Book Review – Mindset

Why I read this book: I’m always interested in books related to success and how to achieve it.  This was a Christmas present and it covers the subject.

Did I enjoy this book: I enjoyed the first hour of reading it.  After that, it became so repetitive it was hard to get through.

What I will do as a result of this book:  While I don’t know that this book will help me with my writing journey, it does give me something I want to do with my children:  Praise for effort more than results.  Teaching them to enjoy how to “work at it” is ultimately a more important message than teaching them to enjoy success.  While I’m a big fan of success, and I’m highly ambitious, I believe success will follow sincere effort, and I wish I had learned that lesson earlier in life.


Mindset: The New Psychology of SuccessMindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book takes a look into how we see success and failure, and the “mindset” we possess about it. During the book, she provides extensive examples of the two mindsets she has identified. Dweck outlines that a fixed mindset revolves around successes, and justifying or proving that you are worthy of those opinions. She compares this with the Growth Mindset, which revolves around learning from experiences, and constantly growing and developing each and every day.
From this, she begins to show examples of these mindsets in a variety of mediums, including sports, parenting, business, relationships, and more. She backs her theories about mindsets up with lots of research studies. This book provides a lot of positive language, especially around how important the mindset is to maintain as far as relationships of any kind (specifically employees, spouses, or children). However, there are two points that are somewhat dubious. She tries to walk the line between balancing passing judgment on the fixed mindset, and pretending that she is neutral and no one mindset is “better” than the other. It is clear very quickly she sees nothing redeemable about the fixed mindset, but “hey, if it’s good enough for you, great!” Additionally, the book goes on too long. After about 20 pages, I felt like we were simply rehashing and repeating the exact same content with new window dressing in each chapter. I suppose it’s possible that some people will only connect in one of those chapters (Sports, or Crowds, etc). For me, it felt like she was trying to sell a philosophy I had already bought.
Overall, this book is still worth a read, especially if you struggle with image (and how you are perceived) and what a failure means to you.

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