May 27, 2016 3:08 pm

Book review: Mindset – Psychology of Success

MindsetI am currently reading this beautiful book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck, a psychology professor from Stanford University.  It is one of the great books I have read so far, from interpersonal awareness point of view. Being aware of “Fixed” and “Growth” mindset characteristics and the thought process that we cultivate are much imperative for building better relationship, better businesses and better teacher/student relationship overall. Author gives plenty of examples to get better understanding of what “Fixed” mindset is and what “Growth” mindset is. In an essence we all have both the traits in us, and we may use them to the context. We may also crossover these mindsets at times , in our circumstances.


It is great to see numerous examples in several categories from Kids/parents to School/Teachers to corporate culture, businesses and Leadership, sports – essentially all walks of life and roles. Essentially my understanding and key takeaways reading this book, goes towards two aspects –
(a) the thought process or the mindsets that we inherently come with or put an effort to change our behavior and thought process over a period of time and over different circumstances,
(b) Communication, being a bottom line, is a root cause and remedy for every kind of relationship hassles – be it with any type of relationships – kids, schools, businesses, home, sports, work teams, etc.

What is cool over all of this book is the last chapter, as a workshop of how to change mindsets. Plenty of pointers and notes would help refresh and work on those areas.

Though I am still reading parts of this book – what I like is , as you read along the book , you would relate those scenarios to your own circumstances and apply these observations as appropriate.

Our School system and parenting is an epitome of  nurturing “Fixed” mindset in children. We praise kids for their grades (“what”) but seldom for their approach to achieving the grades (“How”). The action re-iterates over and over so they get bogged down with getting scores as their target, and most often than not, the lessons learned are short lived. However, if the kids were to keep their lessons for life, they should be kept focused on the “How” part than the intended outcome. In other words, we train children with “Fixed” mindset towards academics for the most, but seldom for their life (“Growth” mindset).

One of the powerful quotes from the book – “”We are not looking to crown a few princes, we need to work as a team” – Lou Gerstner, IBM”. Author has taken 3 key CEOs in the history coming from “Fixed” mindset taking the company to a newest height and declining at the same rate , and from “Growth” mindset steadily taking the companies to the greater heights at the same time empowering their employees, instilling the similar Growth mindset teamwork in them. There are plentiful references to Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” and “Build to Last”.

Here isMindset Book review1 a little part of my notes from this book for the extent I have read so far.




Hope you will take time to get hold of this book and read it for yourself, apply the concepts and share with others.


February 15, 2010 1:42 am

You do know one song daddy!

It is often great to learn that we learn from toddlers. We had been to a local community celebration – Kannada sangha’s sanranti gathering – this afternoon. One of our neighbors sang a couple of songs. I had one of those songs several times before in my childhood and also later years. We were driving and starting humming that song. Being sheepish for yet not knowing the lyrics, I said – to my wife on passenger seat, “although I seem to know several songs – one or two liners – I wish I had known complete lyrics of at least one song. I need to learn the lyrics so i can hum a complete song.”

Now, from the back – on a child seat – our daughter chimed in – i thought she had fallen asleep, but looks like she was still alert thought about to fall asleep. we couldn’t here at the front and asked her to repeat – says: you know one song completely daddy – mudaakaraatha modakam [youtube video]. Well, we had both learned this song together a few months ago.

My wife chimed in – “look: she wants to encourage and uplift you to the best of her knowledge”

Certainly, it is interesting. When I thought about how and what most adults would have responded when I said, i didn’t know a single song completely, it would probably have been (a ) accept what i said (b) console in a different way (c ) some words that might make me feel much sorry about myself 🙂

On the other hand she didn’t want me to feel sorry for not knowing other songs, and rather uplift or encourage for knowing one so keep up learning others – not a big deal.

It is the matter of Attitude and how others centric that we get to in helping others grow.

To an extent it also follows (in terms of awareness and learn) what I just learned on Alan Page’s blog – about 5 orders of Ignorance – in the context of software development  – Links here – article about 5OI ; 5 orders of Ignorance

October 21, 2009 11:58 pm

Where is my Computer?

Filed under: Children,Fun,Personal Development — ramsblog @ 11:58 pm

I remember talking about this in one of my blog posts before, that most often one of tricks my 4yr daughter has learned to get me do anything viz., wake up, go to her toy room, go over to car, etc has become through my laptop computer. the Typical conversation:

V: Daddy, please look at at this
me: okay, good (without even looking at her)
V: daddy. lets go, it is going to be late for school
me: okay, lets go. please wear your shoes
V: i need your help
me: ok, lets get to the car (daddy not even moved from the chair)
V: (now getting irritated a bit) closes my laptop computer takes it along with her.
daddy now follows wherever she goes with the laptop computer in hand.

last night, a similar instance happened when she was about to sleep and perhaps needed me or her mom to put her to bed. I didn’t nudge but doing something else in living room allowing my computer battery to charge.

She looks at the computer around and picks it up, and goes upstairs.

I followed her but I was a bit late by the time I had a cup of water in Kitchen on the way, and she didn’t have the computer in hand later. I came over to the bedroom to put her to sleep; checked with her several times for my computer. She would say, she would not give it and apparently she doesn’t know and laughs..

I kept asking “where is my computer?” “Where did you hide my computer?” I looked at my bedroom, bathroom, 2nd room, 3rd room, closets, drawers, etc but it wasn’t around. Where would she have kept it in that brief few mins.

