First, I want to clarify, this is a summary of the main concepts of the book and not a recommendation to read it. If you work as a teacher, coach, or are a parent it may be a great resource, but that does not mean you will enjoy reading it. The book has a lot of references and is informational not entertainment. My goal here is to provide a summary of the information provided and not make a judgement on whether you will enjoy it yourself (although I did).
Mindset is written by world renowned psychologist Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D. Here is a link to a TED talk she gave. It is a book about how our perceptions of our ability effects the effort we exert to change them. Essentially, Dweck believes we either perceive our ability is fixed, which Dweck calls having a “fixed mindset” meaning we can’t change it, or we believe we can improve our ability if we want to which she labels a “growth mindset”. We can have a “fixed mindset” in some areas and a “growth mindset” in others.
Dr. Dweck discusses studies in which some participants are encouraged by praising the results or outcome of a task while others are praised for the effort that they put into the task regardless of the outcome. The results are quite eye opening. Those praised for results generally do not improve from their current ability, or display an honest effort to improve, while those praised for the effort they display show further growth and increased effort.
From personal experience there is a misconception that high achievers are “just talented”. Yes, some high achievers are talented or predisposed to be good at a specific task, but they also generally work hard with their talent to achieve success. The more talent a person possesses determines how fast they may improve if they put effort into a specific task, but continued effort is required for further improvement. Unskilled eyes just see the result and not the enormous amount of time and effort that went into that success.
Dweck’s work focuses on how to promote a “growth mindset” that hopefully leads to long term success. At Integrity Performance we are specifically concerned with our members long term success in health and fitness and therefore this research has directly influenced what we value.
MINDSET CONSISTENCY EFFORT