Do you ever feel that things are too hard or why try.? Ever have a boss insist competition and prizes are the best way to incentivize people? In school were you the person who could answer easy questions but didn't like hard questions? Did you feel uncomfortable not knowing an answer in public?
What makes a great athlete, student, manager? What keeps us happy? How do we avoid putting our kids on the road to success or failure that has only 1 path?
Mindset is the work of 30 yrs of research into psychology by Dr. Carol Dweck. The basic premise is this: People can fall into 1 of 2 mindsets: fixed or growth mindsets. Surprisingly the growth mindset which leads to much higher rates of achievement and happiness over the long run is anathema to solely competing for prizes or grades or money.
The growth mind set is about learning how to compete against oneself. It is surprising how angry people become when they have a label affixed to them and how it traps them. Labeling is the trap of the fixed mindset. If you are on either side of the debate with regards to "identity politics" I would suggest reading this book.
Even the positive labels limit people and hold them back. If you teach your kids they are "smart" they may not pursue challenges that are hard as it will upset the "mindset" they have. If you instead teach children they can work hard and constantly learn then they can pursue higher goals. This is the classic difference of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. The most most successful and happiest people by and large are internally motivated to learn and grow. Teaching team members, children or students that every effort only has an intrinsic reward is limiting.
The book uses examples from psychology test, group behavior and even sports anecdotes explaining the behaviors of john mcenroe (fixed) and Tiger Woods(growth). Mcenroe in a sad sort of way hated the game he devoted his life to. If you have kids in sports read this book.
The book is a fascinating read and probably one of the more interesting works I have come across in many months. Do you enjoy a tough new puzzle in life or would rather stick to the easy puzzles you have solved before? I would suggest purchasing Mindset if only to learn more about how you learn and more importantly how you can teach and share with those around you to be more successful and get meaning out of what you do.