Friday, October 21, 2016

Review of "Mindset" by Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. - How We Can Learn To Fulfill Our Potential

I have found Dr. Carol Dweck's book, "Mindset," to be so helpful that I have recommended it to dozens of individuals over the past few weeks. This psychologist begins with a simple premise that has arisen from her research and that of her colleagues.  Most individuals approach life with either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. The book is filled with practical examples of how someone with a fixed mindset can sabotage himself and remain stuck in a static place. A child scores well on math exams and determines that she is very smart.  That identity as a "smart person" is reinforced with praise from teachers and parents.  But when she bumps up against more complex math challenges that she is not able to immediately master, she panics.  Instead of rising to the challenge and working to learn the new material, she retreats in fear that her identity as a math whiz is being challenged. She may withdraw from the field of math or begin cheating to maintain her self-image as a math superstar.

The author gives many examples of how a growth mindset allows a person to view challenges and difficulties as opportunities to grow and to be stretched.  Vignettes about of how individuals have developed a growth mindset and applied it in parenting, leading a business, deepening relationships.  The power of these examples is amplified by the author's transparency in sharing that she has had to teach herself to move beyond a fixed mindset to a growth mindset in several areas of her life - both personal and professional.

This book offers great value to anyone who values becoming comfortable with being a lifelong learner.



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