Il segreto del successo

Credere in se stessi, questo sembra il segreto del successo.

Di fronte a formule tanto semplici lo scetticismo è d’obbligo ma la mole di evidenze portata da Carol Dweck nel suo “Mindset: Changing The Way You think To Fulfil Your Potential” mette in crisi anche il più prevenuto dei lettori.

Rispetto alle difficoltà che ognuno di noi incontra tutti i  giorni sul suo cammino, i comportamenti delle persone sono molto differenti. E questa differenza tra individuo e individuo si manifesta già nei bambini

… I expected differences among children in how they coped with the difficulty, but I saw something I never expected. Confronted with the hard puzzles, one ten-year-old boy pulled up his chair, rubbed his hands together, smacked his lips, and cried out, “I love a challenge!” Another, sweating away on these puzzles, looked up with a pleased expression and said with authority, “You know, I was hoping this would be informative!…

C’è chi le rifugge e chi invece si frega le mani entusiasta di poterle affrontare mettendosi alla prova. C’è chi ama la sfida e chi la teme.

Ma le nostre qualità intellettuali, ovvero gli strumenti a nostra disposizione per far fronte ai problemi, possono essere coltivate e accresciute attraverso lo sforzo? Questa è la domanda cruciale.

Alcuni di noi sembrano crederlo fermamente. Altri vedono queste qualità come scolpite nella roccia. Ebbene, qui non interessa tanto la questione dell’innatismo quanto piuttosto quella della credenza: come si comportano i fatalisti rispetto ai libertari?…

… They knew that human qualities, such as intellectual skills, could be cultivated through effort… I, on the other hand, thought human qualities were carved in stone. You were smart or you weren’t, and failure meant you weren’t. It was that simple… Whether human qualities are things that can be cultivated or things that are carved in stone is an old issue. What these beliefs mean for you is a new one:…

Ma perché, innanzitutto, due atteggiamenti tanto differenti? La spiegazione potrebbe risiedere nel carattere delle persone. Molti sostengono che l’innatismo sia all’opera anche qui…

… Experts lined up on both sides. Some claimed that there was a strong physical basis for these differences, making them unavoidable and unalterable…

Altri puntano invece sull’educazione ricevuta…

… Others pointed to the strong differences in people’s backgrounds, experiences, training, or ways of learning. It may surprise you to know that a big champion of this view was Alfred Binet, the inventor of the IQ test….

Ma la posizione che va affermandosi è più sfumata…

… Today most experts agree that it’s not either–or. It’s not nature or nurture, genes or environment. From conception on, there’s a constant give and take between the two. In fact, as Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientist, put it, not only do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly…

La motivazione è l’elemento più importante per far scattare le qualità insite in ognuno di noi. Diciamo che è ciò che fa la differenza.

Sia chiaro, anche l’innatista sente anche lui l’urgenza di  “misurarsi”

… Believing that your qualities are carved in stone—the fixed mindset—creates an urgency to prove yourself over and over…

Non sente il bisogno di migliorarsi, perché è scettico sulla possibilità di farlo. Per costui l’ IQ è un totem e per misurarlo occorre mettersi alla prova…

… Some of us are trained in this mindset from an early age. Even as a child, I was focused on being smart, but the fixed mindset was really stamped in by Mrs. Wilson, my sixth-grade teacher. Unlike Alfred Binet, she believed that people’s IQ scores told the whole story of who they were. We were seated around the room in IQ order, and only the highest-IQ students could be trusted to carry the flag,..

Curiosità specifica e voglia d’imparare passano però in secondo piano…

… Who cared about or enjoyed learning when our whole being was at stake every time she gave us a test or called on us in class?…

Confermarsi diviene un imperativo e tutto è visto in termini di successo e fallimento…

… Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, or character. Every situation is evaluated: Will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected?…

La mentalità opposta, quella che valorizza lo sforzo, vede la prova solo come un punto di partenza, un modo per capire dove applicarsi di più per migliorare…

… In this mindset, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development….

