“Ability alone does not lead you to success – you have to work for it!”

Thanks to James Nottingham’s Facebook page I came across an article by Carol Dweck , author of Mindset, where she talks about how she was influenced by and connected to 5 different published works. People may remember 2 prior posts ( mindsets , James Nottingham ) where I wrote about Carol’s work on fixed and fluid mindsets and its effect on learners. I thought there were some interesting quotes in the article worth repeating.

“I believe the self-esteem movement distorted our intuitions. They told us that if we praised people as lavishly and frequently as possible we would give them confidence, and if they had confidence then achievement would follow. People bought this hook, line and sinker and it became common sense. Our research showed that this was wrong, but it will take a long time to retrain conventional wisdom”. by Carol Dweck

“Ability alone does not take you to success. You actually have to work for it.” by Carol Dweck

Carol I think is suggesting that we are bringing up a generation of youth where the norm is to be a little self-indulgent (perhaps – thanks to our lavish praise) and the general belief is that things will come with little effort.

I remember seeing a youth a few years ago question a former national sports coach on why they needed to practice a certain drill till he got it right – I remember feeling dumb founded and a little angry at that point – but I now think it was probably an example of a fixed mind-set no doubt supported by the constant praise of former coaches for his talent and results (not effort  – in weaker competitions).

Other quotes:

“they fail…. because they are afraid   …. of disappointing people …. (example of) ….. fixed mindset” (John Holt)

“intelligence is a set of attitudes …… way of approaching challenges.” (John Holt)

“Mistakes are our friends” (John Holt)

(described the Western culture) …. “passion to measure, label and categorise people” (Stephen Gould)

“What he (Benjamin Bloom) found was that exceptional achievement seemed to come from training and perseverance and not really from genetic endowment.” (quote by Carol on Bloom).

(The) “key factor … home environment (where) …. work ethic and focus on the importance of doing your best at whatever you do …… where at the dinner table ….. ‘who had a fabulous struggle today?’ (or) …. ‘who tried something really hard and learned something new?” (Benjamin Bloom)

… ” what any person in the world can learn, almost all people (except for brain disability) can learn with the right prior and current conditions go learning” (Bloom)

(from Michael Lewis’s Moneyball book) … “relationship between training and skill would be utterly obvious in sport …. but apparently it isn’t.”

I am thinking here about my sporting example.

(and from Norman Doidge’s book) “…… neuroplasticity ……….brain is like a muscle that can grow with exercise” (thinking)

The quotes, from a variety of sources, reinforce for me the value in considering the movement to support people in developing “growth mind sets” – its not too late.

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