Mindset is written by Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. It’s a deep examination of how what you believe about your potential for growth will ultimately affect the outcome of your life. This is your mindset. Do you have a growth or fixed mindset?

The basic premise of the book is covered quickly and succinctly. There are two types of mindset in the world, the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. Which of these you have, will determine how successful you will be in all areas of your life. If that’s true (and Dweck puts up a good argument) then we should probably all look at how we use this knowledge to improve our lives.

“It’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.” Carol S. Dweck

Fixed vs Growth Mindset

So what is the fixed mindset? This is the idea that some people believe their current qualities, intelligence for example, are fixed traits. They believe that talent is the only factor in how successful a person is and will be.

A growth mindset is the opposite of that.  People with growth mindsets believe that their abilities can be improved through study, dedication and hard work. They believe that while you may have some innate talent, that in itself will not guarantee success.

“No matter what your current ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.” Carol S. Dweck

By having a growth mindset you are willing and excited to learn and improve yourself. By having a fixed mindset, you believe you are stuck where you are, and things cannot improve.

Your future depends on your mindset

Throughout the book Dweck examines lives of various people of varying degrees of success. She examines how the mindsets impact athletes, business leaders, relationships and parenting.  And it constantly comes back to the same answer. If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that your current position in whatever situation – be it growing as a leader or becoming a better parent – is not going to improve.

If however you have the growth mindset, you can learn and improve in anything you desire.  That’s a powerful concept and firmly puts complete control of your future in your hands.

Carol Dweck Mindset TEDTalk

I found the concepts in this book invaluable in refocusing my own mind on what I wanted to become better at in my life.  That in itself is a powerful tool to have at your disposal.

After reading this, I wanted to improve myself in many different aspects, but didn’t feel powerless to make that happen. It reinvigorated my love of learning and reading and helped me kick on to the next level.  It added another dimension to the tools I use to help my children learn and be the best they can be.  It provided an insight into the spark that give people grit to keep going when all seems lost.

This is a book that I feel everyone should read to understand the powerful message contained within.  I think it’s something we all know on an intrinsic level – that we can learn anything – but we forget. We must have known at some point, we wouldn’t be walking, talking or reading this if you hadn’t learnt how.  So if all you take away from this book is that you can learn a bit more to get just a bit better, then it did it’s job and you won.

Two Mindsets Infographic

Fixed vs Growth Mindset