Mindset

Carol S. Dweck

★★★★★


Not only weren’t they discouraged by failure, they didn’t even think they were failing. They thought they were learning.

Robert Sternberg, the present-day guru of intelligence, writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise “is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement” Or, as his forerunner Binet recognized, it’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.

For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life.

Believing that your qualities are carved in stone - the fixed mindset - creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over. If you have only a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, and a certain moral character - well, then you’d better prove that you have a healthy dose of them. It simply wouldn’t do to look or feel deficient in these most basic characteristics.

There’s another mindset in which these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself and others that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tens.

In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are thing you can cultivate through your efforts. Although people may differ in every which way - in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments - everyone can change and grow through application and experience.

Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them?

The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even whan it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset.


You have a choice. Mindsets are just beliefs. They’re powerful beliefs, but they’re just something in your mind, and you can change your mind.

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.

Becoming is better than being. The fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming. They have to already be.

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 of learning from your mistakes until you deny them.


What distinguished the thriving companies from the others?

They were self-effacing people who constantly asked questions and had the ability to confront the most brutal answers - that is, to look failures in the face, even their own, while maintaining faith that they would succeed in the end.

They are constantly trying to improve. They surround themselves with the most able people they can find, they look squarely at their own mistakes and deficiencies, and they ask frankly what skills they and the company will need in the future. And because of this, they can move forward with confidence that’s grounded in the facts, not build on fantasies about their talent.