Summary of “Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives – Brain Pickings”

A “Fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled.
This growth mindset is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts.
When we teach people the growth mindset, with its focus on development, these ideas about challenge and effort follow…. As you begin to understand the fixed and growth mindsets, you will see exactly how one thing leads to another-how a belief that your qualities are carved in stone leads to a host of thoughts and actions, and how a belief that your qualities can be cultivated leads to a host of different thoughts and actions, taking you down an entirely different road. []. The mindsets change what people strive for and what they see as success… they change the definition, significance, and impact of failure… they change the deepest meaning of effort.
Even these young children conformed to the characteristics of one of the two mindsets – those with “Fixed” mentality stayed on the safe side, choosing the easier puzzles that would affirm their existing ability, articulating to the researchers their belief that smart kids don’t make mistakes; those with the “Growth” mindset thought it an odd choice to begin with, perplexed why anyone would want to do the same puzzle over and over if they aren’t learning anything new.
Perhaps most importantly, the two mindsets also impacted the kids’ level of enjoyment – everyone enjoyed the first round of easier questions, which most kids got right, but as soon as the questions got more challenging, the ability-praised kids no longer had any fun, while the effort-praised ones not only still enjoyed the problems but even said that the more challenging, the more fun.
This illustrates the key difference between the two mindsets – for those with a growth one, “Personal success is when you work your hardest to become your best,” whereas for those with a fixed one, “Success is about establishing their superiority, pure and simple. Being that somebody who is worthier than the nobodies.” For the latter, setbacks are a sentence and a label.
Dweck found that people exhibited the same dichotomy of dispositions in their personal relationships: Those with a fixed mindset believed their ideal mate would put them on a pedestal and make them feel perfect, like “The god of a one-person religion,” whereas those with the growth mindset preferred a partner who would recognize their faults and lovingly help improve them, someone who would encourage them to learn new things and became a better person.
In the rest of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Dweck goes on to explore how these fundamental mindsets form, what their defining characteristics are in different contexts of life, and how we can rewire our cognitive habits to adopt the much more fruitful and nourishing growth mindset.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Wisdom of Trees: Walt Whitman on What Our Silent Friends Teach Us About Being Rather Than Seeming – Brain Pickings”

“When we have learned how to listen to trees,” Hermann Hesse wrote in his lyrical love letter to our arboreal companions, “Then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy.” Two generations earlier, a different titan of poetic sentiment extolled trees not only as a source of joy but as a source of unheralded moral wisdom and an improbable yet formidable model of what is noblest in the human character.
“How it all nourishes, lulls me,” he exulted, “In the way most needed; the open air, the rye-fields, the apple orchards.” The transcendent record of Whitman’s communion with the natural world survives in Specimen Days – a sublime collection of prose fragments and diary entries, restoring the word “Specimen” to its Latin origin in specere: “To look at.” What emerges is a jubilant celebration of the art of seeing, so native to us yet so easily unlearned, eulogized with the singular electricity that vibrates in Whitman alone.
Standing at its mighty four-foot trunk, he contemplates the unassailable authenticity of trees as a counterpoint to what Hannah Arendt would lament a century later as the human propensity for appearing rather than being.
How strong, vital, enduring! how dumbly eloquent! What suggestions of imperturbability and being, as against the human trait of mere seeming.
Almost emotional, palpably artistic, heroic, of a tree; so innocent and harmless, yet so savage.
Science scoffs at reminiscence of dryad and hamadryad, and of trees speaking.
One lesson from affiliating a tree – perhaps the greatest moral lesson anyhow from earth, rocks, animals, is that same lesson of inherency, of what is, without the least regard to what the looker on supposes or says, or whether he likes or dislikes.
Complement this particular fragment with a tender illustrated ode to our bond with trees, the story of how Marianne Moore saved a rare tree’s life with a poem, and a lyrical short film about our silent companions, then revisit Whitman on democracy, identity and the paradox of the self, and his timeless advice on living a vibrant and rewarding life.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Secrets of 13 of the world’s most productive people”

