Now before you decide if it is possible to create and evolve our lives, take a look at this.

There are basically two types of mindsets, and we can choose which type we are, once we know we have a choice.


Mindset, a book by Carol Dweck, a Stanford University psychologist, points out the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.  In a fixed mindset, the belief is that intelligence is fixed and static.  In contrast, a growth mindset is the belief that intelligence is dynamic and that the brain changes based on experiences.

Below is an image that illustrates the (generalized) difference in behaviors between people of each mindset.

Click image for more information and a quiz.

Click image for more information and a quiz.

Dr. Dweck on How to Talk about Success and Failure Effectively

For more information on Happiness & Its Causes, visit http://www.happinessanditscauses.com.au/. Also check out our Think & Be Happy blog http://www.thinkandbehappy.com.au/ and subscribe to our newsletter at http://tinyurl.com/lnkcr76. - What do we mean by success and failure? - How do fixed and growth mindsets affect our happiness and fulfilment in life?

The Stanford professor who pioneered praising kids for effort says we’ve totally missed the point

Not everyone deserves a medal for trying. (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

It is well known that telling a kid she is smart is wading into seriously dangerous territory.

Reams of research show that kids who are praised for being smart fixate on performance, shying away from taking risks and meeting potential failure. Kids who are praised for their efforts try harder and persist with tasks longer. These “effort” kids have a “growth mindset” marked by resilience and a thirst for mastery; the “smart” ones have a “fixed mindset” believing intelligence to be innate and not malleable.

But now, Carol Dweck, the Stanford professor of psychology who spent 40 years researching, introducing and explaining the growth mindset, iscalling a big timeout.

It seems the growth mindset has run amok. Kids are being offered empty praise for just trying. Effort itself has become praise-worthy without the goal it was meant to unleash: learning. Parents tell her that they have a growth mindset, but then they react with anxiety or false affect to a child’s struggle or setback. “They need a learning reaction – ‘what did you do?’, ‘what can we do next?’” Dweck says.

Teachers say they have a “growth mindset” because not to have one would be silly. But then they fail to teach in such a way that kids can actually develop growth mindset muscles. “It was never just effort in the abstract,” Dweck tells Quartz. “Some educators are using it as a consolation play, saying things like ‘I tell all my kids to try hard’ or ‘you can do anything if you try’.”

“That’s nagging, not a growth mindset,” she says.

The key to instilling a growth mindset is teaching kids that their brains are like muscles that can be strengthened through hard work and persistence. So rather than saying “Not everybody is a good at math. Just do your best,” a teacher or parent should say “When you learn how to do a new math problem, it grows your brain.” Or instead of saying “Maybe math is not one of your strengths,” a better approach is adding “yet” to the end of the sentence: “Maybe math is not one of your strengths yet.”

The exciting part of Dweck’s mindset research is that it showsintelligence is malleable and anyone can change their mindset. She did: growing up, she was seated by IQ in her classroom (at the front) and spent most of her time trying to look smart.

“I was very invested in being smart and thought to be smart was more important than accomplishing anything in life,” she says. But her research made her realize she could take some risks and push herself to reach her potential, or she could spend all her time trying to look smart.

She and other researchers are discovering new things about mindsets. Adults with growth mindsets don’t just innately pass those on to their kids, or students, she says, something they had assumed they would. She’s also noticed that people may have a growth mindset, but a trigger that transports them to a fixed-mindset mode. For example, criticism may make a person defensive and shut down how he or she approaches learning. It turns out all of us have a bit of both mindsets, and harnessing the growth one takes work.

Researchers are also discovering just how early a fixed and growth mindset forms. Research (pdf) Dweck is doing in collaboration with a longitudinal study at the University of Chicago looked at how mothers praised their babies at one, two, and three years old. They checked back with them five years later. “We found that process praise predicted the child’s mindset and desire for challenge five years later,” she says.

In a follow-up, the kids who had more early process praise—relative to person praise—sought more challenges and did better in school. “The more they had a growth mindset in 2nd grade the better they did in 4th grade and the relationship was significant,” Dweck wrote in an email. “It’s powerful.”

