Reading Notes: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

This book is about two ways of thinking: the fixed mindset and the growth mindset. In the fixed mindset you’re a finished product. Expending any extra effort is unthinkable because supposedly you’re already perfect. Then there’s the growth mindset, which tells us the only way you learn is from mistakes, talent doesn’t get you very far, and the people who succeed are the ones who work the hardest.

Living in Silicon Valley surrounded by high-achieving people, I thought I had already embodied the teachings of this book. I was completely wrong. A growth mindset is something you can apply to literally every aspect of your life. Of all the ways I’ve grown in my twenties, this book finds a way to wrap them up in a succinct package. For example, getting over the fear of not being the best at X at school or at work.

Fixed-mindset people want to be the only big fish so that when they compare themselves to those around them, they can feel a cut above the rest.

This book moved me but it wasn’t without its flaws. I believe it would benefit from a stronger editor. One thing I would have liked is a section that goes into why people adopt a fixed mindset. There must be reasons we adopt a fixed mindset sometimes – perhaps it’s a protection mechanism.

I wish I had this book when I was in middle school. Not exaggerating – it would have changed my life.

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