Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two Great Books

Ann had an interesting post today at Holy Experience.

She mentioned Carol Dweck. I read her book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success several years ago. Her theory? There are two mindsets that someone can adopt. Not global mindsets, but about subjects.

The fixed mindset would say "I am good at math" or "I am bad at math." Both are fixed and can lead to trouble. This belief limits because when someone with a fixed mindset runs into problems, he or she perceives it as something about them that cannot be changed.

The growth mindset believes in effort and practice rather than innate talent. So when someone with a growth mindset runs into trouble, he or she will come up with some sort of plan to solve the problem, such as more study time, extra help, more practice and so on.

The great news is that it is not hard to switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Education about the two mindsets can go a long way.

I strongly recommend this book!

The other book I am reading now that was similar in subject to Ann's post is the book Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers by Geoff Colvin. What is it that separates those world-class performers from the rest of us. Practice. Lots of it. But not just any kind of practice. It has to be deliberate practice of what comes hard. And that kind of practice is not easy or immediately rewarding. Which explains why so many fail to engage in it.

I'm still reading, but I would also strongly recommend this book.

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