Change Your Mindset and Make Waves

Carol Dweck describes her research on two mindsets in the book “Mindset.” The fixed mindset is based on the belief that intelligence and other traits are unchanging: either you have them or you don’t. The growth mindset is based on the belief that intelligence and other traits can be developed with effort. The great thing about this book is that simply being aware of the two mindsets and the results of holding them helps us to reframe our thinking. People with the fixed mindset avoid challenges, which could result in failure and reveal a lower level of desirable qualities. People with the growth mindset do not fear failure, as they view it as an opportunity for learning.

Mindset does not say we can be anything we want with enough time and hard work, but that the hand you are dealt is just the starting point for development. We do encounter limitations, and some people may have more natural talent in various areas that makes it easier for them to develop in those areas. However, most people who at excel at something put in a lot of time and work to get where they are.  Mindset

Mindset Resources

Make Waves” by Patti Johnson outlines methods for creating change with many examples of how others have done it. The author challenges commonly held beliefs that can hold us back, like “Change must come from the top.” See how anyone can start a wave and more, in an excerpt at Start by asking  “What can I do?” and “What if?”


As in writing, it’s okay to get started with a wave before you know all the answers. The author describes incremental planning, with changes expected to be made as you learn more. To start a wave, you do need to be able to clearly describe what you want to accomplish and why, and have some ideas for where to start. However, you don’t have to have everything completely planned out prior to beginning.

Do an experiment

When you don’t know the answer to a problem, it can be helpful to run experiments. The experimental method is about trying different things out to see if they work or not. We see this in the business world with the Lean Startup Method, which depends on creating a minimal viable product to test. While Yoda said “Do or do not. There is no try,” in the movie Star Wars, William Edward Hickson said “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Things I learned from these books:

  • Be curious!
  • It’s okay to start without knowing all the answers.
  • Test assumptions with experiments.
  • View failure as learning, and try doing something else.
  • Change isn’t easy, but much can be accomplished with hard work and time.

The Change Toolkit is full of resources for making a change.

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

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Posted in Books, personal development
6 comments on “Change Your Mindset and Make Waves
  1. […] ← Change Your Mindset and Make Waves Nov 1 2014 […]

  2. […] Rational thoughts, positive thoughts and affirmations, a Growth Mindset, a can-do attitude, Grit, confident posture and body […]

  3. […] a growth mindset, a belief that abilities can be developed. (from Carol Dweck, author of […]

  4. […] through the point where others stop by developing grit.Understand that challenges and mistakes are to be expected. Take steps that are the right size: neither too small nor too […]

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