There is a fascinating on-line interview at Tech Nation Podcasts with Dr Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology and Stanford Unversity, on her work on what she calls ‘fixed’ and ‘growth’ mindsets.
Dweck proposes that everyone has either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. A fixed mindset is one in which you view your talents and abilities as… well, fixed – you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure. A growth mindset, on the other hand, is one in which you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress, and that challenges are to be relished and anything’s possible. She also suggest that in spite of the ‘fixed’ name you can change your mindset, although she doesn’t say how. Perhaps you have to buy the book to find out.