How much does your mindset affect your life? According to Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, your mindset can make the difference between excellence and mediocrity. There are two types of mindsets, a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. Those with a fixed mindset believe that things are the way the are and that nothing can be done to change it; they have no control. Those with a growth mindset believe that they’re in full control of their life and perceive challenges as an opportunity. To push yourself further in life, develop a growth mindset. Points taken away from the book:
1. We all have the capacity to learn and grow more than we believe. “Scientists are learning that people have more capacity for lifelong learning and brain development than they ever thought. Of course, each person has a unique genetic endowment. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training, and personal effort take them the rest of the way.”
2. If you consistently challenge yourself to get to the next level, you’ll soon become unstoppable. If everyday you just ask yourself, “What is one thing that I can do today to be better than yesterday?”, you’ll see a great improvement over time. “Mia Hamm, the greatest female soccer star of her time, says it straight out. ‘All my life I’ve been playing up, meaning I’ve challenged myself with players older, bigger, more skillful, more experienced-in short, better than me.’ First she played with her older brother. Then at ten, she joined the eleven-year-old boys’ team. Then she threw herself into the number one college team in the United States. ‘Each day I attempted to play up to their level…and I was improving faster than I ever dreamed possible.'”
3. Don’t listen to those who tell you that you “can’t” do something if you believe in something that strongly. “In 1995, Christopher Reeve, the actor, was thrown from a horse. His neck was broken, his spinal cord was severed from his brain, and he was completely paralyzed below the neck. Medical science said, So sorry. Come to terms with it. Reeve, however, started a demanding exercise program that involved moving all parts of his paralyzed body with the help of electrical stimulation. Why couldn’t he learn to move again? Why couldn’t his brain once again give commands that his body would obey? Doctors warned that he was in denial and was setting himself up for disappointment. They had seen this before and it was a bad sign for his adjustment. But, really, what else was Reeve doing with his time? Was there a better project? Five years later, Reeve started to regain movement. First it happened in his hands, then his arms, then legs, and then torso. He was far from cured, but brain scans showed that his brain was once more sending signals to his body that the body was responding to. Not only did Reeve stretch his abilities, he changed the entire way science thinks about the nervous system and its potential for recovery.”
4. The way you talk to your children may have unintended effects of them developing a fixed mindset. “It’s not that growth-minded parents indulge and coddle their children. Not at all. They set high standards, but they teach the children how to reach them. They say no, but it’s a fair, thoughtful, and respectful no.Next time you’re in a position to discipline, ask yourself, What is the message I’m sending here: I will judge and punish you? Or I will help you think and learn?”
By Ryan Lee
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