My Summer Books #1

 I thought it might help some of you wondering what books to read at the end of the summer. I’ve been reading a lot of books this summer since everything has locked down. So far, I’ve finished 25 books since the beginning of May. I admit some of them are very short, though. But I would like to recommend the best books that really gave me incredible insights. Thee books really affected my life, the view of myself and others, and my world in general. Some examples are: Power of Habits, Man’s Search for Meaning, Blink, Leaders Eat Last, Start with Why, and the Alchemist. 

I will try to review all of them, but for now, I want to share my insights about Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (2006) by the Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck. 

This book is about how people’s mindset determines its destiny. She claims there are two types of mindsets. One kind of mindset is called fixed. A fixed mindset believes that they are born with talent and intelligence. Thus, they don’t have to try hard to learn something. In the fixed mindset mind, there are either losers or winners, no neutral ground. If you have a fixed mindset, you wouldn’t be happy about other people’s happiness. They believe that someone has to be sad in order for them to be happy.In contrast, the other mindset is called a growth mindset. People with this mindset focus on the effort, hard work instead of the end result. Everyone has unknown potential. Teachers, parents, and leaders’ responsibility is to aid children, students, and employees to achieve their highest potential by encouraging their effort.

I want to give an example of two types of parenting mindset. A fixed mindset parent would say to their kids, “son, you are so talented,” “daughter, you are very smart.” The child would think his talent or smartness lead to his achievement, not because of his amount of effort. At this moment, a fixed mind kid would stop working hard.

Meanwhile, a growth mindset parent would praise their kids differently. They would give a compliment on their effort. They would say, “kid, you got an A, so you must have worked hard.” Next time, that kid would work harder because he/she knows hard work leads to achievement.

I also reflected on myself about this mindset idea. When I was a small child, my dad used to tell me that I was very smart, bright like Mendeleev, who formulated the chemical periodic table. Now it makes sense to me why I always tried to be the smartest kid in the class in high school. I always felt like a loser whenever there is a better student in my class or school. And when I didn’t understand, I felt stupid and stopped learning. I would say I am smart; why don’t I understand it!. Also, I wouldn’t ask for help from other students because I didn’t want them to know that I was not smart. If there was something I didn’t understand, I would just hide it. So no one knew I was not smart. It feels like I missed out on a lot of stuff that I would have learned.

After I finished the book, I made some changes in my process of thinking. Mostly the book helped me to see myself and change my mindset. Even though I haven’t compared myself with others much, now I wouldn’t compare myself with others at all. There are no winners or losers, but people who are trying to be their best. I can only compare myself to myself. It seems like everything is possible with the right mindset. However, even when things go wrong, I won’t blame or hate myself because I tried my best, and that’s all that matters.

I hope you read or listen to this book if you haven’t. It will help you to change your mindset for your life. I’m pretty sure that I missed a lot of good points in the book, but how complimenting affects kids touched me the most.


Published by Ulzii, August 7th, 2020