knowledge. This summary is in no way to claim rights but a mere contribution to cultivate reading habit among youth and motivate them to buy the book.
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