Mindset by Carol Dweck – Summary

Mindset by Carol Dweck – Summary
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Carol Dweck did a study in the 1970s she researched how kids reacted to failure and was quite surprised to see the results.

Kids, when given a hard task, exclaimed Mistakes are my friend. I love a challenge. I thought this was going to be informative. Kids nowadays need to be validated every 5 minutes.

Another breakthrough in her study came when she observed that a high school in Chicago graded their students differently.

They graded you Not Yet if you hadn’t passed all the necessary courses you needed to graduate. With this new grading system, there’s still time for improvement and growth. The birth of the growth mindset.

Have you heard the saying you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? You might have even believed it. Whoever said that is ignorant and has a fixed mindset.

In Carol Dweck’s book Mindset, she says that there are primarily two mindsets that people have the fixed mindset and the growth mindset.

Before we get into the mindsets, let us understand what a mindset is.

Mindset is your frame of mind and your set of beliefs. What you say to yourself is your mindset. It’s your worldview that defines your reality.

Fixed Mindset

People with a fixed mindset believe that talent and intelligence are fixed from birth what you have is what you get. They couldn’t be further from the truth.

Anyone can be taught, but most of us believe that human qualities are carved in stone. You either have it or you don’t.

That’s typically what somebody with a fixed mindset would say. This is how I am and have always been, and that’s not for me.

They are not willing to stretch and grow and are happy with where they are. A lot of us have this mindset that limits us because of past experiences.

Growth Mindset

People with a growth mindset are excited when challenges arise they don’t throw a fit and welcome them. In the challenge is the opportunity to improve.

People with a growth mindset understand that there is a learning curve, and it requires a struggle to get to the end. The struggle is something you do for something you value, so it’s worthwhile.

If you want to accomplish your future goals, you have to change who you are today to become who you want to be, and that requires a lot of effort that the growth mindset people are willing to undergo.

When you do something you are not familiar with consistently, the neurons in your brain fire and get stronger and you get familiar with the activity. This is the fundamental trait of the growth mindset.

Examples of Mindset’s being demonstrated

We see people portray fixed and growth mindsets in all aspects of life, be it in school, jobs, relationships, sports, and business. You have heard it before, but you just didn’t know the term yet.

People with a fixed mindset find someone who’s worse off than them to feel better about themselves.

People with a growth mindset are not afraid to look like a novice they are willing to make mistakes in order to learn and grow.

We are all a mixture of mindsets here are some examples that better explain the two.

  1. Michael Jordan was cut from his high-school basketball team because he wasn’t talented. He compensated for his lack of talent by mastering his craft day in and day out. He developed the most brutal work ethic in the game to get to his legendary status.
  2. For John McEnroe, it was never his fault. He never got to fulfill his potential because he only relied on his talent and didn’t improve his skills. He would blame anyone and anything but himself when he lost.
  3. In 1995 actor Christopher Reeve fell off a horse and broke his neck it completely paralyzed him from the neck below. The medical team asked him to come to terms with the illness he refused and 5 years later regained movement. People with the growth mindset sometimes even pull off the impossible.
  4. Goodwill Hunting is loosely based on George Danzig. One day, George arrived late to class, quickly copied two of the homework problems on the board, and left. He found it very difficult to solve them and it took him several days. They were two famous math problems that had never been solved.
  5. Major Organizations today are vouching for a growth mindset in their workforce.

We need to come to terms with nobody is born intelligent. I am not good enough has to change to I am not good enough yet but I can improve you just have to figure the ‘yet’ part out.

It takes time to get good at anything. Kill your excuses. Talent and abilities can be developed.

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”

Carol Dweck
Mindset Ted Talk by Carol Dweck


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