Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mindset, The New Psychology Of Success by Carol Dweck

I read and would highly recommend for parents to read for themselves and for their kids but meanwhile would like to share important clips from the book "Mindset, The New Psychology Of Success" By Carol S. Dweck:

            Fixed Mind Set
            Growth Mind Set
 You were smart or you weren’t but failure meant you weren’t. Struggles, mistakes, perseverance were just not part of the picture.
Not only weren’t they discouraged by failure, they did not even think they were failing. They thought they were learning.
Nothing ventured, nothing lost.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
If at first you don’t succeed, you probably don’t have the ability. If Rome wasn’t built in a day, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.
If  at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself.
The world of changing qualities-its about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.
Failure is about having a setback.
Failure is about not growing. Not reading for the things you value. It means you’re not fulfilling your potential.
Failure means you’re not smart or talented. If you were, you wouldn’t need effort.
Effort is what makes you smart or talented.
They want to make sure they succeed. Smart people should always succeed.
Success is about stretching themselves. It is about becoming smarter.
They thrive when things are safely within their grasp. If things get too challenging, they lose interest.
Don’t just seek challenge, they thrive on it. The bigger the challenge, the more they stretch.
Ideal mate: Put them on pedestal. Make them feel perfect. Worship them.
Ideal mate: See their faults and help them to work on them. Challenge them to become a better person. Encourage them to learn new things. Certainly, they didn’t want people to pick on them or undermine their self-esteem, but they did want people to foster their development.
Being perfect right now
Its not about immediate perfection. Its about learning something over time: confronting a challenge and making progress.
The loss of one’s self to failure can be a permanent, haunting trauma.
They wanted to correct their deficiency.
They try to repair their self-esteem after a failure is by assigning blame or making excuses.

The more depressed they felt, the more they let things go, the less they took action to solve their problems. They didn’t study what they needed to, they didn’t keep up with their chores.`
The more depressed people with growth mindset felt, the more they took action to confront their problems, the more they made sure to keep up with their schoolwork, and the more they kept up with their lives.
If you work at something, you must not be good at it. Things come easily to people who are true geniuses.
Even geniuses have to work hard for their achievements. They appreciate endowment, but they admire effort, for no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.
Seabiscuit, the horse’s story through fixed mind set – it’s a great story about three men and a horse, all with deficiencies, who had to try very hard.
Seabiscuit, the horse’s story through growth mind set – the power of effort to change your ability and to change you as a person.
Effort is only for people with deficiencies. But if your claim to fame is not having any deficiencies-if you’re considered a genius, a talent, or a natural-then you have a lot to lose. Effort can reduce you.

Success is about being more gifted than others, that failure does measure you and that effort is for those who can’t make it on talent.
Success is about being best self, not about being better than others; failures is an opportunity, not condemnation; effort is the key to success.

Believing talents can be developed allows people to fulfill their potential.

Growth mindset allow people to love what they’re doing and to continue to love it in the face of difficulties.
The top is where the fixed mindset hunger to be.
They didn’t have plan to go to the top. They got there as a result of doing what they love. They arrive at the top as a by-product of their enthusiasm for what they do.
Everything is about the outcome. If you fail-or if you’re not the best-its all been wasted.
Allows people to value what they’re regardless of the outcome.
Creates the feeling that you can really know the permanent truth about yourself. Drawback is you may be robbing yourself of an opportunity by underestimating your talent in the first area. Or you may be undermining your chances of success in the second area by assuming that your talent alone will take you there.

Stand in the way of development and change.
Growth mindset is a starting point for change.

For growth mindset. It doesn’t make sense to stop trying. For them, adolescence is a time of opportunity: a time to learn new subjects, a time to find out what they like and what they want to become in the future.

