E&C Book Review - Mindset

11:00 AM Elephant & Chick 0 Comments

"If you manage people or are a parent, (which is a form of managing people) drop everything and read Mindset."  - Guy Kawasaki, author of The Art of the Start
As much as everyone talks about the New Year as being a time for reflection and setting goals, I've found much more profound and pertinent times to do so in my life.  I think moving to a new place is a good time to start new habits ("set goals" if you insist on calling it that). I also think birthdays are a good time.

This year I experienced a new form of birthday.  My son's.  He turned one.  This is the first time I've had a child have a birthday.  The first of many I hope.  Talk about a time to stop and reflect.  How has it already been a year??  I've been a mom for a whole year.  Add to that moving to a different country that same week.  Compounded cause for reflection.  I've had a lot of time to think about what I want this new chapter of my life to look like.  I believe in living an intentional life, which requires choice, reflection, and a close look at the person I am and who I want to become.

This next chapter for me very much includes being a mother.  The years to come will be different than the past year.  From now on Taggart will only become more and more aware of my actions.  Not only my actions, but how I treat him and others.  What I say to him and others.  My life is literally a "life lesson" for him.  And I'll tell you what, that will make a person think long and hard about the type of person they are.

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And thus I bring you Elephant and Chick's first book review.  This is a book for anyone who interacts with people.... so... everyone!  Whether it's in the home as a parent, at work with coworkers, as a friend, student, sibling, child, volunteer, etc. This book is meant to help you understand those with whom you interact, as well as better understand yourself.  I particularly have enjoyed reading it as a parent and thinking about how the mind of my child is developing.

I ran across the book Mindset a couple of times in the past few months.  After hearing a bit about it's subject matter, I knew it was for me.  In the book, Carol Dweck, an acclaimed researcher and professor of psychology at Stanford University, explores the difference between two types of mindsets - growth and fixed.  Never does she actually come right out and say which is better, but rather to think about who you and to be and what you want to accomplish, and think about the type of mindset you want to have.  She illustrates the benefits of each and outcomes they'll lead to.

"...it’s all about what you want to look back and say... You can look back and say, “I could have been …,” polishing your unused endowments like trophies. Or you can look back and say, “I gave my all for the things I valued.” Think about what you want to look back and say. Then choose your mindset."

As a young parent, I think this is fascinating.  Taggart's mind is developing right now.  He could develop either one of the mindsets and it will affect the rest of his life!  I play a role in that.  Every interaction he and I have will help to shape how he thinks about himself, his ability, his view on those around him.  This is where my desire to live an intentional life comes in to play.  I want to be intentional about the way I am a parent to Taggart and influence his development.

As far as the application to me personally (as opposed to my son) goes... well, the good news is the author often talks about how to change mindsets.  If you're in one but wish for the other, never fear.  It is possible to change.  That's something I'll be working on for myself coming up.

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I have.  I'd love to hear what you think!