Ogni fallimento è un’occasione per diventare migliori…

… Did you know that Darwin and Tolstoy were considered ordinary children? That Ben Hogan, one of the greatest golfers of all time, was completely uncoordinated and graceless as a child? That the photographer Cindy Sherman, who has been on virtually every list of the most important artists of the twentieth century, failed her first photography course? That Geraldine Page, one of our greatest actresses, was advised to give it up for lack of talent?…

La mentalità innatista, invece, vede tutto come un indizio delle proprie competenze

… In other words, they’d see what happened as a direct measure of their competence and worth…

La mentalità legata al miglioramento è più ottimista…

… Are these just people with low self-esteem? Or card-carrying pessimists? No. When they aren’t coping with failure, they feel just as worthy and optimistic—and bright and attractive—as people with the growth mindset….Yet those people with the growth mindset were not labeling themselves and throwing up their hands. Even though they felt distressed, they were ready to take the risks, confront the challenges, and keep working at them…

L’innatista è scettico sulle virtù dello sforzo…

… What is truly amazing is that people with the fixed mindset would not agree. For them, it’s “Nothing ventured, nothing lost.” “If at first you don’t succeed, you probably don’t have the ability.” “If Rome wasn’t built in a day, maybe it wasn’t meant to be.”…it’s startling to see the degree to which people with the fixed mindset do not believe in effort…

La credenza di fondo è tutto quando andiamo a osservare lo sforzo profuso effettivamente…

… It’s not just that some people happen to recognize the value of challenging themselves and the importance of effort. Our research has shown that this comes directly from the growth mindset. When we teach people the growth mindset, with its focus on development, these ideas about challenge and effort follow. Similarly, it’s not just that some people happen to dislike challenge and effort. When we (temporarily) put people in a fixed mindset, with its focus on permanent traits, they quickly fear challenge and devalue effort… We often see books with titles like The Ten Secrets of the World’s Most Successful People crowding the shelves of bookstores, and these books may give many useful tips. But they’re usually a list of unconnected pointers, like “Take more risks!” or “Believe in yourself!”…

Domanda: chi crede nel miglioramento è un presuntuoso?…

… Well, maybe the people with the growth mindset don’t think they’re Einstein or Beethoven, but aren’t they more likely to have inflated views of their abilities and try for things they’re not capable of?…

Risposta: no, al contrario, è il fatalista di solito ad incorrere in un bias: è eccessivamente modesto…

… But it was those with the fixed mindset who accounted for almost all the inaccuracy. The people with the growth mindset were amazingly accurate…

Le grandi menti di solito sono dedite allo sforzo e sono anche le migliori nel capire i loro limiti…

… Howard Gardner, in his book Extraordinary Minds, concluded that exceptional individuals have “a special talent for identifying their own strengths and weaknesses…

Chi sa migliorarsi è più resiliente e risponde meglio a difficoltà e imprevisti…

… The other thing exceptional people seem to have is a special talent for converting life’s setbacks into future successes. Creativity researchers concur. In a poll of 143 creativity researchers, there was wide agreement about the number one ingredient in creative achievement. And it was exactly the kind of perseverance and resilience produced by the growth mindset…

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Tra gli studenti esistono concezioni diverse di abilità, e quindi anche di sforzo e di miglioramento…

… One day my doctoral student, Mary Bandura, and I were trying to understand why some students were so caught up in proving their ability, while others could just let go and learn. Suddenly we realized that there were two meanings to ability, not one: a fixed ability that needs to be proven, and a changeable ability that can be developed through learning…

Ma il successo si impara o si consegue passivamente squadernando le proprie abilità? Benjamin Barber non ha dubbi…

… Benjamin Barber, an eminent sociologist, once said, “I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures…. I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.”…

L’unica vera distinzione è tra chi sa imparare e chi no.

