Mindset by Carol Dweck


Category Growth Mindset Fixed Mindset
Talent, intelligence Your basic qualities can be grown with effort, strategy and training. Brain is like a muscle which grows with effort. Potential in any field – business, creative, literary, philosophical, sports grows with effort. Either you have it or you don’t. So they are always trying to prove themselves and are hypersensitive to mistakes or being wrong.
Ability Appreciate the gift but the real deal is to turn it into accomplishment with effort. Pride themselves on raw ability.
Confusion, challenges Is a time for learning, stretching and growing. Obstacle is the way. It is exciting. They dont just seek challenge, they thrive on it. The more the challenge, the more they stretch. Makes them look bad, and feel inadequate like their abilities aren’t good enough, so they avoid these. They shirk, blame, make excuses and cheat. They freeze and avoid the problem. They lose interest.
Compliment Tell me I try hard Tell me I am smart
Others If you succeed, I am inspired. If you succeed, I am threatened and jealous.
Success My effort and attitude determine everything. Success is about stretching yourself and learning and growing. The process of solving problems, tackling important issues is satisfying. They reach the top as a by product of their path. My abilities determine everything. Outcome means everything. If you fail or don’t do well, you have failed. They hunger for the top, and want external validation like a CEO’s title or the Nobel prize as validation of their innate worth. They feel successful when they are flawless and look smart. If you win, you are a somebody, if you lose you are a nobody.
Genius Is someone with an extreme love of learning and challenge. She is constantly seeking to improve herself, learn and grow with hard work. Genius is born with innate talent.
Smarts You become smarter with effort. You are a normal person who has worked hard. Anyone can replicate this by doing teh right things. You want to be smart because you want to be special and a genius. They need constant validation of their innate specialness, attractiveness, smartness. You want to feel better than others, that makes you feel better. Hence when you are not successful, you are worthless. They vie for labels and adjectives which sound cool.
Teamwork They surround themselves with those more able to learn. They love constructive feedback. They focus on mentoring and developing others. They like being surrounded by admirers. In their mind some people are superior and others are inferior. They want constant validation that they are superior and their work is a platform for their ego validation. Their teams are a “genius with a thousand helpers” model. Genius doesn’t need great teams, they need little helpers to carry their ideas. They are very concerned with personal legacy. They want the team to fail after they leave. Everything is about validating them.
Leadership They make the world full of possibility, and fun. They use their company as an engine for growth, their own and their teams. They talk journey – an inclusive rollicking learning journey. They learn everything about their business – to understand how it works. They worry not just about business development but also employee morale and development. They are tough and kind. They are brimming with passion and believe in passion and on winning are grateful to their team. They use their company as a validation of their greatness. They talk royalty, the titles. They play turf wars, don’t deliver. For them it is about looking good and visibility.
Effort Is the tool for to expand your potential. It is transformative. It can change your ability and your personality. It empowers you. It makes no sense to not work hard. Hard work helps you learn what you can become. It is the only way to find out what your potential is. They are willing to take time to learn and grow (Beethoven took 10 years before producing anything worthwhile).

Work paves the way to greatness. It is an opportunity, a privilege to work hard on your own goals.

Genius is not supposed to need it and it removes all your excuses.

Effort is needed if you aren’t good enough, it is a shameful thing. If you try and fail, it means you weren’t good enough in the first place, so you shouldn’t try only. They want quick results, because it is their innate talent they bank on.

Additionally, work is something that is not a blessing but a burden. Doing nothing is a luxury wanted by many and achieved by few.

I could have been Is heartbreaking. They give in their all to avoid saying this. Is comforting. It means if you had tried, if others had let you, you could have.
Depression The worse they feel, the more they keep up with their work and daily activities. They let depression take over and freeze.