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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to achieve sustainable growth of intellectual capabilities with the right mindset
I read this book when it was first published (2006) and recently re-read it before reading Daniel Siegel's Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation. Presumably he shares my high regard for Carol Dweck's breakthrough insights, as countless other authors have duly acknowledged in books published in recent years. She focuses on two mindsets, one that is fixed...
Published on 8 Nov. 2012 by Robert Morris

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122 of 125 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant in conception, underwhelming in execution
Despite the three star evaluation, do not underestimate the quality of the central thesis of this book. The idea that there are two mindsets - fixed and growth - and that these mindsets are basic in determining many things about success and happiness in life, is incontrovertible, radical, and perception shifting. Dweck has based the book on a bedrock of sound, academic...
Published on 6 Aug. 2012 by Allen Baird


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another of my favourite self help/psychology books, 18 Aug. 2014
By 
Paul Stevens (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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As usual I'll start my review by mentioning that as a standard rule I don't review these types of books without first reading through them fully and attempting to apply the advice that they propose. By doing so I can't therefore be accused of reviewing a book I haven't actually read.

I won't write an unnecessarily long review for this book since I don't think it really needs it but I will make a few points which I think need addressing for anyone interested in this book.

The gist of Dr Dweck's message is that there are two different types of mindset and that people more or less fit into one or the other. The `fixed mindset' which is a defeatist, `know your place', `genes determine everything', `I'll never amount to much' mentality. She also presents what she calls a `growth mindset' in which learning, challenge and development become the key mentalities. For example instead of using failure as proof of incompetence you learn to treat it as a challenge to do better.

One could of course debate the validity of her message; it's not academic and doesn't amount to proven science. It is however a remarkably useful way of looking at things and one that has been very beneficial for me personally.
It isn't as easy to implement as she alludes to and the vast majority of people will note elements of their own character in both mindsets, no one will fit 100% into either category. Regardless I think everyone could benefit from adopting a growth mindset and would happily encourage potential readers to try.

Also in response to comments from a few negative reviews criticising the large number of examples she's added for growth mindsets in everyday life.
Actually I think they are necessary since the more examples we have the easier it'll be to apply a growth mindset to our everyday lives and it demonstrates the large spectrum that growth mindsets can apply to. I don't think a shorter book would have driven the message home.

In a nutshell I highly recommend this book to anyone looking at personal development.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars REALLY worth reading, for anyone!, 28 July 2014
By 
Tim Higgins "Irishrebel" (Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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I gave this 4 stars simply because in some places it gets a bit 'preachy', particularly when analysing sports personalities. John McEnroe comes in for a real bashing due to his obnoxious nature caused by his fixed mindset.

Having said that, I thought the whole premise of the book was good, and well-explained. Not dumbed down, but neither too high-brow. Dweck offers the results of scientific research without going over the actual stats, which would bore anyone but the highest end social science student. With a Masters in Linguistics, I know full well how such figures can be interminable reading. Thus she sets herself up for attacks, since she could easily be accused of misrepresenting the findings or being too selective. We have to take her word for it, unless there is an equally-well qualified scientist to debunk her. Everything she does claim makes sense, and I can relate it to my own education, now discovering that I had a fixed mindset, instilled by teachers who just always praised me for being so smart. If only they'd praised my hard work, but you see, all through primary school, I didn't HAVE to work, so the premise of the book falls short there.

Yes, educating children is very complex, as complex as each and every child is an individual, but this is a very good basis for building an education system on, AND very good for adults to realise their own potential (you can do anything with the right mindset and determination). I suspect people who hate 'liberal' agendas would dislike this book since it can come across as saying that every child needs encouraging and therefore NOT being disciplined in the 'right' way or made to understand the reality of limitations, but actually if it results in children seeing their own full potential, then they become responsible for their own destiny and much less likely to blame the world around them - that's hardly a liberal agenda!

I recommended this book heartily to a friend's daughter who is training to be a teacher. Buy it for any other trainees you know (or indeed ANY teacher!) and I lent it to my daughter in the hope it will influence how my granddaughter is raised. It's THAT good.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great idea BUT very poor and very vague argumentations, 10 April 2011
By 
Caufrier Frederic (Belgium) - See all my reviews
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The main message is excellent. The fact that a growth mindset can offer more benefits when compared to the fixed mindset is great to know and to apply.

BUT BUT BUT....

