Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success Book Club Review

As part of a new initiative at work we have begun a book club in which once a week we read (at least one) chapter of a book and sit down as a development team and have an open discussion on the content, what it means to each of us and how we can use it to better ourselves.

The first book we chose for book club is the famous book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This book was featured in Bill Gates' list of favourite books from 2015, and is highly recommended by many other successful business and sportsmen alike.

This book introduces the concept that will be familiar to most - that there are two approaches (or "mindsets") that a person can have towards anything in life. These mindsets are grouped under each "fixed" or "growth".

Throughout the opening of the book Dweck gives us some background on the psychology behind both of these mindsets, and then goes on to give us examples so that we ourselves can begin to identify and relate to instances where we have each mindset.

She goes on to tell us that people have fixed or growth mindsets in different areas of their lives, and people aren't simply one or the other. So let me explain in some detail how she categorises the mindsets.

Fixed Mindset

  • Avoids challenges
  • Gives up easily
  • See's effort as fruitless
  • Ignores constructive criticism
  • Feels threatened by others success

Growth Mindset

  • Embraces changes
  • Persists in the face of setbacks
  • Sees effort as a stepping stone on the way to mastery
  • Learns from feedback
  • Finds lessons and inspiration in others success

As you can see clearly from the list above having a "Growth Mindset" is portrayed as the desired approach to any and everything in life. Of course we cannot be always willing to fail, take risks and be incredibly motivated in all areas of life, otherwise we will simply get burned out.

Dweck encourages us to identify which areas of our lives we have each mindset and helps us to become mindful of that. For me personally I find it easy to have a growth mindset in the areas in which I am naturally talented or skilled in, as it's easier to see results and I simply have more chance of success.

One of the great points I personally took from studying this book was to try and be mindful of when I was having a fixed approach to a problem or situation

Instead of saying I can't do something instead say I choose not to

This for me was a very powerful way of convincing myself that if the task I want to do was important that I would find a way to do it. Half the time it also gets me to change my mind and to complete the task as I realise that I can in fact complete the task and it's laziness or some other excuse for why I think I "cant"

I'm still going through this book and I may post a follow up post in the near future.

Strongly recommend this book to all and it's one of those books that you need to take the time and think about the content over a period of time, and discuss it with like-minded people to get the best value!

You can get a copy of the book here Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.