Your Life is What Your Mind Made of It.

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: (Proverbs 23:7) 

Book Review
Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D
Publisher: Random House, 2006
ISBN-13: 978-0345472328  

The main idea of this book as expounded by the author is that our minds and beliefs determine in no small measure what we eventually achieve or become in life. Whether we are aware of them or not, we all have internal beliefs about ourselves and what we want out of life. Those beliefs in no small measures determine what we want out of life and whether we succeed at getting them. Therefore, changing your mindset and beliefs about yourself can profoundly affect your chances of success.

Mindset teaches us that our human qualities, intellect and other abilities are not carved in stone and that with training and the discipline of the right mindset all of us can soar above average to heights of achievement that are higher than expected. Two mindsets identified here are Fixed Mindset and Growth Mindset. What is the growth mindset

“The growth mindset is the belief that abilities can be cultivated. But it doesn’t tell you how much change is possible or how long change will take. And it doesn’t mean that everything, like preferences or values, can be changed”

“The growth mindset also doesn’t mean everything that can be changed should be changed. We all need to accept some of our imperfections, especially the ones that don’t really harm our lives or the lives of others”

Some Personal Lessons:

  1. With passion, perseverance and training you can achieve more than you ever thought was possible.
  2. Stretching yourself and sticking to it even when things are not going well is the hallmark of the growth mindset.
  3. The right mindset affects your thoughts and the actions you take and ultimately the destinations you will end at.
  4. You can change your mindset from the negative, debilitating, fixed mindset to a growth oriented growth mindset.
  5. No matter your natural endowment and talent, it is the persistent effort that ignites and turns your ability into enduring achievement.
  6. “Many growth-minded people didn’t even plan to go to the top. They got there as a result of doing what they love. It’s ironic: The top is where the fixed-mindset people hunger to be, but it’s where many growth-minded people arrive as a by-product of their enthusiasm for what they do. “
  7. “… in the growth mindset, you don’t always need confidence. .. You don’t have to think you’re already great at something to want to do it and to enjoy doing it.”
  8. Those who are naturally gifted may be carried away by their seeming superiority and therefore fail to learn the virtue of hard work, persistence and the ability to handle and cope with setbacks.  “The way you get ahead in life is hard work.”
  9. Which mind will you choose? Growth mindset people are reinvigorated by failures and setbacks while fixed mindset people are crushed by similar experiences.
  10. Sometimes being exceptionally endowed is a curse. Using several examples, the author explains the reason why this seeming contradiction could be the bane of many multi-talented people. We’ve all heard of “the rolling stones gathered no moss.”
  11. “Praising children’s intelligence harms their motivation and it harms their performance.” Children should be praised for their efforts and not just for their intelligence. Otherwise, when they hit snags as sure as they will, their self-confidence get deflated and with it goes the desire to put in more effort, persistence and hard work. The goal is not to become talented, but rather to keep on expanding your children’s skills and knowledge.
  12. “Success lulls you. It makes the most ambitious of us complacent and sloppy.” “Conclusion? Beware of success. It can knock you into a fixed mindset: “I won because I have talent. Therefore I will keep winning.”

“Champs are the people who work the hardest. You can become a champ.”

Read this monumental book to find out more for yourself.


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