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7 useful ideas from Carol Dweck’s cult book “Flexible Mind”

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Both negative and positive labels can seriously hinder personality development, and that the key to success is in the right attitude. This article has briefly outlined the main ideas of the book.

Idea 1. Life attitudes

A fixed attitude is the belief that a person’s innate qualities, such as intelligence and creativity, are unchanged. People with a development mindset, on the other hand, believe that they can consciously work on themselves, developing what is inherent in them by nature.

Idea 2. Installation for development vs Fixed installation

The development mindset enhances motivation, contributes to the achievement of success in business, sports, work, study and other areas of life. A fixed attitude, on the other hand, makes people vulnerable to change, makes them constantly seek confirmation of their abilities, instead of developing them.

Idea 3. Don’t fall into the fixed installation trap

When people with a fixed mindset succeed, they see it as a confirmation of their intelligence and talent. Based on this logic, the need to make efforts is undesirable, since it casts doubt on the presence of intelligence, talent or supernormal abilities, and failure will mean a lack of intelligence or talent.

Idea 4. Cultivate a development mindset

In contrast, people with a development mindset see effort as the foundation of their success. And they perceive failure as temporary evidence of insufficient effort or lack of experience.

Idea 5. Develop your talent

Any talent, any ability requires development, hard work, and many years of practice. But a child who is constantly being told how gifted he is may decide that he does not need to make an effort and that everything should be given to him just like that. Moreover, the need to make an effort may be seen by him as proof of a lack of talent.

Idea 6. Don’t criticize

If you have children or students, pay attention to how you talk to them and how you praise them. Praise not for the ability – this will only strengthen the fixed attitude – but for the effort that the child is making. By praising the effort, you encourage the child to try harder. Do not criticize or use negative labels – your child may take them too seriously, and your label will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Idea 7. Do your best

Notice when you’re looking for an excuse for failing in your lack of ability. It is likely that you were just trying badly, but it’s hard to admit.


Notice and deliberately stop the negative thoughts that are characteristic of fixed thinking – “I am failing,” “I am a failure,” “I am incapable.” Develop a development mindset.

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