Mindset | Carol S. Dweck

Summary of: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
By: Carol S. Dweck


Discover the incredible impact of our mindset on our success and personal growth through the paradigm-shifting book ‘Mindset: The New Psychology of Success’ by Carol S. Dweck. The book discusses the two central mindsets: fixed mindset, wherein a person believes their abilities are set in stone, and growth mindset, in which an individual embraces challenges as opportunities for growth. Delve into real-life examples of these perspectives that exemplify their significance in personal development and learn how our mindset greatly influences our thoughts, behavior, and relationships.

The Fallacy of Fixed Mindset

The fixed mindset is a mistaken belief system that assumes intelligence and talent are set in stone. Enron and McKinsey, among other companies, perpetuate this harmful thinking by seeking to hire only “naturals” to immediately boost company performance. Those with a fixed mindset tend to judge themselves and others harshly and are often fearful of being labeled as incompetent. They also seek validation from others to safeguard their fragile egos. The fixed mindset creates a hostile work environment in which employees are constantly under evaluation and expected to perform perfectly from the outset, with little room for growth or progression. By contrast, a growth mindset assumes that intelligence and talent can be developed through dedication and effort, enabling individuals to thrive and reach their full potential.

The Power of Having a Growth Mindset

Children with growth mindsets believe in hard work, dedication, and perseverance as crucial elements for learning. They thrive on challenges and view problems as opportunities for growth and development. They are not interested in obtaining the highest grades or being better than their peers but rather focused on achieving their growth potential. These lifelong learners practice relentlessly, learning from both successes and failures. They embrace diversity, continually learn from the best, and see relationships as opportunities for growth and development. In summary, they are willing to put in the effort to improve themselves, their communities, and the world at large.

From Fixed to Growth Mindset

Lee Iacocca and Lou Gerstner, CEOs of Chrysler Motors and IBM respectively, faced companies on the verge of collapse. While Iacocca’s fixed mindset led him to prioritize personal image over company success, Gerstner’s growth mindset allowed him to create a new work environment centered on teamwork and development. Iacocca’s need for approval hindered the company’s growth, whereas Gerstner’s focus on shared development led to lasting success. People with fixed mindsets prioritize approval, while those with growth mindsets prioritize development.

Growth vs. Fixed Mindset

Success is not just about talent or intelligence. It depends on our mindset. People with a fixed mindset fear failure and interpret it as a sign of personal deficiency. They make excuses and give up when faced with challenges. In contrast, people with a growth mindset embrace challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. They see setbacks as feedback, not failure. Michael Jordan, for example, was not just born with basketball skills; he worked hard to improve his technique and game. Unlike Sergio García, who fired caddies and blamed his shoes for his poor performance, Jordan practiced his shots repeatedly and took advice from others. The message is clear: we can all develop a growth mindset by recognizing the power of effort, persistence, and learning from mistakes.

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