This post is different from the usual technical ones I like sharing my experience on. I am inspired writing about this topic as I am reading the international bestselling book - Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck.
She primarily talks about the learning experience of students, from early childhood to college and later university. She also elaborates about leaders and organisation with a fixed mindset against growth one.
My perspective has been enlarged after reading this outstanding book, which I highly recommend to anyone, especially students and professionals seeking to improve their craft.
Software Developers can profit massively from this knowledge as in our field, we keep learning every single day (at least most of us).
The author distinguishes between two attitudes : fixed mindset and growth mindset.
People with fixed mindset:
- believe talent is everything and hard work is overrated
- if no talent, they believe they cannot change and ultimately fails
- never try to improve ; and always blame others (people, circumstances)
- have to prove themselves every time; they, therefore cannot live life on their terms and are negative and ridden with stress
- assumed always being judged as good or bad, they spend time trying not looking stupid instead of being productive and learning new stuff (do not get out of comfort zone)
- when they fail, they take it personal and stop (then waste time with entertainment in a world that is constantly advancing)
- hate their jobs because cannot work on something they love as they think their talents limited or non existing
People with growth mindset:
- they can learn and grow
- obstacles are a way to improve themselves
- build their skills set to achieve their goals and dreams
- when are challenged, they love working and learning and appreciate the growth
- the tougher the challenge, the bigger the opportunity to grow
- love honing their crafts and improving and learning new tricks
- examples: Cristiano Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez ; came from absolute poverty, did not have money to buy boots for training - yet today they are considered among the best - they kept learning from every situation, every challenge - growth experience
Success is learning something when you fail; failure is not learning anything even if you succeed.
How are we passed a fixed mindset if we have one?
- From our parents and teachers who believe someone is born either intelligent or not (this has been debunked thousands of times)
- We believe what they said e.g. we were not good with maths; we therefore cannot learn complicated stuff
In reality, we have neither extreme, that is, only a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
How I try to adopt a growth mindset?
- First realise we can change and adopt a much better attitude
- Start seeing events in your life as opportunities to learn and grow;
- Build habits that enable you to grow out of your comfort zone e.g. join the gym, publish a blog sharing your experience and teaching stuff you know - speak with people to learn; try learning from every person you meet
- Reflect every day or week on what you've learn and how you can improve