Dweck was alerted to things going awry when a colleague in Australia reported seeing the growth mindset being misunderstood and poorly implemented. “When she put a label on it, I saw it everywhere,” Dweck recalls.

But it didn’t deflate her (how could it, with a growth mindset?). It energized her:

Article link: http://qz.com/587811/stanford-professor-who-pioneered-praising-effort-sees-false-praise-everywhere/


The article below is from this link: http://qz.com/704769/there-are-ways-to-train-your-mind-to-thrive-in-stressful-situations-says-neuroscience/

There’s a way to train our brains to cope with stress that changes chemistry “as much as any antidepressant”

written by Olivia Goldhill

Stress is often perceived as the villain of contemporary culture: the nagging tension that keeps us chained to our desks during the day, awake all night, and makes us dangerously unhealthy.

But Ian Robertson, a cognitive neuroscientist at Trinity College Dublin and author of the upcoming book The Stress Test: How Pressure Can Make You Stronger and Sharper,” says that, while too much stress can be debilitating, a moderate amount is extremely good for the mind.

He explains that stress causes the brain to secrete a chemical called noradrenaline. The brain doesn’t perform at its best with too little or too much of this chemical. But “there’s a sweet spot in the middle where if you have just the right amount, the goldilocks zone of noradrenaline, that acts like the best brain-tuner.”

Essentially, noradrenaline helps the different areas of the brain communicate smoothly, and also helps make new neural connections. “As long as it’s not too stressful, we can build stronger brain function. If we have stronger brain function we’ll be happier, we’ll be less anxious, less depressed and we’ll be smarter,” adds Robertson.

Not everyone is able to cope well with stress and harness its productive potential. Some become overly anxious and find stress to be an insurmountable burden rather than a stimulant. However, Robertson says that there are distinct techniques we can learn in order to reframe our approach to stress. “We can change the chemistry of the brain just as much as any antidepressant or anti-anxiety drug can, but we have to learn the habits to do that,” he says.

Training the brain to thrive in stressful situations

The first, most important factor that determines our approach to stress is whether we have a “fixed” or “growth” mindset. This is based on the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, who says that the ability to believe that we can change allows us to do so. By contrast those with a “fixed” mindset are far more likely to remain stuck.

In the case of coping with stress, someone with a fixed mindset might believe that they inherit their anxious attitude from a parent and so there’s nothing that can be done about it. This can be “fatalistic,” says Robertson, and so it’s important to examine the source of your beliefs about your emotions.

For those who believe they have the ability to change their approach to stress, Robertson points out that the same symptoms—such as a dry mouth and racing heart—apply to both fear and excitement. Studies have found that when people are put in a stressful situation, such as singing karaoke or answering math questions in front of a panel, rather than trying to stay calm, they perform far better when they simply tell themselves they’re excited.

In line with this, Robertson says it helps to conceive of stress as a challenge rather than a threat.Making that mental switch, just re-framing it reduces stress and improves performance,” he adds. And finally, faking it until you make it really does work. “If you adopt the external manifestation of confidence and positivity, you can trick your brain into creating the mental correlates of that fake external posture,” says Robertson.

Stress works like the immune system

There can be a downside to constantly avoiding stress, especially early in life. Robertson says that the stress response system seems to work like the immune system, in that it gets stronger if it has a little practice.

“Children need to experience a certain amount of adversity so that both their body and mind becomes toughened and resilient,” he says. Too much adversity can be harmful, but Robertson adds, “There’s a sweet spot of adversity that someone can have, particularly in the first two decades of their life that seems to make them emotionally robust.”

Studies have found that children who were adopted at a young age (which is classified as moderate early life stress, compared to children who spent several years in care before being adopted) grow up to have lower levels of stress hormone cortisol in response to stressful situations than US children who’d had very little adversity. Similarly, those who’ve experienced adversity have been found to suffer less physical impairment from chronic back pain than those who lived cushy lives.

And so learning to cope with stressful situations at a young age can be extremely beneficial. While nobody wants to be constantly chasing after stress, a little bit of stress can be a powerful motivator.

“Many comedians and performers worry if they don’t feel that edge of anxiety before a performance,” says Robertson. “Tiger Woods says if he doesn’t feel anxious before a match, he knows he’s going to do badly.”