There is a lot of talk about mindset and how you have to change it to be successful. Do this, do that. Follow me.

No one has broken it down into the nitty gritty details. Or so I thought until I started digging.

I came across a jewel which explains this in detail. The lady who did this research is a psychologist at Stanford university called Carol Dweck. She wrote a book about it called…mindset!

The key thing that she found out that there are 2 types of mindsets. Fixed and flexible.

Fixed mindset in essence is when people state of you that you are smart or intelligent. You then pigeon hole yourself into expected behaviour and it can be detrimental to you in so many ways.

In her studies she found when kids had this type of mindset they struggled with challenges slightly outside of their capability. They had an expectation that being smart meant they knew how to figure something out or should know this.

Queue #facepalm

What did happen is these kids struggled to learn. When they got to a challenge in life their expectation was so high that they failed to perform. They weren’t willing to investigate how to skill up to solve a problem.

They were smart! They should know! When they didn’t know that meant they were a failure.

You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out the emotional toll that has on someone. Then add in expectations at home and the psychological pressure it brings and you have a recipe for a angry youth. Especially when adding in hormones and growing identity crisis.

The second mindset is the one which allows for growth and learning.

A flexible mindset meant the kids saw a challenge as an opportunity for learning. Exploring new ideas. Testing ideas. Having fun.

They didn’t see it as failure. They saw it as a way to learn. They were excited about the challenge.

Here is an insightful Youtube comment to this video.

I figured, “This is hard. It shouldn’t be. I’m gifted.” I then gave up on myself and started getting nearly straight F’s in school. What turned my life around… and this might trigger some people… was Fox News. I became a conservative and started seeing the world for what it really was. I then started studying Asian culture and realizing that the reason many of the Asian kids in my classes were so smart was because they studied infinitely harder than me. They weren’t just born that way. I then studied famous people who I looked up to: Ben Carson, Liz Wheeler, Corey Lewandowski, Dinesh D’Souza. I realized they, too, read a lot and studied hard to become so accomplished and smart. Everything changed for me. I went from barely graduating high school to now having a 3.5 GPA.”

Lets recap what we have learned so far.

Einstein made mistakes because he was human. Based on his approach he was keen on learning. He also liked visualisation which helped him develop his different perspectives.

He was more about persistence than anything else. That does require a flexible mindset.

There you have 2 principles to thinking like a genius.

They can be applied to critical thinking as well.

These are only some of the aspects which make up the fundamentals of developing the skill of thinking.

To find out more about the skill of thinking click here for more