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Mindset by Carol Dueck

About the book:

Carol Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford University, presents her research on two thinking patterns, the growth and fixed mindsets, which have a strong influence on the way people behave, their self-esteem, and their attitude towards challenging situations.

Growth-minded people are those who acknowledge that all skills can be acquired, only through practice. These include artistic, mathematical, and physical skills.

Takeaways and Paths of Action:

1) Be aware and share the message.

Intelligence is something you need to work for; it is not given to you. Success is not about proving you're smart, it is about learning.

This is not very specific nor applicable. However, I do think that being aware that we are born knowing close to nothing but can learn anything through practice and concentration is very important. We should share this message with friends and family.

2) Be a good loser.

With an open mind, look at people who are doing better than you or people that you admire. Try to learn from them. Talk to these people, if appropriate, and ask how they prepared to accomplish their goals.

3) Shy? Anxious? It is just lack of practice.

Social skills can be learned just like any other skill.

If you're shy, think about social interactions as opportunities for improving your skills. These interactions are not for judgement but for learning and enjoyment. Also, look at people that are "naturally social" and talk to them, learn from them. They were probably in your shoes long ago.

4) Help your willpower

Fixed-minded people think that they "must" be capable of achieving without extra help or motivation. "If Steve Jobs could meditate for hours, I should be able to do it too." Not so fast! You'll get there but start small. Get some help from yourself or from others. Here are some examples:

Don’t expect you to stop eating junk food just because that's what you want. Help yourself by not buying it in the first place.

If you want to start exercising, ask a friend to come with you or set a reminder that will tell you exactly when and how.

If you wanna improve your grades, make a study plan.

5) You either go forward or backward. Go forward.

It’s not like you get something right and you’re good for life. If you stop trying hard, you’ll get back to your old bad habits. For instance, if you have started to lose weight or to master a new subject, this won't continue by itself. You need to keep trying. Keep your incentives and tricks or adapt them, and try to get even better.

Favourite quote:

"You either go one way or the other [improving or getting worse], you might as well be the one deciding the direction" - Alex Rodriguez


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