Book Review: Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Ph. D.

Our thoughts are like a submerged iceberg; we don’t see it, but it affects us greatly. In fact, its impact is so immense that we can be happy or miserable, we can fail or succeed, mainly owing to what we think and how often we think about it. This is not an attempt to oversimplify things and say that they’re either black or white – that they can’t be anything else in between. Life, as we all know, can’t be put in boxes and neatly organized.    

But what we at #LaurusPH would like to stress is how important it is to be mindful of our thoughts because they have the power to shape our reality and influence the trajectory of our lives. That’s why for this edition of our book review, we’d like to put the spotlight on mindset.  

Who is it for?

Aptly named Mindset, the book gives a practical, straight-forward, and no-nonsense approach to the psychology that fuels success. And to give it a stamp of credibility, it was written by a – guess who – a psychologist named Dr. Carol Dweck. So why should you bother reading it?

It will clearly differentiate between fixed and growth mindsets – terms that are commonly used – and help you determine which kind of thinking you are more prone to. If you’re more on the fixed mindset, the goal is to move to the growth mindset. And if you’re already there, the aim is to nurture and develop your thoughts so learning becomes a natural part of your life.

Well, to help you decide, here are some questions to ask yourself first. Do you tend to lean more on the negative rather than the positive in any given situation? Do you feel like your life is somewhat mediocre – like you can do much more than what you’re currently accomplishing? Do you want to be a better leader, parent, and entrepreneur? If you answered yes to one (or more) of the questions, then you’ve got to read the book.

Break it down  

One good thing about Mindset is that Dr. Dweck categorized the chapters into certain themes so it’s easy to build on the concepts gradually, rather than overwhelming you with an overdose of information all at once.

Chapters 1-3 focus on concepts like failure and effort – and back them up with supporting evidence and insightful research. Chapters 4-7 expound on the concepts already given and highlight real-world examples. You can go through different areas like education, business, and relationships. This means that whatever aspects of your life you’d like to improve on, you can likely find a nugget of inspiration that is applicable to you. Chapter 8, the last chapter, offers a practical guidance on how to constantly nurture a growth mindset and get unstuck, especially during tough challenges.

If you’re ready to start redefining the way you think, here are some of our favorite passages from the book to reflect on:

  • The view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you live your life.
  • Why waste time proving over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?
  • Why look for friends or partners who will just shore up your self-esteem instead of ones who will also challenge you to grow?
  • People in a growth mindset don’t just seek challenge, they thrive on it.

What aspects of your thinking would you like to develop? Or what thoughts hamper you to becoming a better version of yourself? We’d love to hear them, so drop us a line in the comments. You are with yourself 24/7, so it just makes sense to like your own company, and the best way to do that is to have a positive and healthy mindset.

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