Defining success has always been a hot topic among driven professionals. With libraries filled with books on success by every year’s most successful CEO, Business President, Musician, etc, the topic has been approached in many ways, but mostly centered on the idea of working harder than everyone else, sacrificing more of ___(fill in the blank)___ than anyone else is willing to.
In Mindset, world-renowned Stanford University psychologist, Carol Dweck, Ph.D., targets the motivation behind successful people and those who are not yet successful, finding that it all came down to a person’s (you guessed it) mindset. Through her extensive research, Dweck has found that a person’s mindset can be described as fitting into one of two categories; a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Throughout the book, Dweck uses many experiments and case studies as examples to define both mindsets, from studies of children in learning environments to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and even several examples in the world of competitive athletics.
The prose of the book is written with the average person in mind, leaving out technical jargon and other meaningless information, while focusing on the real meat of the issue. In addition, the material is presented in a thorough and systematic way, providing the reader with plenty of examples of both the fixed and growth mindsets, allowing the concepts to be understood. At the end of every chapter, there is also a summary of the topics discussed, as well as a “Grow Your Mindset” section where you can mull over some of the questions, asked by the author to, as the title suggests, turn your mindset into a growth-centered one.
Quite honestly, if you would describe yourself as a life-long learner, having a growth centered mindset, you can get a lot out of this book. On the contrary, if you feel this book may be overly-critical, useless and “another self-help book,” you may be what Carol Dweck describes as a person with a fixed mindset.
Unfortunately, because of it’s widespread influence on culture and everyday life, as well as it’s simplistic idea, the majority of the book can feel extremely repetitive, going through a long list of case studies and examples with similar (and predictable) results.
This book really should be on your shelf if you are looking to become a teacher, athlete, musician, inventor, business executive, or even just a well-rounded, growing individual. The many examples in this book give the reader ample material to study their own life habits and situations, ultimately aiding in long-term improvement.