Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Practical Benefits of Philosophy 7. The Difference It Makes

According to Dweck, the fixed mindset fellow not only tends to be a lower achiever and more readily abandons effort, but faces other problems.  Success for a fixed mindset is all about displaying how innately smart or talented you are. Success is a way of validating yourself and your own in-born talent.  Excessive effort is seen as evidence of a lack of this in-born talent.  Criticism is always seen as a challenge to one’s own validation and not well-received.  So, it’s harder for fixed mindset people to acknowledge and correct errors.  Fixed mindset people also tend to avoid new things, as it may expose weakness.  On those rare occasions where they are forced to confront something new, they resort to blame, excuses and the stifling of critics and rivals.  Mistakes can be fatal to their self-confidence because they attribute errors to an innate lack of ability, which they feel powerless to change, and not any lack of effort.

The person with a growth mindset, on the other hand, does not look at success or falure as a reflection of any innate talent but only of their own effort or approach to the issue.  Consequently, failure doesn’t bother them as much and criticism become an opportunity to learn and grow.  They actually welcome criticism, because they recognize that, with it, they can learn and improve their skills.  As a result, they are ready to take on challenges, they are not afraid of mistakes, and they bounce back from failures.  Indeed, they believe that error or criticism says nothing about themselves innately, but only about their lack of effort.  Their frequent response to set backs:  “If I had only tried harder.”


James R said...

So to me (admittedly a very skewed view), it appears that the Fixed Mindset, the trend when thinking essentially, seems similar to the traditional heaven—static, no challenges, looks smart, no obstacles, no need or desire for effort. On the other hand, it appears that the Growth Miindset, the trend when thinking existentially, seems similar to the traditional hell—no static contentment, embrace challenges, persist despite obstacles, learn from criticism, be inspired by others' success (those in heaven?).

Big Myk said...

I always thought that this was the difference between heaven and hell:

Heaven is where the police are British, the chefs are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organized by the Swiss.

Hell is where the police are German, the chefs are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and it is all organized by the Italians.