‘Mindset’ Review: The next book you should read

Estimated Reading Time: 1 minute, 57s.

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Brief Synopsis / Review

Mindset is a damn good book, and you should read it.

The major crux of the book is that there are two kind of people in this world: those that have a ‘fixed’ mindset, and those that have a ‘growth’ mindset.

People who have a fixed mindset think their intelligence is, well, fixed, and they care the most about looking smart. They avoid challenges (because they might lead to failure), give up easily (because setbacks might hurt their self-image), and see hard work and effort as a waste, because they think they’re either talented enough to do something or they’re not.

Folks that have a growth mindset see their intelligence as malleable – they see their mind as something that can be developed, and they have an intense desire to learn. They embrace challenges, persist against setbacks, and see hard work as a chance to get better at something.

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In her research, Carol Dweck found that the only thing that separates people who succeed from those who don’t is whether or not they have a growth mindset. This book is about that mindset, and how you can learn it and use it. The book sounds a bit corny on the surface, but when you dive in, it’s entertaining, fun, practical, and definitely worth your time. You should read this book.

What you’ll get out of it

  • An understanding of the impact growth and fixed mindsets have on your performance, as well as how they impact athletes, businesses, relationships, and kids. This book isn’t hippy-dippy; it references science all the way through, and is the result of over 30 years of research by the author.
  • The ability to recognize a growth in yourself and the people around you (including your kids and employees).
  • Ideas on how to transform your fixed mindset into a growth mindset. (Most people are a combination of both – ‘fixed’ in some areas, and ‘growth’ in others.)

Will it make you more productive?

  • Yes. The book is both practical and tactical, and it will give you a deep understanding of how your mindset effects your success and productivity.

Tips

  • After giving an overview of both mindsets, Dweck dives into how mindset works into the worlds of sport, business, relationships, and parenting. All of these chapters are entertaining, but if you’re in a time crunch, you won’t miss anything huge if you skip the sections that don’t apply to you.

 

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Two other books I’ve written a review of recently: The Power of Habit, and RAPT. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Message me!
  • Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the review, I really like breakdown in scoring of different categories. There are of course plenty of “good” books that will not help you be productive and of course plenty of books that could make you more productive but may be impractical.

    Did you have a particular section that you recommend of Dweck’s book? I read it in a similar manner as you suggest, cherry picking chapters that fit my need at the moment, and I found it primarily to be recaps of research in support of the growth mindset, but largely lacking tactics.

    • Hi Thai – thanks a lot! I’m afraid I can’t be of much help for your question – I read Mindset a couple of months ago, and a section doesn’t stick out in my memory (I picked up the book from the library, so I don’t have it on hand to look through). From what I recall the tactics for adopting a growth mindset were scattered throughout the book, and I think there may have been some tactics at the end also. I hope that helps a little!

      • Thanks for the info. I think that Mindset just wasn’t for me. Personally I feel I learned a lot more in a lot less time by looking at Dweck’s other work, namely articles and peer reviewed research. Can Personality Be Changed? The Role of Beliefs in Personality and Change (PDF Link) is a great overview as well as a springboard with citations and recommended reading.

        • Awesome, I’ll give it a read! I agree that the book might not be for everyone. Particularly if you’ve read the academic research on having the right mindset, I think the book wouldn’t be as fresh or valuable.

          If you didn’t pull too many nuggets from it, I wrote another article on developing a growth mindset here: http://alifeofproductivity.com/transform-your-mindset/ It might be too general of an overview, though :)

  • Hey Chris,

    Thanks for the review, I really like breakdown in scoring of different categories. There are of course plenty of “good” books that will not help you be productive and of course plenty of books that could make you more productive but may be impractical.

    Did you have a particular section that you recommend of Dweck’s book? I read it in a similar manner as you suggest, cherry picking chapters that fit my need at the moment, and I found it primarily to be recaps of research in support of the growth mindset, but largely lacking tactics.

    • Hi Thai – thanks a lot! I’m afraid I can’t be of much help for your question – I read Mindset a couple of months ago, and a section doesn’t stick out in my memory (I picked up the book from the library, so I don’t have it on hand to look through). From what I recall the tactics for adopting a growth mindset were scattered throughout the book, and I think there may have been some tactics at the end also. I hope that helps a little!

      • Thanks for the info. I think that Mindset just wasn’t for me. Personally I feel I learned a lot more in a lot less time by looking at Dweck’s other work, namely articles and peer reviewed research. Can Personality Be Changed? The Role of Beliefs in Personality and Change (PDF Link) is a great overview as well as a springboard with citations and recommended reading.

        • Awesome, I’ll give it a read! I agree that the book might not be for everyone. Particularly if you’ve read the academic research on having the right mindset, I think the book wouldn’t be as fresh or valuable.

          If you didn’t pull too many nuggets from it, I wrote another article on developing a growth mindset here: http://ayearofproductivity.com/transform-your-mindset/ It might be too general of an overview, though :)

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