Mindset: Stanford research challenges current thinking about smart people. A girl playing chess.

Mindset: Stanford research challenges ideas about smart people

Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential is a must-read. Based on decades of research, she discovered fundamental, yet revolutionary truths about the power of the mind. I absolutely loved her book.

For me, it was breathtaking to read because it gives people hope. For anyone who’s ever been told that they couldn’t do something because they were not smart or clever or athletic, Dweck’s research disputes that.

Her research debunks conventional beliefs about being born smart and talented as a measure of likely success and achievements. How we view ourselves and our abilities and talents, Dweck discovered, carries more influence.

The mind is powerful. Our attitudes towards ourselves matter.

Youtube Video – Stanford Alumni: Developing a Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck.

Here are a few quotes from Dweck’s Mindset: How You Can Fulfil Your Potential on the topic of ability and character.


it’s not always the people who start out the smartest who end up the smartest.

carol s dweck, mindset: how you can fulfil your potential


I believe ability can get you to the top,” says coach John Wooden, but it takes character to keep you there.… It’s so easy to … begin thinking you can just ‘turn it on’ automatically, without proper preparation. It takes real character to keep working as hard or even harder once you’re there. When you read about an athlete or team that wins over and over and over, remind yourself, ‘More than ability, they have character.’

carol s dweck, mindset: how you can fulfil your potential


In the fixed mindset, everything is about the outcome. If you fail—or if you’re not the best—it’s all been wasted. The growth mindset allows people to value what they’re doing regardless of the outcome . They’re tackling problems, charting new courses, working on important issues. Maybe they haven’t found the cure for cancer, but the search was deeply meaningful.

carol s dweck, mindset: how you can fulfil your potential
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Vienna Richards
Vienna Richards

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