The difference between winning and losing

05Nov09

Now here’s some inspirational stuff on a cold November evening; Stanford psychology professor Carol Dweck talking about the ‘Growth Mindset’. Basically the nub of it is that we can change: get brighter, better at sport, learn new things, whatever.

Sounds fairly elementary, you might say, but that’s only because it’s my crappy two-line explanation. I’m sure she puts it rather better in her book. The thing she stresses, though, (and keep in mind I’ve not read the book, just done the usual Wikipedia scramblings), is that people who regard setbacks as a challenge and want to learn more are those who do best in life.

Look, I’ll shut up, as I’m clearly not doing the good prof any justice. Just watch the video and try something new. “When it comes to your brain, don’t lock down; keep those neurons connecting.”

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One Response to “The difference between winning and losing”

  1. That’s interesting, thanks for putting it up. I shall check out the book.

    I was having a conversation with someone the other day who was making fun of this particular “stength and conditioning coach” for saying: “Athletes don’t need to be pushed when they are feeling great. It’s when they are off balance that’s the best time to push them”..or some such pseudo-psychological nonsense like that.

    And I responded to that by saying that any idiot could “push” someone but not everyone can motivate someone. I’m not sure that everyone gets the difference but what the Prof was saying about the kids with just study skills versus the kids with study skill with growth and their motivation reminded me of that.

    People think that in order to achieve things we must push ourself to do things and use ‘discipline’ and ‘self control’. Trouble is you can do that over and over without necessarily internalizing any of it and affecting any permanent change or forward growth.

    It might be viewed as the difference between “building” something versus “growing” something. But I’ll stop before I go all Zen on you.


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