Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Diversity Book Review
Reviewer: Daisy Chan, Director, Enterprise Communications
Title: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
Author: Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

I first heard about this book when I read a column that mentioned Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella embracing the ideas put forth in Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. The ideas that author Carol Dweck advocates are simple yet compelling. She asserts the mindset with which you meet your challenges have a direct impact on whether or not you will succeed.

Dr. Dweck describes two mindsets – a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. With a fixed mindset, an individual believes that there is no opportunity to alter or change outcomes. This follows the thinking that intelligence is limited to what you are born with. A growth mindset proposes that you can learn just about anything and succeed where you may not have thought you had a natural talent.

Through research and examples that span sports teams, businesses and parenting, Dr. Dweck illustrates the power of a growth mindset in helping to achieve success in a variety of settings. One enlightening example she used explored whether or not artistic ability is a natural talent. She showed drawings produced by individuals with no “artistic ability.” She then showed the drawings of these same individuals after they took lessons that helped them learn the components of art – such as the ability to perceive edges, space, lights and shadows. The contrast between the before and after drawings was significant.

The human capacity to learn and grow seems boundless. The book was both encouraging and inspiring in showing us that we shouldn’t hide behind stereotypes such as “I’m not good at math” or “I’m not creative.” There is much more to each of us if we can start with an open mind.

This book review reflects the opinions of the reviewer and does not reflect the opinions of Horizon BCBSNJ.