“Email used to stress me out. Now I can organize every conversation, and I go into the channel when I need to-I don’t check it every hour. Like, when I get up, the first thing I do is not look at my phone. The first thing I do is I take at least 10 deep breaths.” She demonstrates, seemingly shifting her mind from the cacophonous, dimly lit restaurant, where she’s occupying a prime corner table, to a mellower internal place: “Inhale … exhale; inhale … exhale. That really calms you down.”
“Sometimes you get out there and your body is feeling great, and you don’t have to push it. Sometimes you get out there and your legs feel like they’re 80 pounds apiece, and you gotta do a little extra.”
“I have a 6-year-old who likes to have milk at 6 o’clock every morning, so from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m., he drinks milk, and my husband and I drink coffee. We talk and catch up on the news-Jim likes to hear it, I like to read it. After that, I work out for an hour, then go to work.”
“I’m on the phone quite a bit. I talk to congressional leaders and call people in different communities, formulating what I’m going to ask , and how I’m going to ask it. It’s all about the information you obtain. The right questions can help put something on the table and change procedures and policy.”
“Every family dinner is like I’m testing out my own products. Later, since we also have a team in China, we have night calls from 10 p.m. to after midnight quite a few times during the week.”
“I’ve never exchanged an email with somebody else who works at Slack. I check my email maybe once a day. It’s quite peripheral to how I work … A lot of my productivity around using Slack is knowing to prioritize what information I need to see. That means [heavily] muting channels or not joining channels, and”starring” the ones that are really important to me.
Founder and CEO, The Geek Factory, Inc. Work backward to map out how you’ll prepare for an event or meeting.
For more productivity tips, check out season 1 of Fast Company’s Secrets of the Most Productive People podcast.

The orginal article.

Summary of “25 Lessons Business School Won’t Ever Teach You”

There are a lot of great lessons you can learn in business school.
Some of the most important lessons you’ll ever learn about how to be successful in business comes from getting out there and doing it.
If you’re hoping that MBA will be your golden ticket to kickstarting a successful career in business, consider these all-important 25 lessons that you’ll have to learn outside the classroom.
This is a topic rarely covered in business school.
Business school will teach you the steps you should follow when forming a business: how to do research, come up with a plan, make a budget, choose a business structure and so on.
Weighing opportunity versus potential failure is often personal – you must take into account so many factors beyond the business formulas you learn in school.
Business school may teach you that disruption begins with defining a solution to a problem and then finding a way to add value to customers’ experience.
Learning to navigate the harsh business world will teach you more than you can ever learn in a classroom.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Helping My Fair-Skinned Son Embrace His Blackness”

For the most part, the neighborhood in New Haven, Connecticut, where we lived for the first 11 years of our son’s life was a refuge from such skeptics.
Sure, the new crop of Yale grad students and junior faculty who moved in each year often looked askance when our son would yell “Mom” to me across grocery-store aisles, but they soon caught on.
Like other mixed-race children, our son started his journey to figure out his racial identity early.
School is the place where kids navigate their identity and relationships apart from their families.
In our children’s case, school was also separate from their neighborhood: Each day, they boarded a bus to attend a diverse magnet school about five miles from our home.
We moved to Washington, D.C., after 16 years in New Haven, and mere weeks before our children started high school and middle school.
Our son sat alongside his cousins of varying hues of black and brown as they listened to stories about how their great-uncle was fired from his factory job after he told his boss he supported Martin Luther King Jr., and how he later sold scrap metal to send my eldest cousin to college.
Our son roared with laughter as his mother and aunties stayed up late singing and dancing to soul, R&B, and old-school hip-hop.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I’m a Caregiver for My Partner, and Here’s How Our Relationship Survives”

Growing up, Em learned how to drive a tractor and a truck, and she knew how to change a tire before she got behind the wheel of a car.
At a time when most of her friends were getting their careers and families going, she became a professional patient, in and out of hospitals, preparing and recovering, forever going to specialists and surgeons who poked and prodded, cut her open and sewed her up again.
Finding a restaurant can be exasperating to us both; I get frustrated at how many places we can’t go, and she feels like a drag and gets deflated, too.
I asked questions about how it worked and how often she changed it-you know, the usual foreplay.
You wish for love, but when it arrives, you never know how it will look.
“Do you think I will ever get better?” she asks, and I always say yes, because what else am I going to say? I need to believe it, too.
“Women often just want someone to listen to them.” So “I’m sorry you’re going through that; tell me more about it” is a perfectly reasonable response when your partner starts talking about what’s wrong.
“Out of all best intentions, the well partner often takes on more than they should, making the ill spouse feel disempowered and diminished,” Jacobs says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Kobe Bryant attempts to revise his story with Hollywood’s help”