L’innatista non ama esporsi e rilevare le sue capacità. Questo è un limite che una mentalità dinamica non soffre: cimentarsi in una prova è un’occasione per migliorarsi…

… Believing that success is about learning, students with the growth mindset seized the chance. But those with the fixed mindset didn’t want to expose their deficiencies…

Non poteva mancare anche qui una verifica a base di cervelli scannerizzati: l’attenzione degli innatisti ha un picco quando vengono comunicati gli esiti del test…

… People with a fixed mindset were only interested when the feedback reflected on their ability. Their brain waves showed them paying close attention when they were told whether their answers were right or wrong…

Quella dei “libertari” quando vengono spiegati gli errori

… Only people with a growth mindset paid close attention to information that could stretch their knowledge. Only for them was learning a priority…

Qual è la vostra priorità? La sfida o il successo?…

… What’s Your Priority?… If you had to choose, which would it be? Loads of success and validation or lots of challenge?…

Chi è orientato al miglioramento ama la compagnia di chi lo corregge

… People with the growth mindset hoped for a different kind of partner. They said their ideal mate was someone who would: See their faults and help them to work on them…

Sposarsi tra persone con mentalità diversa su questo punto può essere un dramma…

… A growth-mindset woman tells about her marriage to a fixed-mindset man: I had barely gotten all the rice out of my hair when I began to realize I made a big mistake. Every time I said something like “Why don’t we try to go out a little more?” or “I’d like it if you consulted me before making decisions,” he was devastated. Then instead of talking about the issue I raised, I’d have to spend literally an hour repairing the damage and making him feel good again…

Chi vuole migliorarsi vuole sempre cimentarsi con i migliori, non ha paura di toccare con mano i propri limiti…

… Mia Hamm, the greatest female soccer star of her time, says it straight out. “All my life I’ve been playing up, meaning I’ve challenged myself with players older, bigger, more skillful, more experienced—in short, better than me.”…

La morte ideale di chi possiede una mentalità dinamica: quando puó dire “le ho provate tutte”…

… “When you’re lying on your deathbed, one of the cool things to say is, ‘I really explored myself.’…

L’esempio dell’attore Cristopher Reeve

… Christopher Reeve, the actor, was thrown from a horse. His neck was broken, his spinal cord was severed from his brain, and he was completely paralyzed below the neck. Medical science said, So sorry. Come to terms with it. Reeve, however, started a demanding exercise program that involved moving all parts of his paralyzed body with the help of electrical stimulation. Why couldn’t he learn to move again? Why couldn’t his brain once again give commands that his body would obey? Doctors warned that he was in denial and was setting himself up for disappointment. They had seen this before and it was a bad sign for his adjustment. But, really, what else was Reeve doing with his time? Was there a better project? Five years later, Reeve started to regain movement…

Lo studente a mentalità statica si ritira dopo il primo semestre se non ingrana…

… Most students started out pretty interested in chemistry. Yet over the semester, something happened. Students with the fixed mindset stayed interested only when they did well right away…

La mentalità dinamica gode quando il livello (grado di difficoltà nei videogiochi) si incrementa

… We saw the same thing in younger students. We gave fifth graders intriguing puzzles, which they all loved. But when we made them harder, children with the fixed mindset showed a big plunge in enjoyment…. Children with the growth mindset, on the other hand, couldn’t tear themselves away from the hard problems…

La mentalità statica si sente intelligente quando non fa errori, la mentalità dinamica quando impara qualcosa.

Se non faccio errori perchè mai dovrei imparare ancora? È la domanda che sorge spontanea in chi ha una mentalità statica. Per costoro l’abilità si manifesta, non si conquista…

… Actually, people with the fixed mindset expect ability to show up on its own, before any learning takes place. After all, if you have it you have it, and if you don’t you don’t…

Un classico caso di mentalità statica è quello dei plagiari, ecco il caso famoso di due giornalisti dal talento notevole ma dalla mentalità statica…

… Janet Cooke and Stephen Glass. They were both young reporters who skyrocketed to the top—on fabricated articles. Janet Cooke won a Pulitzer Prize for her Washington Post articles about an eight-year-old boy who was a drug addict. The boy did not exist, and she was later stripped of her prize. Stephen Glass was the whiz kid of The New Republic, who seemed to have stories and sources reporters only dream of. The sources did not exist and the stories were not true..The public understands them as cheats, and cheat they did. But I understand them as talented young people—desperate young people—who succumbed to the pressures of the fixed mindset….

