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Mindset The New Psychology of Success: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential by Carol S. Dweck

I still remember what it was like in middle school when a teacher called on me. My palms would sweat, I’d get all flustered, and I was filled with such fear of speaking…

It was horrible. I thought something was wrong with me. When we had the school play, and everyone had to be involved, I volunteered to be part of the backstage crew. All dressed in black and hidden – go figure!

My mom and dad were concerned about me and my incredible shyness. They even made me change schools, hoping a smaller school setting would help me “come out of my shell.”

That summer before school, my mom gave me a copy of the paperback book – Shyness” What it is. What to do about it., by Philip G. Zimbardo. It was published in 1977. I remember reading it and how so many lightbulbs went off for me. It was the first self-help I ever read at 12 years old. That book started me on my journey of discovery about the mind. To this day, I still have it on my bookshelf as an incredible reminder of how a book can help change my life.

When a friend recommended this book: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol S. Dweck, of course, I had to grab a copy and devour it from cover to cover. It did not disappoint.

What I loved about this book is that her principles can be used for business, school, parenting, and relationships.

The book is laid out so you can easily pick a section and read it:

Chapter 1 – The Mindsets

Chapter 2 – Inside The Mindsets

Chapter 3. The Truth About Ability and Accomplishment

Chapter 4. Sports: The Mindset of a Champion

Chapter 5 – Business: Mindset and Leadership

Chapter 6 – Relationships: Mindsets In Love (or not)

Chapter 7 – Parent, Teachers, And Coaches: Where Do Mindsets Come From?

Chapter 8 – Changing Mindsets

I love her introduction because she shares how her students basically sat her down and ordered her to write this book. She talks about beliefs, their importance, and how they guide a large part of your life. The book will take you on a journey about how your conscious and unconscious thoughts affect you, and simple phrases can greatly impact your ability to grow and change.

Then she says, “Much of what you think about your personality actually grows out of this “mindset. Much of what may be preventing you from fulfilling your potential grows out of it.”

The core of the book is that, as humans, we can have a “Fixed Mindset – intelligence is static” or a “Growth Mindset – Intelligence can be developed.” Plus, she has a nifty chart on page 263 (It’s also below – source Farnam Street – that will help walk you through how you can maintain and continue your growth by walking through both of these types of mindsets.

Another thing that drew me to her book was how her work shows how powerful our beliefs can be, even the most basic ones. And whether your beliefs are conscious or unconscious, they will affect your outcome of reaching your goals and ability to become successful.

A Summary to Inspire You To Read this Book!

Quick Summary: If you want to discover how your beliefs affect your life, career, and relationships, then you have to pick up a copy of this book. Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is a world-renowned Stanford University psychologist who’s spent decades researching the power of the mindset. Your beliefs that you’ve gotten from childhood to adulthood are affecting your life. The abilities and potential of success are defined by whether you have a fixed or a growth mindset. You have a fixed mindset if you believe your talents are limited by their innate abilities, whereas if you have a growth mindset, you believe that your capabilities can be developed through effort and hard work.

WHO Ought to Read this Book: If you’re struggling with success, relationships, and business, you must pick up this book. No one really talks about what kind of mindset you have, right? Well, guess what? Determining what your mindset is will determine the kind of life you will live. Yes, this is incredibly important. If you are curious and want to discover h what mindset you have and how you can change it, then this book has your name written all over it. 🙂

Why Read this Book? What do you want to say about your life when you get to an age where you want to slow down? Do you want to say – “If only…” Or “I could have been…?” Or do you want to say, “I gave this life everything I had. I gave it my all for everything that I valued.” Take a moment and think about what you’d want to say. Then, pick your mindset. The first statement is a fixed mindset, and the second is a growth mindset. Our thoughts and beliefs are essential to determining the outcome of our life. This book will give you a framework for how you can change your beliefs and change your life. Dweck gives you the framework.

A Couple of Things You Will Discover:

Grow Your Mindset – Find out which mindset you have by reading these statements and answer whether you agree or disagree. (Check out page 12 in the book for more.) These questions will help you make meaning out of your life.

  1. Your intelligence is something very basic about you that you can’t change very much.
  2. You can learn new things, but you can’t really change how intelligent you are.
  3. No matter your intelligence, you can always change it quite a bit.
  4. You can always substantially change how intelligent you are.

There are more questions that deal with your abilities and talents. I think it’s really important to look at yourself honestly to see which mindset you’re more like, and then you can use this book to help you shift and grow.

You also need to look at creating a growth mindset environment in your business in which you will thrive. This is…

  • Look at your skills as learnable.
  • Working at an organization that values learning and perseverance, not a ready-made genius.
  • Giving others feedback that promotes earning and success.
  • Looking at leaders and managers as a resource to help and encourage learning.


Growth Mindset is Essential to Success:
“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.”

The World of Mindsets:
“When you enter a mindset, you enter a new world. In one world- the world of fixed traits- success is about proving you’re smart or talented. Validating yourself. In the other- the world of changing qualities-its about stretching yourself to learn something new. Developing yourself.”

Children & Learning:
“Children with the fixed mindset want to make sure they succeed. Smart people should always succeed. But for children with a growth mindset, success is about stretching themselves. It’s about becoming smarter.”

The Fixed Mindset & Becoming:
“There was a saying in the 1960s that went: “Becoming is better than being.” The fixed mindset does not allow people the luxury of becoming. They have to already be.”

Great Athletes:
“Character, heart, the mind of a champion. It’s what makes great athletes, and it’s what comes from the growth mindset with its focus on self-development, self-motivation, and responsibility.”

Parents & Children:
Parent’s praise molds their children’s mindsets… it’s the way adults respond to children’s mistakes or failures. When a child has a setback, and the parent reacts with anxiety or with concern about the child’s ability, this fosters more of a fixed mindset in the child… setbacks are good things to be embraced… to be used as a platform for learning.”

Your Brain:
“… new research shows that the brain is more like a muscle-it changes and gets stronger when you use it. And scientists have been able to show just how the brain grows and gets stronger when you learn.”

Growing Your Brain Cells:
When you learn new things, these tiny connections in the brain actually multiply and get stronger. The more you challenge your mind to learn, the more your brain cells grow.

“When a relationship goes sour, these are the issues we all need to explore in-depth, not to judge ourselves for what went wrong, but to overcome our fears and learn the communication skills we’ll need to build and maintain better relationships in the future.”

About the Author – Carol Dweck:

Carol S. Dweck, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Her research has focused on why people succeed and how to foster success. She has held professorships at Columbia and Harvard Universities, lectured worldwide, and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her scholarly book Self-Theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development was named Book of the Year by the World Education Federation. Her work has been featured in such publications as The New Yorker, Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and she has appeared on Today and 20/20.

TED Talk: The Power of believing that you can improve – Carol S. Dweck

Where I Would Recommend Getting Your Copy:

Mindset The New Psychology of Success: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential
by Carol S. Dweck

Other Like-Minded Books:

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life: How to Unlock Your Full Potential for Success and Achievement by Brian Tracy

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer

Living Untethered by Michael Singer

Soulfully Yours,

Shannon McCaffery

Shannon McCaffery

Strategic Marketing Coach & Consultant

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Mindset The New Psychology of Success: How We Can Learn to Fulfill Our Potential by Carol S. Dweck


Hey there, I'm Shannon! Being a voracious reader and passionate about learning, I started this site in the hopes of sharing my thoughts and my love of inspiring nonfiction books that can help you. It's kind of like Buddha meets business. I truly hope you enjoy!

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