This work was drawn to my attention by Erik Kondo when we were discussing the open and closed nature of some groups attitude to learning. I see groups and tribes who interact with other groups and tribes and are prepared to grow from some of the things they learn from these interactions. Our ancient ancestors created vast trading networks in this way, their core cultures were changed by varying degrees by exposure to outside influences, it is how societies were formed and grown.
I had recently been reading Sapiens (see earlier review, as well as The Righteous Mind and when I got hold of Mindset it seemed to offer me a chance of finding the missing link in my thinking, pun intended. You see I am interested in how people think, how they act as well as the me they present compared to the I inside. I am a nailed on growth mindset person. I knew that, the excerpt of Dr Dweck’s book that Erik sent me confirmed it, I try new things, I have fun learning, I am not phased if the learning is hard, learning is itself a reward.
Thing is when I look around I see many people who did not get this, who’s mindsets were fixed, as members of a different and difficult to understand tribe. How could we have evolved as rapidly as a species unless we were a growth mindset species?
Of course I was well aware of the attitudinal differences and how this manifests itself in everyday life, lack of social mobility being one of the major ones. In 1988 was a window cleaner, I enrolled on an adult education course, my life has been a roller coaster ride ever since yet many of my peers from that date have not moved on at all. They were where they were because they were, a self fulfilling prophecy of going nowhere. The question of why we are of similar stock, similar background but see the world so differently has always been a puzzle, the old answers offered only partial answers. Dweck offered more.
In Mindset Dweck teases out the very subtle forces that influence how we see the world and our place within it, she looks at all different aspects of life and the pattern is there to see. Building on a lifetime of study and research this book, although repetitive at times, allows those with the will to learn, and even to change, to delve into the subtleties of human interaction and its consequences.
I really enjoyed it although not a fan of the style, I like my footnotes or references annotated so that I can go find them when I want them, not lumped together at the end of each chapter. It is a comprehensively researched book and well worth a read.