Fixed and Growth Mindsets
Aaron Swartz writing about a book by Carol Dweck:
The difference, Dweck discovered, was one of mindset. Dweck had always thought “human qualities were carved in stone. You were smart or you weren’t, and failure meant you weren’t.” That was why the helpless kids couldn’t take it when they started failing. It just reminded them they sucked (they easily got confused, they had “a bad rememory”). Of course it wasn’t fun anymore — why would it be fun to get constantly reminded you’re a failure? No wonder they tried to change the subject. Dweck called this the “fixed mindset” — the belief that your abilities are fixed and that the world is just a series of tests that show you how good you are.
This is so true. And on the other side:
The successful kids believed precisely the opposite: that everything came through effort and that the world was full of interesting challenges that could help you learn and grow. (Dweck called this the “growth mindset.”) That’s why they were so thrilled by the harder puzzles — the easier ones weren’t any sort of challenge, there was nothing you could learn from them. But the really tough ones? Those were fascinating — a new skill to develop, a new problem to conquer.
I think we can look around in the real world and make out who’s living with what kind of mindset. Clearly Apple has a growth mindset while Samsung seems to be living with a fixed mindset. They won’t really develop something unless Apple puts it on one of their devices. Except, of course, for pure cancer inducing devices.
So what’s your mindset like?