In psychology circles, "growth mindset" is all the rage. It's a school of thought (that some disagree with) that can enable you to do get more results in your life. It's not as blindly optimistic as positive thinking, and more inward-looking than purely practical methods like to-do lists. In her new book, Mindset, psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck about how to cultivate this way of thinking.
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Growth mindset is the difference between telling your kid "You're so smart!" and "You're so hard-working!" One of them instills a solid work ethic and teaches that hard work pays off, while the other teaches that they can probably relax a bit because their natural abilities will carry them. The idea is that no matter how naturally talented you are, the person with the solid work ethic is the one who gets things done.
As I mentioned, not everyone is on board. But that's the funny thing about it -- whether you're in agreement about the science of growth mindset or not, it's undeniably a positive thing. I can't hurt, and you'll probably do better because of it. What's up for debate is if you'll do better than someone with a naturally high talent for that activity, but... Who cares about that person, right? Let's worry about our own success.
Dweck's book deals with what she calls fixed and growth mindsets. As you can guess, one of those is more beneficial than the other. The coolest part about it is we have complete control over it. You can check out an interview with Dweck below, with some actionable tips:
There's also a TED talk available if you want to see her in action.