Success and Failure: Two Sides of a Coin

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Abstract

Reviews the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck (see record 2006-08575-000), as a novel revolution of ways of looking at the world and living out our dreams. This book helps readers understand themselves by understanding two different mindsets: fixed and growth. Knowing the two mind-sets equips readers with flexible ways to cope with failures. They will know, for example, why some people give up when they encounter challenges, whereas some others thrive on them. According to Dweck, different mind-sets set in motion different modes of coping. Those with a fixed mind-set have a narrow notion of success, perceive themselves as superior to others, and seldom listen to others. Those who are growth minded are brighter and open and so more flexible. Overall, this book has far more helpful points than the limited space in this review enables me to specify. Among the varied strengths, I select three most salient ones. First, this book impressively incorporates real stories of real people with theories and research on mindsets. Each chapter has concrete examples on every characteristic of a fixed mind-set and of a growth mind-set. The second strength is the style of storytelling throughout this book. Storytelling is a critical way to educate, enlighten, and even heal people (Meade, 1995; Wu, 2005). The third strength of this book is that it crucially redefines failure to use it toward success. In describing our traditional perspective on failure, the author turns around to discussing how to make it a building block to success. How do we change traditional perspectives into a new view of failure? Dweck elaborates on the change from varied angles. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)

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