Once a month I’ll be posting my “Coles Notes” version of one of my favourite books that I’ve recently read. Sometimes I may post more, but this is manageable for now. For a full list of all posts click here.

From the amazon description: “In this brilliant book, Dweck shows how success in school, work, sports, the arts, and almost every area of human endeavor can be dramatically influenced by how we approach our goals. People with a fixed mindset—those who believe that abilities are fixed—are far less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and mentorship. Mindset reveals how great parents, teachers, managers, and athletes can put this idea to use to foster outstanding accomplishment.”


July 2017 – Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success – Carol Dweck

  • The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life
  • Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better? Why hide deficiencies instead of overcoming them? Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow? And why seek out the tried and true, instead of experiences that will stretch you? 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.
  • Never stop trying to be qualified for the job
  • In short, when people believe in fixed traits, they are always in danger of being measured by a failure. It can define them in a permanent way. Smart or talented as they may be, the fixed mindset robs them of their coping resources.
  • When people believe their basic qualities can be developed, failure may still hurt, but failures don’t define them. And if abilities can be expanded, than there are still many paths to success.
  • People with the growth mindset believe something very different. For them, eve geniuses have to work hard for their achievements. And what’s so heroic, they would say, about having a gift? They may appreciate endowment, but they admire effort, for no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.
  • It’s all about what you want to look back and say. You can look back and say “I could have been…”, polishing your unused endowments like trophies. Or, you can look back and say “I gave my all for the things I valued”. Think about what you want to look back and say. Then choose your mindset.
  • Most often people believe that the “gift” is the ability itself. Yet what feeds it is that constant, endless curiosity and challenge seeking.
  • With his growth mindset, he asked how can I teach them? Not can I teach them; and how will they learn best? not can they learn?
  • Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn’t mean that others can’t do it, and perhaps even better, with training…many people with the fixed mindset may be “naturals” but no one remembers the naturals, we remember those who grind
  • Think of times other people outdid you and you just assumed they were smarter or more talented. Now consider the idea that they just used better strategies, taught themselves more, practiced harder, and worked their way through obstacles. You can do that too, if you want to.
  • Are there situations where you get stupid – where you disengage your intelligence? Next time you’re in one of those situations, get yourself into a growth mindset – think about learning and improvement, not judgment, – and hook it back up.
  • Unfortunately, people often like the things that work against their growth…people like to use their strengths to achieve quick, dramatic results, even if they aren’t developing the new skills they will need later on. People like to believe that they are as good as everyone says and not take their weaknesses as seriously as they might. People don’t like to hear bad news or criticism…there is tremendous risk in  leaving what one does well to attempt to master something new.
  • Where do you think you’re vulnerable? Focus there…
  • Most people, even those in senior positions, are content to simply do their jobs rather than making themselves into leaders…
May you continue to cultivate the joy of giving, by cultivating a growth mindset.