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Book Review

Book cover for Mindset


Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?

Mindset is about two main kinds of Mindsets that people seem to have. A Fixed Mindset is where you believe that you are born with fixed abilities, and you either talented in something or not (hence flawed). How well that you fare with a skill is determined by your innate talents. You have limited or a fixed potential. Think of people saying that they are not good with math or art. They accept their current state of knowledge as their permanent state. In a Fixed Mindset, you shy away from challenges, and you identify with your success and failures. You are afraid of being vulnerable.

A Growth Mindset is a belief that we have an unknowable potential. It is the belief that our abilities are not fixed and can be cultivated through effort. We have the potential to improve and change almost every aspect of our nature. What kind of mindset you have affects a lot of aspects of your life. In the Growth mindset, you welcome challenges and effort. It is not about the outcome but the process. You do not identify with your success or failure.

Two ideas stood out to me in this book. First of all, the book talks about the benefits of having a Growth Mindset but acknowledges that you can’t have that mindset in every aspect of your life. There will be areas in your life where you would be content to accept things as they are. After all, you can’t focus on improving everything. It is a trade-off. And that is OK as long as what you accept doesn’t affect the quality of your life.

The second idea follows the first one. You can have a Growth Mindset in one area of your life and have a Fixed Mindset in other areas without even realizing it. The Fixed Mindset is some sort of protection that we develop to protect us from being vulnerable, but it also prevents us from growing. The book shows you how to identify the manifestation of a Fixed Mindset and tools to fight it off.