This book has overall a very weak argumentation and very shallow reasoning to get the message across. This book is clearly written for a bigger public but if her research has the same thinking errors I am wondering if I am reading the right book.

The author uses "argumentation by examples". Tons of examples are actually given to get the point across. Sadly the same logic can be used to give counter arguments for each example given. Just providing many examples is not a valid way to make a strong case, especially as the author selects examples that fits best her own theory. You can prove almost anything with that type of logic, but along as the book sells I guess...

Some examples of the weak argumentations used:

Tiger Woods gets classified under the growth mindset and therefore he is "gooood" and we only read on the success stories of Tiger Woods. As the book was released in 2006 we know by now that Tiger Woods had during his success years also a different aspect of his personality ongoing. This detail was illustrated in the years after, resulting in a messy divorce. Oops the growth-mindset theory for Tiger Woods might be not that excellent fit anymore.

John McEnroe on the other hand gets classified under the fixed mindset and therefore he is "baaaaad". The author gives many examples explaining his fixed mindset attitude but she forgets to mention that John McEnroe might have been juiced up with steroids at the time (Ref McEnroe's own statements). And yes these steroids made him act with more "character" during competition. Oops there goes the fixed mindset theory for John McEnroe also.

Sadly this sort of examples-argumentation goes on and on.

Perhaps the best case is illustrated on page 174 (paperback edition - 2008). The author writes "Parents and teachers who send fixed-mindset messages are like France, and parents and teachers who send growth-mindset messages are like Italy". The author got this insight while eating in a restaurant in Italy. I quote "When we got there and found a little family restaurant, tears started streaming down my face. I felt so nurtured. I said to David, 'You know, in France, when they're nice to you, you feel like you've passed a test. But in Italy, there is no test'". Based the information collected during a dinner in a restaurant and a short stay in France, it is clear for the author that France (yes the whole nation) has a fixed mindset and that Italy (yep again that whole country again) has a growth mindset. How more shallow can you go? And nope this was not given as an illustration.

Look if you write first that the growth-mindset makes you step away from judging and biased fixed opinions I suggest the author takes her own medicine. Judging a whole nation and labeling it with "growth or fixed mindset" is a very poor reasoning skill. And I am not even French!

The same style of examples and argumentation are given for relationships, business, sport, parents, teachers...The growth mindset gets used here as THE golden standard such it can explain all which is a pity. If we have to extrapolate the same reasoning skills shown here to the actually research for this book we should be very worried.

So is it worthwhile to read this book?...NO

Is it worthwhile to know about the main idea?....yes very. But there are faster ways to get to the idea without reading this book.

Contents
1 The mindsets
2 Inside the mindsets
3 The truth about ability and accomplishment
4 Sport: The mindset of a champion
5 Business: Mindset and Leadership
6 Relationships: Mindsets in love (or not)
7 Parents, teachers, and coaches: Where do mindsets come from?
8 Changing mindsets
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars there is important stuff in here, 2 July 2008
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This reads like a traditional American self help book, with all the irritation and amusement that brings (I skipped the chapter on American sporting stars because as a European I'm unfamiliar with them; and I doubt how vignettes about very successful people help an ordinary person). But underlying it is a very important concept about how we think about ourselves and how that affects what we do and our performance. The implications for parents, teachers, managers and anyone concerned to maximise their potential are significant. It's not a fancy way of talking about Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - in fact the author shows it limitations. I'd like to know more about how mindsets come about and link to other psychological theories of personal development and personality. I shall read the author's more academic books now.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational thinking, 3 Jan. 2010
By 
Ros Barker - See all my reviews
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With little to go on aside from a recommendation that Carol Dweck was sound in her approach I ordered this book. It's one of those where it all makes such good sense that you want to rush out and tell everyone you know to read it; especuially anyone with children or youngsters around. Her messages are simple, but so well argued that you can't take a cynical or negative view of its contents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An inspiring book based on credible research, 16 Aug. 2012
Carol Dweck is a professor of psychology at Stanford University, which should give you an idea of her credentials. So when the book cover talks about 'how you can fulfil your potential, we can trust that she knows what she's talking about.

In a nutshell, Dweck argues that our beliefs (whether we think we're fixed, unchangeable people versus people who can grow and improve) can determine how much growth we can actually achieve. It's a message that's as relevant for managers and employees as school children and people who want to improve the relationships they have with their nearest and dearest.