Motto dei dinamici: “diventare è meglio che essere“.

Motto degli statici: “un test è per sempre“.

Molti “grandi” del nostro tempo sono stati giudicati erroneamente come persone senza un futuro…

… Many of the most accomplished people of our era were considered by experts to have no future. Jackson Pollock, Marcel Proust, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Lucille Ball, and Charles Darwin were all thought to have little potential for their chosen fields…

Facciamo il caso di Paul Cezanne

… I once went to an exhibit in London of Paul Cézanne’s early paintings. On my way there, I wondered who Cézanne was and what his paintings were like before he was the painter we know today. I was intensely curious because Cézanne is one of my favorite artists and the man who set the stage for much of modern art. Here’s what I found: Some of the paintings were pretty bad. They were overwrought scenes, some violent, with amateurishly painted people. Although there were some paintings that foreshadowed the later Cézanne, many did not. Was the early Cézanne not talented? Or did it just take time for Cézanne to become Cézanne? People with the growth mindset know that it takes time for potential to flower…

Quando si ha a che fare con una mentalità dinamica il giudizio al tempo x ha poco senso: personalità del genere non si fanno “fotografare“. La foto verrà sempre “mossa”.

La personalità dinamica è stimolata dalle critiche. Il caso di Jack Welch

… Jack Welch, the celebrated CEO of General Electric, chose executives on the basis of “runway,” their capacity for growth. And remember Marina Semyonova, the famed ballet teacher, who chose the students who were energized by criticism…

Classico caso di mentalità statica: Johm McEnroe

… John McEnroe had a fixed mindset: He believed that talent was all. He did not love to learn. He did not thrive on challenges; when the going got rough, he often folded. As a result, by his own admission, he did not fulfill his potential…

Un caso opposto: Michael Jordan

… As a contrast, let’s look at Michael Jordan—growth-minded athlete par excellence—whose greatness is regularly proclaimed by the world: “Superman,” “God in person,” “Jesus in tennis shoes.” If anyone has reason to think of himself as special, it’s he. But here’s what he said when his return to basketball caused a huge commotion: “I was shocked with the level of intensity my coming back to the game created…. People were praising me like I was a religious cult or something. That was very embarrassing. I’m a human being like everyone else.” Jordan knew how hard he had worked to develop his abilities…

Lo scrittore Tom Wolfe nel descrivere le accademie militari iperselezionate racconta bene come si forgia una mentalità statica…

… Tom Wolfe, in The Right Stuff, describes the elite military pilots who eagerly embrace the fixed mindset. Having passed one rigorous test after another, they think of themselves as special, as people who were born smarter and braver than other people….

Un grave errore: giudicare un bambino dai test che supera. Il caso dei Martins e di come un fallimento si trasformò in identità…

… The Martins worshiped their three-year-old Robert and always bragged about his feats. There had never been a child as bright and creative as theirs. Then Robert did something unforgivable—he didn’t get into the number one preschool in New York. After that, the Martins cooled toward him. They didn’t talk about him the same way, and they didn’t treat him with the same pride and affection… failure has been transformed from an action (I failed) to an identity (I am a failure)…

Mentalità statiche: il grande chef che si suicida per una stella in meno…

… Bernard Loiseau was one of the top chefs in the world. Only a handful of restaurants in all of France receive the supreme rating of three stars from the Guide Michelin, the most respected restaurant guide in Europe. His was one of them. Around the publication of the 2003 Guide Michelin, however, Mr. Loiseau committed suicide… A man of such talent and originality could easily have planned for a satisfying future, with or without the two points or the third star. In fact, the director of the GaultMillau said it was unimaginable that their rating could have taken his life…

Il fatalista si sente perduto quando non raggiuge la meta, il libertario quando non ha una meta da raggiungere. Paradossalmente, per quest’ultimo, un fallimento significa che esiste pur sempre una meta da raggiungere.