Students with this mindset were studying to learn, not just to ace the test. And, actually this was why they got higher grades-not because they were smarter or had a better background.
In this mindset, both positive and negative labels can mess with your mind.When you’re given a positive label, you’re afraid of losing it and when you’re hit with a negative label, you’re afraid of deserving it.
The stereotype doesn’t disrupt their performance. They don’t believe in permanent inferiority. And if they are behind-well, then they’ll work harder and try to catch up.
When things go wrong, they lose their focus and their ability, putting everything they want, everything the team and fans so desperately want-in jeopardy.
Growth mindsets were the one who showed the most character or heart. They were the ones who had the minds of champion.
Key weapons of this mindset is blame, excuses and the stifling of critics and rivals.
Found success in doing their best, in learning and improving.
Those with this mindset found setbacks motivating. They’re informative. They’re a wake-up call.
When bosses become controlling and abusive, they put everyone into fixed mindset. This means that instead of learning, growing and moving the company forward, everyone starts worrying about being judged, It starts with the bosses’ worry about being judged, but it winds up being everybody’s fear about being judged, Its hard for courage and innovation to service a companywide fixed mindset. Their world is so small and confining and only one thing on mind- validate me
But in growth mindset leader, me me me of the validation-hungry CEO becoming the “we” and “us”.
Full of bitterness
Full of gratitude. They looked up with gratitude to their workers who made their amazing journey possible. They called them the real heroes.

Great leaders with this mindset agreed they all are made but born as leaders and made more by themselves than by any external means.

When it comes to relationships, the growth mindset’s number one goal was forgiveness.
When it comes to relationships, all your personal traits are fixed. You can believe that your qualities are fixed, your partner’s qualities are fixed, and the relationship's qualities are fixed-that its inherently good or bad, meant-to be or not meant to be. Now all of these things are up for judgment.
The growth mindset says al of these things can be developed. All – you, your partner, and the relationship- are capable of growth and change.
The ideal is instant, perfect and perpetual compatibility. Like it was meant to be. Like they lived happily ever after.

Working on a relationship means they are not meant to be.
They believe that a good, lasting relationship comes from effort and from working through inevitable differences.
The fixed mindset makes you concerned about judgment and this can make you self-conscious and anxious.

Shyness harmed the social interaction of people with this mindset. They wanted to avoid meeting someone who might be more socially skilled than they were, They were worried about mistakes. They feared the risk.

After certain time, they continued to be nervous and continued to do more socially awkward things, like avoiding eye contact or trying to avoid talking.
Shyness did not harm growth mindset. They looked on social situations as challenges. Even though they felt anxious, they actively welcomed the chance to meet someone new.

After certain time, they felt less shy and nervous as the interaction wore on.
Average everyday kids with a fixed mindset think about violent revenge if someone bullies them. Even if the victim doesn’t have a fixed mindset to begin with, prolonged bullying can instill in them and lead them to violent activities.
Kids with growth mindset see bullies as someone who has psychological problems, a way for the bullies to gain status or charge their self-esteem.

The worse they felt, the more they did the constructive thing. The less they felt like it, the more they made themselves do it.
Many people with the fixed mindset understand that their cloak of specialness was really a suit or armor they built to feel safe, strong, and worthy. While it may have protected them early on, later it constricted their growth, sent them into self-defeating battles, and cut them off from satisfying, mutual relationships.


