This book is about two ideas: growth mindset and fixed mindset.
The fixed Mindset is believing that your qualities are carved in stone and you cannot change them.The fixed mindset creates an urgency to prove themselves over and over. Binet, a Frenchman summarizes his work with hundreds of children with learning difficulties as follows: A few modern philosophers assert that an individual’s intelligence is a fixed quantity, a quantity which cannot be increased.He said, we must protest and react against this brutal pessimism. With practice, training, and above all, method, we can manage to increase our attention, our memory, our judgment and literally to become more intelligent than we were before.
The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. 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. Do people with growth mindset mindset believe that anyone can be anything, that anyone with proper motivation or education can become Einstein or Beethoven? No, but they believe that a person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable); that it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training. The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.
Did you know that Darwin and Tolstoy were considered ordinary children? That Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time, was completely uncoordinated and graceless as a child? That the photographer Cindy Sherman, who has been on virtually every list of the most important artists of the twentieth century, failed her first photography course? That Geraldine Page, one of our greatest actresses, was advised to give it up for lack of talent? Benjamin Barber, an eminent political theorist, once said, “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 non-learners.
Example of fixed and growth mindset
An example to demonstrate the idea of fixed mindset and growth mindset : One day, you go to a class that is really important to you and that you like a lot. The professor returns the midterm papers to the class. You got a D. You’re very disappointed. That evening on the way back to your home, you find that you’ve gotten a parking ticket. Being really frustrated, you call your best friend to share your experience but are sort of brushed off”
This is what people withfixed mindset said: “I’d feel like a reject.” “I’m a total failure.” “I’m an idiot.” “I’m a loser.” “I’d feel worthless and dumb—everyone’s better than me.” “I’m slime.” In other words, they’d see what happened as a direct measure of their competence and worth. “My life is pitiful.” “I have no life.” “Somebody upstairs doesn’t like me.” “The world is out to get me.” “Someone is out to destroy me.” “Nobody loves me, everybody hates me.” “Life is unfair and all efforts are useless.” “Life stinks. I’m stupid.
This is what people with growth mindset will say: ”“I need to try harder in class, be more careful when parking the car, and wonder if my friend had a bad day. So, have growth mindset, learn and learn, keeps learning untill you succced.