Books: Mindset

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Dr. Carol Dweck


  • Intelligence is static
  • Leads to a desire to look smart
  • Avoids challenges
  • Gets defensive or gives up easily
  • See effort as fruitless or worse
  • Ignore useful negative feedback
  • Feel threatened by the success of others
  • As a result may plateau early and achieve less than their full potential


  • Intelligence can be developed
  • Leads to a desire to learn 
  • Embrace challenges
  • Persist in the face of setbacks
  • See effort as the path to mastery
  • Learn from criticism
  • Find lessons and inspiration in the success of others
  • As a result reach higher level of achievement

Thinking about mindset as fixed or growth.  A fixed mindset is one in which you believe that your qualities are carved in stone.  A growth mindset is based on the belief that you can cultivate your  qualities through your efforts.

Sticking with things even when they are hard is the hallmark of the growth mindset.

The idea of “stretching” yourself.  Don’t go through life doing stuff that’s easy, explore.

Legendary basketball coach John Wooden says you aren’t a failure until you start to blame.  Being able to learn from your mistakes until you deny them.

Low effort is the big risk.  Billie Jean King says it’s all about what you want to look back and say.   “I could have been”.  Instead of saying, “I gave my all for the things I valued.”  After this look back and see which mindset you want to choose.

In the growth mindset you give yourself the chance to tackle things you are not good at.  Doing something just because you enjoy it.

Try to break through when something gets hard, this will help to propel the growth mindset.

Try not to be perfect.  Seek out constructive criticism.

Don’t let something from your past measure your future (test scores, firing), learn from it.

Try stuff that scares you.

Just because others can do something with little or no training doesn’t mean others can’t do it with training.  Fixed mindset people will look at people with no training and say that’s all they need to predict their talent and future.

Try to think about your hero.  Did this person get to where they are with little effort?  Seek out all the work they have put in to get to where they are.

Think of times when you lost out to someone and just said they were better than you.  Think about how much they outworked you and out strategized you.  Maybe they just practiced more than you did.

Think of siturations where you disengage your intelligence and try to learn and improve.

Try your best not to label people, especially kids.  This is the math kid, this is the reading kid.

Don’t let people fall into negative stereotypes, encourage the growth mindset.

Work on growing your mindset.  Think about a sport you were always bad at.  Put in some effort and see if maybe you’re not as bad as you thought you were.

Character comes out of the growth mindset, having to dig when things get tough.

Focus on learning and improving not just on winning.

A fixed mindset can be especially detrimental to bosses.  If everyone always feels like they are being judged they won’t be innovative.

It’s much better to create an organization that puts a focus on development of ability.

Don’t be so defensive about your mistakes, this well help in encouraging a growth mindset.

Growing your mindset in relationships.  Try to learn from past rejections and hurt feelings.

Picture an ideal relationship and realize that problems can be ways to develop greater intimacy and understanding.

Teaching children to love challenges is one of the best gifts you can give them.  Make mistakes, focus on effort and learning.

John Wooden lives by this rule:  “You have to apply yourself each day to becoming a little better.  By applying yourself to the task of becoming a little better each and every day over a period of time, you will become a lot better.”

Be sure when talking to children you acknowledge their development, not looking at them with permanent traits.

Focus on process not talent.

Really work on constructive criticism as feedback.

The growth mindset will help you to set high standards for children.

Focus on effort and full commitment, not mistake free.

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