Reazioni possibili quando il consorte ha più successo di noi…

… Reaction #1: My husband, David, came running over beaming with pride and saying, “Life with you is so exciting!” Reaction #2: That evening when we came into the dining room for dinner, two men came up to my husband and said, “David, how’re you coping?”…

Se prendi un’insufficienza studierai di più o di meno? Dipende dalla tua mentalità!

… In one study, seventh graders told us how they would respond to an academic failure—a poor test grade in a new course. Those with the growth mindset, no big surprise, said they would study harder for the next test. But those with the fixed mindset said they would study less for the next test…

C’è chi di fronte ad un fallimento si rassegna e incolpa. Il caso di Scott Paper e di John McEnroe…

… Jim Collins tells in Good to Great of a similar thing in the corporate world. As Procter & Gamble surged into the paper goods business, Scott Paper—which was then the leader—just gave up. Instead of mobilizing themselves and putting up a fight, they said, “Oh, well … at least there are people in the business worse off than we are.” Another way people with the fixed mindset try to repair their self-esteem after a failure is by assigning blame or making excuses. Let’s return to John McEnroe…

Per John Wooden, invece, perdi veramente solo quando cerchi scuse…

… John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, says you aren’t a failure until you start to blame. What he means is that you can still be in the process of learning from your mistakes until you deny them…

Davanti alla depressione le due mentalità hanno modi di reagire antitetici…

… it’s been clear to me for a long time that different students handle depression in dramatically different ways. Some let everything slide. Others, though feeling wretched, hang on. They drag themselves to class, keep up with their work, and take care of themselves—so that when they feel better, their lives are intact…

La storia della lepre e della tartaruga ha dato una cattiva reputazione alla gente volenterosa facendola apparire vincente solo quando i talentuosi commettono errori in serie…

… The story of the tortoise and the hare, in trying to put forward the power of effort, gave effort a bad name. It reinforced the image that effort is for the plodders and suggested that in rare instances, when talented people dropped the ball, the plodder could sneak through…

In molte culture lo sgobbone è denigrato…

… People with the fixed mindset tell us, “If you have to work at something, you must not be good at it.” They add, “Things come easily to people who are true geniuses.”…

Malcom Gladwell sulla nostra predilezione per il talento…

… Malcolm Gladwell, the author and New Yorker writer, has suggested that as a society we value natural, effortless accomplishment over achievement through effort. We endow our heroes with superhuman abilities that led them inevitably toward their greatness. It’s as if Midori popped out of the womb fiddling, Michael Jordan dribbling, and Picasso doodling…

Pierre Chevalier sullo stesso tema…

… French executive Pierre Chevalier says, “We are not a nation of effort. After all, if you have savoir-faire [a mixture of know-how and cool], you do things effortlessly.”…

Come la volontà ti trasforma: storia di Laura Hillenbrand

… story about Seabiscuit’s author, Laura Hillenbrand. Felled in her college years by severe, recurrent chronic fatigue that never went away, she was often unable to function. Yet something in the story of the “horse who could” gripped and inspired her, so that she was able to write a heartfelt, magnificent story about the triumph of will. The book was a testament to Seabiscuit’s triumph and her own, equally. Seen through the lens of the growth mindset, these are stories about the transformative power of effort…

Come la paura di provare ti paralizza:storia di Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

… Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg made her violin debut at the age of ten with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Yet when she arrived at Juilliard to study with Dorothy DeLay, the great violin teacher, she had a repertoire of awful habits. Her fingerings and bowings were awkward and she held her violin in the wrong position, but she refused to change. After several years, she saw the other students catching up and even surpassing her, and by her late teens she had a crisis of confidence. “I was used to success, to the prodigy label in newspapers, and now I felt like a failure.” This prodigy was afraid of trying. “Everything I was going through boiled down to fear. Fear of trying and failing…. If you go to an audition and don’t really try, if you’re not really prepared, if you didn’t work as hard as you could have and you don’t win, you have an excuse……

I fidanzati di Amanda erano tutti sfigati, lei meritava di più ma era tormentata da una paura: “se davvero mi conoscessero per quello che sono?”. Tipico delle mentalità statiche…

