Get it now on Amazon.
Extremely good book. Great insight, exploration, explanation on how our mindset can shape us and our lives. This a definite life-long re-read for me.
Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ...believed that education and practice could bring about fundamental changes in intelligence.
It's not nature or nurture, genes or environment. From conception on, there's a constant give and take between the two. In fact, as Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientist, put it, not only do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly.
Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence, writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise "is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement."
...the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you accomplish the things you value.
...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.
...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? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up you 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? The passions 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.
The other thing exceptional people seem to have is a special talent for converting life's setbacks into future successes.
When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world.
...the world of changing qualities—it's about stretching yourself to learn something new.
Mindsets are just beliefs. They're powerful beliefs, but they're just something in your mind, and you can change your mind.
People in a growth mindset don't just seek challenge, they thrive on it. The bigger the challenge, the more they stretch.
"When you're lying on your deathbed, one of the cool things to say is, 'I really explored myself.' ...If you only go through life doing stuff that's easy, shame on you."
Is there another way to judge potential? NASA thought so. When they were soliciting applications for astronauts, they rejected people with pure histories of success and instead selected people who had had significant failures and bounces back from them.
Even in 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.
In short, 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 mind 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.
Without effort, you can always say, "I could have been [fill in the blank]." But once you try, you can't say that anymore.
In the growth mindset, it's almost inconceivable to want something badly, to think you have a change to achieve it, and the 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.
The growth mindset allows people to value what they're doing regardless of the outcome.
The growth mindset is the belief that abilities can be cultivated.
The fixed mindset stands in the way of development and change. The growth mindset is a starting point for change, but people need to decide for themselves where their efforts toward change would be most valuable.
...in the growth mindset, you don't always need confidence.
...even when you think you're not good at something, you can still plunge into it wholeheartedly and stick to it.
Put yourself in a growth mindset. Picture your brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.
Next time you feel low, put yourself in a growth mindset—think about learning, challenge, confronting obstacles. Think about effort as a positive, constructive force, not as a big drag.
Is there something you've always wanted to do but were afraid you weren't good at? Make a plan to do it.
The fixed mindset limits achievement. It fills people's minds with interfering thoughts, it makes effort disagreeable, and it leads to inferior learning strategies. What's more, it makes other people into judges instead of allies.
...important achievements require a clear focus, all-out effort, and a bottomless trunk full of strategies. Plus allies in learning. This is what the growth mindset gives people, and that's why it helps their abilities grow and bear fruit.
Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn't mean that other can't do it (and sometimes do it even better) with training. This is so important, because many, many people with the fixed mindset think that someone's early performance tells you all you need to know about their talent and their future.
The growth mindset takes the teeth out of the stereotype and makes people better able to fight back. They don't believe in permanent inferiority.
Those with the growth mindset found success in doing their best, in learning and improving.
Those with the growth mindset found setbacks motivating. They're informative. They're a wake-up call.
People with the growth mindset...took charge of the processes that bring success—and that maintain it.
Somebodies are not determined by whether they won or lost. Somebodies are people who go for it with all they have.
Gladwell concludes that when people live in an environment that esteems them for their innate talent, they have grave difficulty when their image is threatened: "They will not take the remedial course. They will not stand up to investors and the public and admit that they were wrong. They'd sooner lie."
One problem is that people with the fixed mindset expect everything good to happen automatically.
...one of the most destructive beliefs for a relationship is "If we need to work at it, there's something seriously wrong with our relationship."
As with personal achievement, this belief—that success should not need effort—robs people of the very thing they need to make their relationship thrive. It's probably why so many relationships go stale—because people believe that being in love means never having to do anything taxing.
...many people with a fixed mindset believe that a couple should share all of each other's views.
The second big difficulty with the fixed mindset is the belief that problems are a sign of deep-seated flaws. But just as there are no great achievements without setbacks, there are no great relationships without conflicts and problems along the way.
Shyness harmed the social interactions of people with the fixed mindset but did not harm the social relations of people with the growth mindset. The observers' ratings showed that, although both fixed- and growth-minded shy people looked very nervous for the first five minutes of the interaction, after that the shy growth-minded people showed greater social skills, were more likable, and created a more enjoyable interaction. In fact, they began to look just like non-shy people.
Whether they're aware of it or not, all people keep a running account of what's happening to them, what it means, and what they should do.
The fixed mindset creates an internal monologue that is focused on judging.
...cognitive therapy basically teaches people to rein in their extreme judgements and make the more reasonable.
...research shows that the brain is more like a muscle—it changes and gets stronger when you use it. And scientists have been able to show just how the brain grows and gets stronger when you learn.
When you learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger. The more that you challenge your mind to learn, the more your brain cells grow. Then, things that you once found very hard or even impossible—like speaking a foreign language or doing algebra—seem to become easy. The result is a stronger, smarter brain.
...opening yourself up to growth makes you more yourself, not less.
Think of something you need to do, something you want to learn, or a problem you have to confront. What is it? Now make a concrete plan. When will you follow through on your plan? Where will you do it? How will you do it? Think about it in vivid detail.
These concrete plans—plans you can visualize—about when, where, and how you are going to do something lead to really high levels of follow-through, which, of course, ups the chances of success.
So the idea is not only to make a growth-mindset plan, but also to visualize, in a concrete way, how you're going to carry it out.
...when you succeed, don't forget to ask yourself: What do I have to do to maintain and continue growth?
Got to the Amazon page for more information.
If you click on some of these links and end up purchasing something, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.