The book is nicely structured with plenty of subheadings which made it an easy and enjoyable read. I only gave the book four stars because I think it's a great book but not an amazing one, but nonetheless still a book I can recommend strongly to anyone who wants to better themselves or those around them.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just might change your life for the better, 14 Oct. 2012
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential (Kindle Edition)
Have you ever said that you can't learn something because you weren't born with the ability? Have you ever said that you are the way you are and can't change? Do you think some abilities you're born with and you've either got them or you haven't? If you agree with any of these questions then you probably have a fixed mindset. If you think human beings can do anything they are determined to do and you only learn from making mistakes and not from getting things right then you probably have the growth mindset.

The author demonstrates through comprehensive real life examples how these two mindsets can work out in practice. She shows how children who find school work easy may never learn very much and may not fulfil their early promise. Anyone who has the idea that they cannot learn a subject may hamper their future development. Praising children for their abilities rather than what they've actually done may result in a child who believes if they make mistakes their parents won't love them.

Having a fixed mindset and running a company do not go together. If you are a CEO and cannot bear your employees to have better ideas than you have you may stifle growth in the company. Having employees who are afraid to use their initiative can have disastrous results. Enron collapsed because its whole culture revolved round the people at the top being right in everything they did. No dissenting voices were allowed and anyone warning of trouble ahead was sacked.

A CEO with the growth mindset is likely to surround himself with people who are not afraid to tell him what he proposes to do won't work. CEOs with this sort of thinking run companies which grow and change as conditions change - and respond to challenges - because the company doesn't revolve around ensuring the CEO is always right.

Changing your mindset isn't easy but it can be done and can result in a very much more fulfilling life. Having read this book and thought about examples from my own experience I can see how and why having the growth mindset works. I enjoyed reading this book and found it a real eye-opener. It is well written in an easy accessible style but there are also lots of notes on the text, a list of recommended reading and an index. Read this book - it could change your life.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your mindset shapes your future, 19 July 2006
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This book has a simple premise: The world is divided between people who are open to learning and those who are closed to it, and this trait affects everything from your worldview to your interpersonal relationships. Author and psychology professor Carol S. Dweck has scoured research papers and news clippings to extract anecdotes about the pros and cons of both mindsets. Thus, stories about Michael Jordan, Lee Iacocca, John McEnroe, Wilma Rudolph and Babe Ruth, among others, find a place in this book. Dweck addresses the ways that mindsets have an impact on people. She explains that you can have a closed mindset in regard to some traits and an open mindset in regard to others. The thought-provoking insight comes from learning when you need to adjust your mindset to move ahead. The author extends her basic point by viewing all areas of human relationships through the prism of mindset. That is interesting, but we believe that this material would still be useful and illuminating even if it applied only to leadership and management.
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54 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not worth reading a whole book to get one simple idea, 1 Oct. 2009
By 
R. A. Cooper "racooper" (Southampton, England) - See all my reviews
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You probably don't need to buy the book - it's mostly pop-psych waffle. Read any of the reviews and you get the idea: if you think your intelligence is fixed it limits you; if you think it can be grown you can develop. If you judge people you limit them; if you give them constructive feedback you help them. True, but that's all you get in this short paperback.

All the examples given seem to say: this man (for example John McEnroe) didn't fulfil his potential because he had a 'fixed' mindset; this man (for example Jack Welch) did fulfil it because he had a 'growth' mindset. Lots of anecdotes and very little science, apart from some interesting numbers from a study quoted on page 138 (but without any indication of how many people were in the study).

Also very little practical help, although there are some interesting pointers for managers on page 140 of the paperback, and a description of a workshop on pages 218-221. Other than that, it's mostly hot air. You know you're in la-la land when the author starts selling you a 'Brainology' program.

I agree with the premise, but this is very thin on useful material.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Great Book, 30 April 2013
This review is from: Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential (Kindle Edition)
I work as a therapist and was recently given a hardcopy to read as a recommendation. It's an easy to read and understand type of book which helps you explore your mindsets which could be holding you back and the ones which help you grow. It has some similar approaches I already use but there are some great tips here to help your mind grow and move forward. I would combine this with some mindfulness therapy as thought management is also crucial at times when it comes to thinking negatively. I would recommend this book to clients who really want to go in the right direction with business, finances, relationships or any part of their life held back by a fixed mindset.
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