  • The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.
  • According to Benjamin barber, an eminent sociologist: I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures…I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.
  • Jim Marshall, a former defensive player for the Minnesota Vikings said after his touchdown but ran the worng way and scored for the wrong team: If you make a mistake, you got to make it right. I realized I had a choice. I could sit in my misery or I could do something about it. Pulling himself together for the second half, he played some of his best football ever and contributed to his team’s victory.
  • John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach says you aren’t a failure until you start to blame. What he means is that you can still be in the process id learning from your mistakes until you deny them.
  • When people believe their basic qualities can be develpoed, failures may still hurt but failures don’t define them. And if abilities can be expanded-if change and growth are possible-then there are still many paths to success.
  • A down-and-out nation saw Seabiscuit, the horse and rider as a symbol of what could be accomplished through grit and spirit.
  • Nadja Salerno-Sonnenburg, a violinist said “You have to work hardest for the things you love most. And when its music you love, you’re in for the fight of your life.”
  • Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. People tell that they start to catch themselves when are in the throes of the fixed mindset- passing up a chance for learning, feeling labeled by a failure, or getting deiscouraged when something requires a lot of effort. And then they switch themselves into the growth mindset- making sure they take the challenge, learn from the failure, or continue their effort.
  • It’s true that effort is crucial-no one can succeed for long without it-but its certainly not the only thing. People have different resources and opportunitites. For example, people with money have a sefety net. Rich, educated, connected effort works better. Before we judge, lets remember that effort isn’t quite everyhting and that all effort is not created equal.
  • The growth mindset 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.
  • Picture you brain forming new connections as you meet the challenge and learn. Keep on going.
  • In rest of your life, seek constructive criticism.
  • If something in the past has measured you then ask questions like what did I learn from the experience? How can I use it as a basis for growth?
  • Next time you feel low, put yourself in a growth mindset-think about learning, challenge, confronting obstacles. Think about effort as a positive, constructive force, not as a big drag.
  • Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid you weren’t good at? Make a plan to do it.
  • Thmoas Edison was genious but he never stopped being the curious, tinkering boy looking for new challenges.
  • Mozart labored for than ten years until he produces any work that we admire today.
  • Working hard was not something that made you vulnerable, but something that made you smarter.
  • Prodigies or not, we all have interests that can blossom into abilities.
  • After 40 years of research on school learning Mr. Benjamin Bloom, an eminent educational researcher’s conclusion is: What any person in the world can learn, almost all persons can learn, if provided with appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.
  • Never underestimate that you cannot be an artist as art is not drawing skills but seeing skills. They are the ability to perceive edges, spaces, relationships, lights and shadows and the whole.
  • Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn’t mean that others can’t do it with training.
  • See failure not as a sign of stupidity but as lack of experience and skill.
  • Do not label your kids. Remember that you’re not helping them-even though you maybe praising them. Find a growth-minset way to compliment them that is stressing on their hardwork.
  • Physical endowment is not like intellectual endowment. It’s visible. Size, build, agility are all visible. Practice and training are also visible, and they produce visible results.
  • Muhammad Ali, the boxer was not a naturally born boxer or had a physical endowment but had a growth mindset. His physical performances in the ring were absolutely wrong…yet his brain was always in perfect working condition. He used opponents fixed mindset thinking and made it to work against them. He showed us all that all victories come from here hitting his forhead with his index finger. Then he raised a pair of fists saying not from here. His famous quote:
Float like a butterfly,
Sting like a bee
Your hands cant hit
What your eyes can’t see.
  • Michael Jordan, the famous basketball player is a genious who constantly wants to upgrade his genius. His famous quote which he always believed in it is “The mental toughness and the heart are a lot stronger than some of the physical advantages you might have.”
  • Wilma Rudolph the fast woman on earth who won three gold medals for sprints and relay in 1969 was far from a physical wonder as a youngster. She was a prematue baby, the twentieth of twent two children born to her parents and a constant sick child. At four years of age, she nearly died of a long struggle with double pneumonia, fever and polio, emerging with a mostly paralyzed leg. Doctors gave her little help using it again. For eight years, she vigorously pursued physical therapy until at age twelve, she shed her leg brace and bagan to walk normally. After her incredible career, she said, “I just wanted to be remembered as a hardworking lady.”
  • Billie Jean King – The mark of a champion is the ability to win when things are not quite right.
  • Many famous people with growth mindset had character. None of them thought they were special people born with the right to win. They were people who worked hard, who learned how to keep their focus under pressure, and who stretched beyond their ordinary abilities when they had to.
  • Character is what allows you to reach the top and stay there.
  • Always remind yourself that famous sportsman had character more than ability.
  • To be successful in sports, you need to learn techniques and skills and practice them regularly.
  • The great leaders said they didn’t set out to be leaders. They’d had no interest in proving themselves. They just did what they loved-with tremendous drive and enthusiasm-and it led where it led.