… Amanda, a dynamic and attractive young woman. I had a lot of crazy boyfriends. A lot. They ranged from unreliable to inconsiderate. “How about a nice guy for once?” my best friend Carla always said. It was like, “You deserve better.” So then Carla fixed me up with Rob, a guy from her office. He was great, and not just on day one. I loved it. It was like, “Oh, my God, a guy who actually shows up on time.” Then it became serious and I freaked. I mean, this guy really liked me, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how, if he really knew me, he might get turned off. I mean, what if I really, really tried and it didn’t work? I guess I couldn’t take that risk…

Le mentalità statiche possono cambiare? Mmmmm, difficile…

… Sure, people with the fixed mindset have read the books that say: Success is about being your best self, not about being better than others; failure is an opportunity, not a condemnation; effort is the key to success. But they can’t put this into practice because their basic mindset—their belief in fixed traits—is telling them something entirely different…

Se una mentalità statica ha provato il suo valore diverrà ancora più statica: il suo compito è terminato…

… Question: If people believe their qualities are fixed, and they have shown themselves to be smart or talented, why do they have to keep proving it? After all, when the prince proved his bravery, he and the princess lived happily ever after. He didn’t have to go out and slay a dragon every day. Why don’t people with the fixed mindset prove themselves and then live happily ever after? Because every day new and larger dragons come along and, as things get harder, maybe the ability they proved yesterday is not up to today’s task…

Eppure la mentalità statica si può cambiare

… Question: Are mindsets a permanent part of your makeup or can you change them? Mindsets are an important part of your personality, but you can change them. Just by knowing about the two mindsets, you can start thinking and reacting in new ways…

E poi, importante: noi tutti siamo un fritto misto. Magari siamo giusto un 50/50…

… Question: Can I be half-and-half? I recognize both mindsets in myself. Many people have elements of both. I’m talking about it as a simple either–or for the sake of simplicity…

Altra cosa fondamentale che è sempre meglio ripetere:  lo sforzo, spesso sottovalutato, non è comunque tutto. Le colpe di un fallimento restano spesso incerte…

… Question: With all your belief in effort, are you saying that when people fail, it’s always their fault—they didn’t try hard enough? No! It’s true that effort is crucial—no one can succeed for long without it—but it’s certainly not the only thing. People have different resources and opportunities. For example, people with money (or rich parents) have a safety net. They can take more risks and keep going longer until they succeed. People with easy access to a good education, people with a network of influential friends, people who know how to be in the right place at the right time—all stand a better chance of having their effort pay off…

L’aspetto fondamentale: la mentalità dinamica ci realizza indipendentemente dal risultato. Ci fa amare quel che facciamo…

… However, this point is crucial: The growth mindset does allow people to love what they’re doing—and to continue to love it in the face of difficulties….

Problema: molte mentalità statiche si impegnano oltre misura (workalcholic). Come mai? Forse perchè ritengono il successo un segnale fondamentale, di certo non amano quello che fanno…

… Question: I know a lot of workaholics on the fast track who seem to have a fixed mindset. They’re always trying to prove how smart they are, but they do work hard and they do take on challenges. How does this fit with your idea that people with a fixed mindset go in for low effort and easy tasks? On the whole, people with a fixed mindset prefer effortless success, since that’s the best way to prove their talent. But you’re right, there are also plenty of high-powered people who think their traits are fixed and are looking for constant validation. These may be people whose life goal is to win a Nobel Prize or become the richest person on the planet—and they’re willing to do what it takes…

La mentalità statica non è una mancanza di fiducia in se stessi, sia chiaro…

… Question: Are people with the fixed mindset simply lacking in confidence? No. People with the fixed mindset have just as much confidence as people with the growth mindset—before anything happens, that is…

Guardate ai bambini: noi siamo nati tutti con una gran voglia di imparare. La mentalità statica subentra in alcuni successivamente per effetto delle esperienze e delle letture fatte. In questo senso non è mai un fenomeno necessario, si può sempre eludere e depotenziare…

… are all born with a love of learning, but the fixed mindset can undo it. Think of a time you were enjoying something—doing a crossword puzzle, playing a sport, learning a new dance. Then it became hard and you wanted out. Maybe you suddenly felt tired, dizzy, bored, or hungry…

