A lot has been said and written about fixed and growth mindsets by Carol Dweck. In a nutshell, people with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence, talent and personality are givens and there is nothing one can do about it. However, people with a growth mindset think that their qualities can be developed through effort and dedication.
I always wonder when our education system, our teachers and parents would get this growth outlook! We often label children as smart or dumb and appreciate them for their innate capabilities. Kids who are labeled ‘smart’ might think that hard work and learning is not necessary whereas those who are labeled ‘dumb’ might think that there is nothing much they could do to improve their performance. Instead, praising the efforts, concentration and dedication is a good idea. This gives children the control to learn and improve.
It is not easy for a generation that has grown up with a fixed mindset to accept and believe that brain is a muscle which can be strengthened with practice. Nevertheless, we should try!