So no one hassles Kobe Bryant when he walks into the airport a few minutes late, considering he was just in the parking lot, napping in his car.
In the literal and metaphorical sense, Bryant is pointed toward Hollywood – an arena of vast possibilities but one that, over the past year, has begun fighting back against a culture of sexual harassment and assault, illuminating the wrongs of the past.
Here’s a story he has told many times: Bryant was 19, two years after he skipped college to play in the NBA straight out of high school, and one day he received an unexpected call from Michael Jackson.
There’s a trophy in the shape of a coiled black mamba, and a massive black-and-white print of a snake is on a wall behind Bryant and Lil Wayne, who actually genuflects when calling Bryant an Oscar winner.
How about when Bryant refused to work out for Charlotte after the Hornets drafted him in 1996 and even threatened to play in Italy if they couldn’t trade him to Los Angeles? That’s because, he told himself and others, Charlotte gave up on him immediately after the draft; in 2014, Bryant tweeted thanks to the Hornets, a franchise he’d convinced himself “Had no use for me.” Or the legend of how a 10-year-old Bryant, living overseas as his father played professional basketball, beat former NBA first-round pick Brian Shaw in a game of HORSE? “As the years went on, the legend grew and the story changed,” Shaw is quoted as saying in the Bryant biography “Showboat.”
The best protagonists travel a solitary journey, so Bryant declined teammates’ dinner invitations in favor of film study and solo workouts, once screamed profanity at Ron Harper when Harper suggested Bryant trust the offensive system instead of forcing shots, met Jordan and immediately declared he could beat His Airness in a game of one-on-one.
“The presence of a system and talented teammates [Shaq] hampered his story line,” writes Jackson, who returned to the Lakers in part because he and Bryant made a pact to support each other and air criticisms only in private; the partnership would yield two more championships.
Among the influences pictured on the wall of Kobe Inc., Steve Jobs might be the one with whom Bryant has the most in common.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The 21 Most Important Questions Of Your Life”

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned from reading books, interviewing smart people, and having conversations with my mentors is that questions are more important than answers.
“Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.”
The right question at the right time can spark the right answer that changes your life.
In this article, I want to share 21 questions across four areas that have the potential to change everything about what you do.
Life In General Let’s start with a few yes/no questions to assess how you feel.
I have simply made a note in my note-taking app with these 21 questions.
The reason why these quick questions are important is that you want to adjust your strategy if you answer no to any one of them.
What questions am I not asking myself? There are a lot of things in the universe that we don’t know that we don’t know.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Mental Models: How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways”

One of the best ways to do this is to expand the set of mental models you use to think.
Learning a new mental model gives you a new way to see the world-like Richard Feynman learning a new math technique.
There is no single mental model from physics or engineering, for example, that provides a flawless explanation of the entire universe, but the best mental models from those disciplines have allowed us to build bridges and roads, develop new technologies, and even travel to outer space.
The more you master a single mental model, the more likely it becomes that this mental model will be your downfall because you’ll start applying it indiscriminately to every problem.
Mental models provide an internal picture of how the world works.
The mind’s eye needs a variety of mental models to piece together a complete picture of how the world works.
This is why it is important to not only learn new mental models, but to consider how they connect with one another.
Of all the mental models humankind has generated throughout history, there are just a few dozen that you need to learn to have a firm grasp of how the world works.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Using Experiments to Launch New Products”

One simple and often overlooked way for larger companies to experiment is to randomize the introduction of new products across a set of markets.
Uber is not alone among these companies in turning to market-level experiments to test new products and innovations.
Airbnb recently ran an experiment to test the impact of a new landing-page design on search-engine ranking and traffic.
Based on these findings, Airbnb launched the new design for all markets.
It’s not just tech companies who can use large-scale experiments to test new products and innovations.
3) Make sure to track not only whether your new product is working but also how its launch affects existing products.
When Airbnb launches new products, the company needs to think about how bookings through existing products are affected.
Is the new product improving outcomes for some types of customers while harming them for others? Did the new product help one part of your acquisition funnel but hurt another? Do these moves align with your pre-experiment hypothesis? Understanding why a metric has moved can help you not only make a rollout decision but also understand how to innovate within a product space.

The orginal article.