1. This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies, and help from others. Although people may differ in every which way—in their initial talents and aptitudes, interests, or temperaments—everyone can change and grow through application and experience.
2. The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the growth mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.
3. The fixed mindset makes you concerned with how you’ll be judged; the growth mindset makes you concerned with improving.
4. Not long ago I was interested to read about Marina Semyonova, a great Russian dancer and teacher, who devised a novel way of selecting her students. It was a clever test for mindset. As a former student tells it, “Her students first have to survive a trial period while she watches to see how you react to praise and to correction. Those more responsive to the correction are deemed worthy.”
5. Is there another way to judge potential? NASA thought so. When they were soliciting applications for astronauts, they rejected people with pure histories of success and instead selected people who had had significant failures and bounced back from them.
6. As a New York Times article points out, failure has been transformed from an action (I failed) to an identity (I am a failure). This is especially true in the fixed mindset.
7. Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.
8. John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, says you aren’t a failure until you start to blame. What he means is that you can still be in the process of learning from your mistakes until you deny them.
9. People with the fixed mindset tell us, “If you have to work at something, you must not be good at it.” They add, “Things come easily to people who are true geniuses.”
10. It’s also important to realize that even if people have a fixed mindset, they’re not always in that mindset. In fact, in many of our studies, we put people into a growth mindset. We tell them that an ability can be learned and that the task will give them a chance to do that.
11. These experiences make our research participants into growth-minded thinkers, at least for the moment—and they act like growth-minded thinkers, too.
12. Since this was a kind of IQ test, you might say that praising ability lowered the students’ IQs. And that praising their effort raised them.
13. Andrew Carnegie once said, “I wish to have as my epitaph: ‘Here lies a man who was wise enough to bring into his service men who knew more than he.’ ”
14. Jack Welch, Lou Gerstner, and Anne Mulcahy are also fascinating because they transformed their companies. They did this by rooting out the fixed mindset and putting a culture of growth and teamwork in its place.
15. First, it means that our best bet is not simply to hire the most talented managers we can find and turn them loose, but to look for managers who also embody a growth mindset: a zest for teaching and learning, an openness to giving and receiving feedback, and an ability to confront and surmount obstacles.
16. One problem is that people with the fixed mindset expect everything good to happen automatically.
17. Remember the fixed-mindset idea that if you have ability, you shouldn’t have to work hard? This is the same belief applied to relationships: If you’re compatible, everything should just come naturally.
18. When people with a fixed mindset talk about their conflicts, they assign blame. Sometimes they blame themselves, but often they blame their partner. And they assign blame to a trait—a character flaw.
19. Many educators think that lowering their standards will give students success experiences, boost their self-esteem, and raise their achievement. It comes from the same philosophy as the overpraising of students’ intelligence. Well, it doesn’t work. Lowering standards just leads to poorly educated students who feel entitled to easy work and lavish praise.
20. He didn’t ask for mistake-free games. He didn’t demand that his players never lose. He asked for full preparation and full effort from them. “Did I win? Did I lose? Those are the wrong questions. The correct question is: Did I make my best effort?” If so, he says, “You may be outscored but you will never lose.”
21. A growth mindset is about believing people can develop their abilities.
22. These concrete plans—plans you can visualize—about when, where, and how you are going to do something lead to really high levels of follow-through, which, of course, ups the chances of success. So the idea is not only to make a growth-mindset plan, but also to visualize, in a concrete way, how you’re going to carry it out.