By: Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D.
Published a few years ago, this is a groundbreaking book on personal psychology and what kind of mindset you need to succeed. Dr. Dweck has developed a theory that people either possess a “fixed” or a “growth” mindset, and that most if not all of their actions and accomplishments can be traced back to this fact. To define them simply, a fixed mindset is one where you believe that your personal skills and talents and inherent and cannot be changed. Therefore, if you were labeled “smart” as a child, you believe that you are simply smart, that you shouldn’t have to expend any effort to be smart, that you need to constantly prove to the rest of the world that you are indeed smart, and that any failure you might experience must mean that you are no longer smart or not as smart as you once thought you were. For those who possess the growth mindset however, intelligence is simply something that you learn as you go. Therefore there is no need to prove yourself, you take challenges not as challenges to your inherent intelligence but as chances to grow and learn, and failures, while still perhaps difficult, just provide you with a welcome opportunity to see where you need improvement and make changes in your approach to something.
Needless to say from these definitions, the growth mindset is the one that produces the most consistent, repeatable success stories. Mindset outlines ways in which these two ways of looking at oneself and the world impacts people in the realm of sports, business, relationships, and schools, and outlines ways in which one can change one’s mindset if one so chooses.
If you read this book and realize that you have been operating under the assumptions of a fixed mindset — and it seems many of us are or have been and that historically many teachers and mentors have also looked at the world this way — then reading this book will be a true eye-opener for you. It will change the way you look at yourself, your past successes, and especially your past failures. Most importantly, it will make you stop and think about what you could accomplish in the future if you only adopted a growth mindset. Definitely worth the read for everyone who has ever gone to school and potentially been exposed to these two ways of thinking and unknowingly took on one or the other.
Mindset – The New Psychology of Success
By: Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D.
Published: 2006 by Random House