  • Tue self-confidence is the courage to be open-to welcome change and new ideas regardless of their source.
  • John Gottman, a foremost relationsip researcher: “Every marriage demands on effort to keep it on the right track; there is a constant tension…between the forces that hold you together and those that can tear you apart.”
  • There are no great relationships without conflicts and problems along the way. The trick is to acknowledge each other’s limitations, and build from there.
  • My partner is incapable of change. Nothing can improve our relationship. These ideas are almost always wrong.
  • They are many good ways to support our partners or show interst in their lives but by not competing or surpassing them and proving that you are good at his misery and failure.
  • Everyone has virtues and foibles, and that, really, if you looked only for perfect people, your social circle would be impoverished.
  • Your failures and misfortunes don’t threaten other people’s self-esteem. Ego wise, its easy to be sympathetic to someone in need, Its your assets and your successes that are problems for people who dervie their self-esteem from being superior.
  • Its not that bullies are low in self-esteem, but judging and demeaning others can give them a self-esteem rush.
  • Every word or an action sends a message to kid -  either with a fixed mindset you can say-you have permanent traits and I’m judging them or it can be a growth mindset message that says you are a developing person and I am interested in your development.
  • In France, when they’re nice to you, you feel like you’ve passed a test, but in Italy, there is no test.
  • Praising childrens intelligence harms their motivation and it harms their performance.
  • Praise should not deal with the child’s personality attributes but with his efforts and achievements.
  • Skills and acheievement come through commitment and effort.
  • If you give some assignment to work on for your kid and if he/she does in jiffy say “Whoops. I guess that was too easy. I apologize for wasting your time. Let’s do something you can really learn from.”
  • Say to your kid: If this is something you really want, then its soemthing you’ll really have to work for.
  • Whatever your child wants to become, let him become but you can foster him by giving ideas but don’t expect them to turn the way you want them to be. This shows that you can have superinvolved parents who still foster the childs growth rather than replacing it with their own pressure and judgements.
  • A successful student is one whose primary goal is to expand theur knowledge and their ways of thinking and investigating the world.
  • How to change yourself from fixed to growth: The new beliefs take their place alongside the old ones and as they become stronger they give you a different way to think and act. When you learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger.
  • When your boss/teacher criticizes you, you should change your mindset and that they are not criticizing you but your work and it is their job and your job is to learn from the critique and make your work even better.
  • Opening yourself up to growth makes you more yourself, not less.
  • If you have goal to achieve, intense vowing to yourself won’t help. So the idea is not only to make a growth-mindset plan, but also to visualize, in a concrete way, how you’re going to carry it out. The critical thing is to make a concrete, growth-oriented plan, and to stick to it.
  • When a relationship goes soar, these are the issues we all need to explore in depth, not to judge ourselves for what went wrong, but to overcome our fears and learn the communication skills we’ll need to build and maintain better relationships in the future. Ultimately, a growth mindset allows people to carry forth not judgements and bitterness, but new understanding and new skills.
  • If someone in your life trying to tell you something you’re refusing to hear? Step into the growth mindset and listen again.
  • Some of the questions, you should be asking your child: “What did you learn today?”, “What mistake did you make that taught you something?” “What did you try hard at today?”
  • Discussiions with you child: You talk about skills you have today that you didn’t have yesterday because of the practice you put in. You dramatize mistakes you made that held the key to the solution, telling it like a mistery story. You describer with relish things you’re struggling with and making progress on. Soon the child can’t wait each night to their stories.
  • When your kid boasts about being a champ, you say, “Champs are the people who work the hardest. You can become a champ. Tomorrow tell me something you did to become a champ.”
  • When he does his homework and calls it easy or boring, you teach him to find ways to make it more fun and challenging.
  • You encourage the children to talk about ways they learned to make friends, or ways they’re learning to understand and help others.
  • You want to communicate that feats of intellect or physical prowess are not all you care about.
  • The fixed mindset is so very tempting. It seems to promise children a lifetime of worth, success and admiration just for sitting there and being who they are. That’s why it can take a lot of work to make the growth mindset flourish where the fixed mindset has taken root.
  • When your child behaves unruly- Show respect to his efforts and praise his strategies ehen he was empathic or helpful.
  • When you are in anger over your spouse: First spouses can’t read your mind, so when an anger provoking situation arises, you have to matter-of-factly tell them how it makes you feel, they, inturn can reassure you that they care about how you fell and will try to be more watchful.
  • When you feel yourself losing it, you can learn to leave the room and write down your ugliest thoughts, followed by what is probably really happening. When you feel calm enough, you can return to the situation.
  • Every lapse doesn’t spell doom. It’s like anything else in the growth mindset. It’s a reminder that you’re unfinished human being and a clue to how to do it better next time.
  • Mindset change is not about picking up a few pointers here and there. Its about seeing thing sin a new way. When people-couples, coaches and athletes, managers and workers, parents and childrenm teachers and students-change to a growth mindset, they change from a judge-and-be-judge framework to a learn-and help-learn framework. Their commitment is to growth and growth takes plenty of time, effort, and mutual support.


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