“Mindset” Review

As I mentioned in my previous post “Mindset, The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck was one of the, if not THE most transformative books I have ever read.  I would encourage every man woman and child who wants to achieve, teach, coach or parent to read this book.

It all started when she was a young researcher.  She was obsessed with how people dealt with failure and decided to study children and how they dealt with hard problems.  She encountered responses that baffled and shocked her.  Some of the children said things like “I love a challenge” and “I was hoping this would be informative”!  She thought to herself “What is wrong with these kids”  Lol.  There is something very different about them.

She had always believed that you either coped with failure or you didn’t cope with failure.  She never thought anyone loved failure.  “Somehow they knew that human qualities such as intellectual skills, could be cultivated through effort.  And that’s what they were doing.  Getting smarter.  Not only weren’t they discouraged by failure, they didn’t even think they were failing!  They thought they were learning.  They thought they were learning!  Wow!  What a concept!  They weren’t failing…they were learning!  As I write this, I am staggered by the power of this way of thinking.  Can you imagine, if you adopted this view for yourself what you could learn?  What you could accomplish?

She then goes on to explain that in over twenty years of research she’s discovered there are two mindsets.

  • Fixed Mindset – The belief that our qualities are cut in stone.  Fixed.  That you have a certain amount of intelligence, a certain personality, character, charisma etc.  With this mindset you have one goal.  Look smart.  Don’t look dumb.  The problem with this is that it creates one all consuming goal;  proving yourself.  Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality or character.  Every situation is evaluated and judged.  Will I look smart?  Will I look dumb?  Will I succeed or will I fail?  Will I be accepted or rejected?  Will I feel like a winner or a loser?
  • Growth Mindset – This mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.  That you can change and grow through application and experience.  That a persons potential is nearly limitless with the belief that they can learn new skills and grow.  The belief that qualities can be developed, creates a passion for learning.

The differences can be summed up like this,one mindset sees themselves as having fixed ability and has to continually prove it.  The other believes that ability is changeable and can be developed through learning.

When I read the book I started observing my thoughts.  Was I thinking in a fixed or a growth mindset.  Depending on the subject I found out that I used both mindsets, depending on the subject.  But when it came to learning new skills, I clearly had a fixed mindset.  I would procrastinate and avoid sitting down to learn the new skills!  Which was a pattern through my life.  It wasn’t a question of work ethic.  If I knew what I was doing, I would work all day and all night if need be.  But something new?  Something I was unsure of?  Something I had to learn and knew there would be time wasted and obstacles in trying to figure something out?…Avoidance!!

I had a great conversation recently with my carpet cleaner walnutcreekcarpetcleaning.net.  He had read the book and he talked about how the book had completely changed his business.  That he realized that marketing was something he didn’t know very well and finally hired someone to do marketing for him and it paid for itself many times over.  But before he did, he had to admit to himself that marketing wasn’t his forte.  He wasn’t very good at it.  He was good in front of the customer but he needed help getting in front of the customer.  He could learn those skills or hire someone to do it for him.  But he had to admit to himself that he didn’t want to learn it.  He also said learning a growth mindset helped in adding more services to his business.  In the past he was hesitant because he knew he wasn’t good at certain things because he hadn’t done it.  But then he started looking at each potential new job as a learning opportunity and priced jobs just to get the job so he could practice the new skills.  Taking a long term view of profits down the road instead of low profit margins now.  He’s now learned several new skills which are now very profitable for him.

The bottom line is that if you develop a growth mindset and realize that learning new skills are filtered with obstacles for everyone when they start, it removes the fear of being judged as no good.  That you are learning and growing.  And that if you can see yourself as growing, the immediate result does not matter.  We all know that getting good at something you weren’t good at before feels amazingly good.  An accomplishment you can be proud of.  Perseverance builds self esteem like nothing else can.  I encourage you to pick up the book.  It might just allow you to reach farther then you’d ever thought possible.  And that my friends is a goal worth striving for!


One of the most transformative, insightful books I’ve ever read is called “Mindset The New Psychology of Success” by Carol Dweck”.  Ms. Dweck is an accomplished professor and researcher specializing in the psychology of “success” and “failure”.  But before I get into the book and how it can change your life (and I believe it can), I want to give you a little background on how i came across this groundbreaking book.

I have personally always been trying to figure out why people do what they do.  Why some people become successful and others don’t achieve their full potential.  For me it started in college when I was first exposed to psychology.  It gave me the first glimpse through a window into myself and why I routinely acted in a self destructive way.  Learning basic psychology was like puling the curtain back on a completely unknown world to me of the subconscious mind and internal motivations that were previously completely unknown.  That led to a lifelong interest in learning and digging into my own mind.  A rabbit hole with an unbelievable complex labyrinth underneath the surface.  Through the years I read many books on psychology, success and achievement.  I also bought personal development courses and went to many seminars trying to unlock the “secrets” to success.

As the years rolled on, started several small businesses believing I had what it took to run a successful business.  I eked out a sparse existence running these businesses.  Never able to take any of them to the next level.  I couldn’t figure out why.  I was smart.  I THOUGHT I believed in myself and had the ability to do so much more than I was doing.  After many tries’ I noticed a pattern had developed.  At the beginning I was motivated and excited.  I would start to learn about the new thing I was doing.  I had grand visions of the business I would create and the massive amounts of money that would inevitably roll in.  And I would get to a certain level of sustainability (eke out an existence) and then I would end up quitting or moving on to the next thing.  After several attempts, over many years I finally realized that I would hit a wall when…I had to learn new skills I did not already possess in order to grow the business further.  I would learn the skills that interested me but not the one’s that didn’t.  And in business, there are skills needed that aren’t always interesting or fun.  I would come up with a hundred excuses why the business didn’t work.  But the unwillingness to learn new skills always destroyed the business.

Why?  Why would the books I read and the courses I took not had the effect on me that it seemed had on others?  Why, if I believed in Tony Robbins did my businesses not take off?  Why didn’t the information STICK?!  Why didn’t it change me?  Well Carol Dweck had the answer for me.  It was my “Mindset”.

Check back tomorrow for for the life altering review of this amazing book.

For today, believe that you are about to uncover the obstacle that has been holding you back.  Be great.


“Decoding the Mind”

As life has gone on I have been more and more interested in why we do what we do as human beings.  Or even if we have free will at all!  I was always wondering if all the successful people I saw were born to be successful or were they just regular people that grew into their success through something else.  Did they “attract” success into their life through visualizing like in “The Secret”?  Were they born with an abundance of talent that they just capitalized on?  Did they have some secret that no one else knew?  Or were they just regular people like you and me who learned the skills they needed to accomplish their dreams?  The more interviews I saw, the more it stood out that most came from modest backgrounds that believed in either something or themselves.  The BELIEVED that they could do magical things.

I’ve also seen really, really smart people get hung up time and time again.  They were never able to get past the obstacles that inevitably derailed their dreams.  So what is the secret sauce?  That is what this blog is all about.  Trying to decode what are the clues left behind by successful people that we can emulate and go after our dreams!

I recently read a book that was absolutely transformative.  I believe it is one of the most important books ever written when it comes to how to think to be successful and what it is that holds back so many people.  It’s called “Mindset” by Carol Dweck.  In my next post I will get into the details of the book and explain why I think it is one of the most influential books ever written in explaining how mindset really is the key to success in all area’s of your life.