Einstein_laughingSometimes, when people are confronted with the theory of mindset, they respond in disbelief, saying something like: “Are you saying that anyone could become an Einstein? Surely that is not possible!” Well, if the theory of mindset would assert such a bold thing, disbelief would be understandable. But is does not. Rather, it says something like:  anyone, no matter who he or she is, or where he or she now stands, can become smarter or, more generally put, can make progress if that person puts in effort and uses effective learning strategies. That may sound like a subtle difference but it is an important difference.

 

The theory of mindset is also realistic in the sense that it acknowledges that some people acquire certain skills faster than others for whatever complex set of reasons (and it is of course quite possible that differences is talent are among these reasons).  But while this is the case, this does not mean in any way that slower learning will necessarily prevent you from making progress and becoming smarter and not even from achieving a comparable or even superior end level. Some people start rather slowly but persistently put in effort, year after year, so they keep growing until they will have learned and achieved quite a lot.

 

Another point: none of us has to become an Einstein. That spot was already taken; there already was an Einstein. We can focus on following our own unique interests and aspirations. Furthermore, mindset is not only relevant for those individuals who want to aim for the highest levels of achievement, it is relevant also if we want to make modest progress, or become a just a bit smarter. Those things require effort too, and that effort requires the belief that it is possible just as well.

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