Book Club – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
This month the Maniacs discussed Dr. Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This book is a guide to help people understand the difference between fixed mindsets and growth mindsets then use that understanding to move between the two to achieve success in their lives.
If a person has a fixed mindset, they are under the impression that a person’s abilities are given at birth and relatively unchangeable. They compare themselves with others, have a hard time receiving criticism, give up easily, and are critical of the success of others. A person with a growth mindset, according to Dweck, has a desire to learn, embraces challenges, is persistent in the face of setbacks and is focused on effort over outcome. People range between the two mindsets and can also have a different mindset for different parts of their lives (personal, career, art, sports, etc).
The Maniacs had a lively discussion about the concept of mindset, how we see it affecting our own lives, and the lives of our clients. Overall, we agreed that mindset can have a big impact on the way we view our life events, though some of us struggled to embrace whole-heartedly the idea that with enough effort anyone will be successful. Some parts of success, ultimately, are up to luck and timing, and no amount of effort can change this.
Since many of the Maniacs are parents, there was a lot of discussion about the effects of focusing on a child’s effort over the outcome of their effort in sports and school. However, we wondered what the implications of mindset are for those that struggle with executive function deficits, ADHD, other brain-based conditions, or challenges such as depression or bipolar disorder. What happens when you don’t have enough control over your own mind to change how it is set?