Mindset: The New Psychology of Success


Whether you are a teacher, a parent or simply someone who wants to improve your success at work, I believe that you SHOULD read this book.


Two fundamental ideas are presented in this book. First, according to Carol Dweck, the author of the book, there are two types of mindsets: fixed and growth

People who have a 'fixed' mindset believe that people cannot change in a meaningful way. In other words, those who are bad at math are forever doomed to be bad at math, those who are good athletes have a natural talent or genetically gifted, and those who engage in morally despicable acts are probably bad people. According to Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, one of the most common consequences of this type of mindset is test or interview anxiety (since the result might indicate something about a person innate capabilities), poor relationships with others (since the relationship is expected to be either perfect or flawed), and poor responsiveness to education.

At the other extreme, those with a 'growth' mindset view failure as an opportunity for learning and building strength. Those with a growth mindset are not concerned about failure or showing their lack of knowledge regarding something. According to Carol Dweck, a growth mindset has positive implications for school, sports, work and life in general. 


The second core issue discussed in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is that  people can change and that focusing on effort instead of results can lead to success
The fundamental point here is the idea that if you focus your attention and effort on the processes and techniques you use instead on the results (e.g., a grade) that you want to obtain, you will learn faster, become more successful, and be happier with the outcome. 

Personally, I believe that the ideas presented in this book support the fact that curiosity and exploration are essential elements for learning. When you are curious, you are focusing on the process of learning. You ask questions and are open to learning and relearning if necessary, you don't really focus on a specific result. I feel that when you encourage children or students to be curious, you are also encouraging them to develop a "growth mindset". Who cares about the result, just focus on all that you are learning by questioning and exploring!


Take-home Message 

(1) Success can be Developed. Without any doubt, this is the main message of this book. When students and educators (or parents and children) have a growth mindset, they understand that success can be developed via hard work, commitment. Talent can only take you so far in our journey towards excellence and success. Hard work is the essential ingredient for success.

(2) Experimentation is Necessary for Success. Don't only focus on results! When you are only focusing on a specific desired result, you’re less willing to try long shots, less inclined to experiment or being curious, and less likely to stumble on an even better outcome than the one you were aiming for.

(3) Live Life Fully. When you focus on the process, believe or not, you are also living the moment! Focusing on the process will let you engage more deeply with the present and experience it more fully, which will help you learn faster, consequently experience life fully. 
When you enjoy doing something, there is a very good chance you will become more passionate about it. You will be less concerned about the future because you will value the present moment.

(4) Give you Confidence. When you are unattached to a specific outcome, it also means that you won't be needy or get upset when things don't go as you expected.  So, the more you focus on process over outcome, the more confident you will become, and as we all know there is nothing more exciting than confidence!

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success is an informative and inspirational book that I highly recommend you to read.


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