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Il grande educatore John Holt s’interroga pensando a quanta gente in gamba conosce che a scuola andava male. Evidentemente c’è qualcosa che non va… nela scuola…

… John Holt, the great educator, says that these are the games all human beings play when others are sitting in judgment of them. “The worst student we had, the worst I have ever encountered, was in his life outside the classroom as mature, intelligent, and interesting a person as anyone at the school. What went wrong? … Somewhere along the line, his intelligence became disconnected from his schooling.”…

Curiosità e ricerca della sfida fanno più del talento…

… Most often people believe that the “gift” is the ability itself. Yet what feeds it is that constant, endless curiosity and challenge seeking. Is it ability or mindset? Was it Mozart’s musical ability or the fact that he worked till his hands were deformed? Was it Darwin’s scientific ability or the fact that he collected specimens nonstop from early childhood?…

Molti insegnanti hanno una mentalità statica…

… Falko Rheinberg, a researcher in Germany, studied schoolteachers with different mindsets. Some of the teachers had the fixed mindset. They believed that students entering their class with different achievement levels were deeply and permanently different: “According to my experience students’ achievement mostly remains constant in the course of a year.” “If I know students’ intelligence I can predict their school career quite well.” “As a teacher I have no influence on students’ intellectual ability.”…

Questi insegnanti sono giudici e mai alleati…

… The fixed mindset limits achievement. It fills people’s minds with interfering thoughts, it makes effort disagreeable, and it leads to inferior learning strategies. What’s more, it makes other people into judges instead of allies. Whether we’re talking about Darwin or college students, important achievements require a clear focus, all-out effort, and a bottomless trunk full of strategies. Plus allies in learning. This is what the growth mindset gives people, and that’s why it helps their abilities grow and bear fruit…

Nell‘arte le cose si possono fare con naturalezza o con grande sforzo: questo non ci dice nulla nè sulla qualità finale nè sulla felicità dell’artista…

… Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn’t mean that others can’t do it (and sometimes do it even better) with training. This is so important, because many, many people with the fixed mindset think that someone’s early performance tells you all you need to know about their talent and their future….

Jackson Pollock e il suo scarso talento…

… Experts agree that Pollock had little native talent for art, and when you look at his early products, it showed…

Studenti a mentalità fissa e a mentalità variabile: bisogna lodarli e redarguirli in modi differenti…

… We first gave each student a set of ten fairly difficult problems from a nonverbal IQ test. They mostly did pretty well on these, and when they finished we praised them. We praised some of the students for their ability. They were told: “Wow, you got [say] eight right. That’s a really good score. You must be smart at this.” They were in the Adam Guettel you’re-so-talented position. We praised other students for their effort: “Wow, you got [say] eight right. That’s a really good score. You must have worked really hard.” They were not made to feel that they had some special gift; they were praised for doing what it takes to succeed. Both groups were exactly equal to begin with. But right after the praise, they began to differ. As we feared, the ability praise pushed students right into the fixed mindset, and they showed all the signs of it, too…

In generale, le lodi favoriscono i fatalisti, le critiche i libertari.

I libertari sono anche più resistenti a stereotipi ed etichette, si puo’ persino dire che costoro amino sfatarle. Le stesse, al contrario, rinforzano le tendenze fataliste…

… When stereotypes are evoked, they fill people’s minds with distracting thoughts—with secret worries about confirming the stereotype. People usually aren’t even aware of it, but they don’t have enough mental power left to do their best on the test. This doesn’t happen to everybody, however. It mainly happens to people who are in a fixed mindset…

Il fatalismo delle donne genera in certa misura molti gender gap…

… The fixed mindset, plus stereotyping, plus women’s trust in people’s assessments: I think we can begin to understand why there’s a gender gap in math and science…

Come mai dalla famiglia Polgar sono uscite tre scacchiste di livello assoluto?…

… The Polgar family has produced three of the most successful female chess players ever. How? Says Susan, one of the three, “My father believes that innate talent is nothing, that [success] is 99 percent hard work. I agree with him.”…

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