What does it mean to you when you come up short? Is it an indictment of the person that you are, or an opportunity to become better—a failure or a challenge? As Carol Dweck explains in her TED Talk, ‘The power of believing that you can improve,’ the former perspective is a fixed mindset, while the latter is a growth mindset. They’re two very different ways to look at the world. Your choice determines your truth.
With compelling data from numerous studies, Dweck persuasively demonstrates as much in the context of education. Children are far more successful in school when they approach learning with a growth mindset. When they view challenges and struggles as byproducts of progress—as part of the process—they thrive. Trapped in “the tyranny of now,” however, those struggles and challenges are internalized as personal failures. The world of the fixed mindset is one of judgment.
Dweck asks us to consider whether we’re raising our children for “now” or for “yet,” and she urges us to choose “yet.” Big dreams reside in the world of “yet,” she explains, while the world of “now” engenders a need for constant validation. The growth mindset, she posits, offers a path to educational equality, and should be deemed a basic human right.
What do you think? What’s your favorite Ted Talk? Join the discussion and let me know. I want to hear from you!
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