A pick-me-up for motivation ๐Ÿ“–

I was seated at a cafe looking forward to a few idle hours in the company of a book and some tasty food. As I was about to order, I recognised a familiar face emerge through the doors; a distant relative. Both of us were surprised to see each other. “What are you doing here?” we chorused simultaneously. After the reasons were vaguely established we spent some time chatting and also ordered food. With both food and conversation running empty; we decided to part ways. As I was packing up, my relative exclaimed “Oh! You have a book. What are you reading. Hope it’s not some self-help book !?” I was so pleased with myself that it was not a self-help book and I showed the cover “It’s a travel book. ”

So what if it had been self-help book ? Is it so bad to read self-help books ? I agree that most of it is recycled stuff that promise miracles and the magic wears off soon enough. But there are few that are worth a read; they help me get out of a rut or provide the much needed motivation to get going. I remember the magic words by Zig Ziglar๐Ÿ‘‡

Zig Ziglar

So here I am with the book called “Mindset” by Dr Carol S Dweck. I have not heard of the book nor the author before; I received the book as a prize (a bestseller was promised!)

The book separates people into two broad classes – the ones with the fixed mindset and the others with a growth mindset. The book is about how and why growth mindset helps live a more fulfilling life. But then, are the mindsets permanent ? Can you change them ? Can I be half-and-half? All theses anticipated questions have answers in the book ๐Ÿ˜Š.

The growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies and help from others.

Mindset by Dr Carol S Dweck

The book covers a whole range of topics and lots and lots of famous examples from all walks of life. Some of the stories I don’t think I will forget for sometime as it broke some of the images I carried all along. Here’s an example

Try to picture Thomas Edison as vividly as you can. Think about where he is and what he’s doing. Is he alone?….And people always said “Yes he’s doing this stuff alone because is is the only one who knows what he’s after”….And others who said “He’s kind of a reclusive guy who likes to tinker on his own.” In truth, the record shows that Edison was not a loner. For the invention of the lightbulb, he had thirty assistants, including well trained scientists of ten working around the clock in a corporate funded state-of-the-art laboratory !

It did not happen suddenly…

It’s a good book but a lengthy read. The innumerable examples are what makes this book stand out, the advice does get repetitive; but don’t try to swallow the whole book in a day or two. Read at leisure and enjoy the examples ! My only rue is that the font size could have been a bit bigger! There are many insights in the book and norms the author tries to dispel; I will list two.

[1] Fixed mindset prefers effortless success, since that’s the best way to prove their talent. The author cites the hare and tortoise story as an example that gave effort a bad name – either you have the ability or you expend effort. Effort is for those who don’t have ability. On the other hand, people with growth mindset believe that even geniuses have to work hard for their achievement !

And what’s so heroic about having a gift?…For no matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.

J K Rowling

[2] Fixed mindset wants to make sure they succeed. For growth mindset, success is about stretching themselves; it’s about becoming smarter. Cliche !? I like the example the author gave ๐Ÿ‘‡

We offered four year olds a choice: They could redo an easy jigsaw puzzle or they could try a harder one. The ones with the growth mindset thought it was a strange choice; why would anyone want to do the same puzzle over and over?

At the core the book is about overcoming fear. I have not finished the book yet and there are pages and pages to go; I will take my time.

Samuel Beckett – Irish novelist, playwright and Nobel Laureate

Till next post, take care !!

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