Finally, I went to her closet and found my computer. While I had some fun with her on this game – however, I think I need to reduce being on computer so long every day…

July 7, 2009 8:44 pm

Is it true – helping others is better than self analysis….

Filed under: Attitude,Personal Development,Project Management — ramsblog @ 8:44 pm

I hve noticed in several instances that some individuals are great in their Creativity while working with other individuals compared to brainstorming for themselves. Some are great coaching compared to doing things for themselves. I remember i had shared a similar thought once before.

so is this true creativity goes exponentially with pair programming or XP, and the quality and productivity increases as opposed to having the individuals left for themselves, specially while troubleshooting issues. Be it a software application or planning for a project.

what do you think?

if so, what are the ways one can learn to leverage his/her own brain for troubleshooting in a better way? I don’t think it is the experience, if that was the case, they would not be able to contribute high while helping / coaching others.

May 20, 2009 7:02 am

Toastmasters: speech #10

wow! 9 speeches under Competent Communicator series are complete and one more to go to complete the Competent Communicator program with Toastmasters. I have been with Toastmasters.org for several months, it is really awesome that you would tend to learn so much about public speaking and moreover it also helps to gain the confidence and overcome the stage fear that we often develop as we grow up. Agreed, there are handful of people who fly out without any fear, but majority of us have those little butterflies in the stomach soon after we get on to the podium. Anyways, tomorrow is my 10th speech, and this will be part of a speak-a-thon that we have organized at our club. Series of speeches in a two-hour slot. this will be fun…


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April 21, 2009 9:13 pm

Easier to Say than Done…

Filed under: Attitude,Personal Development,Process Improvement — ramsblog @ 9:13 pm

…. a lot of times, we come across people who often talk and start giving advice. Well, it also depends on the recipients and their attitude on how well they take it. but at times, the recipients might hear them but not necessarily listen although they pretend to be.

Here is the situation:
     You have a challenge that you are working on. Apparently you come across someone, not necessarily have an experience around that, but the moment you share about your issue, he/she starts asking several questions and gives the numbers as though you feel it works. Sure, on a bird’s view things are always easy. Apparently the challenge is, not all people who starts telling you things would perform the same when it comes to a situation to themselves.

How would you react or respond in the situations when you come across such people? Would you pretend to be listening? would you gracefully defy it and justify your stand on how the problem should be solved? what else?

March 30, 2009 9:13 pm

When I read wrong, please tell me….

Filed under: Attitude,Children,Parenting,Personal Development — ramsblog @ 9:13 pm

My daughter has learned this somehow, I don’t know from where she did, but when she is reading a book, or tells a story from the book (from the pictures in the book), she wants to make sure she reads it right, that she conveys her thoughts right. She appears to be so open to get the feedback from us, and asks us to let her know and correct her when she reads wrong.

It is interesting that not many grown-ups are that open when they are doing things and most often we think we are doing right, and We don’t feel good to receive any feedback. Understood, both giving and receiving feedback is an art and add something called ego to it, makes it so hard to be able to openly give or receive feedback. I think it is also, to some extent, a “trust factor” – how well you trust a person who is giving you a feedback.

November 19, 2008 10:15 pm

How many software engineers does it take?

Filed under: Attitude,Fun,Personal Development,Travel — ramsblog @ 10:15 pm

Well, we have often heard about these phrases, correct? Apparently, it so happened 2 days ago. Two families (us and our friends) are taking few days away next month. We know the dates and other logistics are in process.  We have started with the hotel room. A friends’ wife and my wife have figured out the amenities to look for in the hotel room (kitchen, refrigerator, microwave) and in the meantime they had also shortlisted the hotels near the area we are traveling to and had identified that there very few such rooms available at the shortlist hotels.

Now, it is for me and a friend to confirm on that hotel and book the rooms. We get on the phone and start talking about the hotel name, location, and if the shortlisted hotels anywhere closer to the vicinity, the sight seeing places around the hotel, parks, museums, etc etc…

well, what we did with our phone conversation for over 20 to 30minutes was to digress ourselves, open maps software, look for areas, on and on and on…

We then come back to the already shortlisted hotels (not finding other hotels) and use the same web browser session that was already open, and waiting for ready to place a reservation. Now, I proceed further providing the names, credit card numbers, scrutinizing the payment methods, cancellation policy,  etc.. Web site allowed me to enter my data and proceed. Now it errors out “we are unable to process your order……”

We wear our analytical heads and find all the faults on that web page, viz., “oh! website says pick the credit card type, but there is nothing listed in the drop down”, “why is this site not intuitive enough” blah blah blah.. when the browser session was expired and obviously I was kicked out. Well, we both try another instance, search for the same hotel room, now it says “no rooms available for your given dates, …….”

We called the hotel to enquire some information, and citing that we noticed the availability but it doesn’t show up there and rant about it…

Anyways, coming back to original steps, logged in again to the website, and we were able to place a reservation at the same hotel.


It is interesting that most times, we tend to use our analytical brains (at times when not required) and spend all the energy and realize we didn’t have to use our analysis paralysis but just have some common sense. I know common sense is not common and hence the extra-ordinary people are such because they are a little extra than ordinary people! *wink*

June 10, 2008 12:17 am

You are in sales…

Filed under: Personal Development,Professional skills — ramsblog @ 12:17 am

Mike Lally points to Tom Peter’s vlog on the very topic. It has been conveyed really well on no matter what field one is in, it is still sales one has to get good at. It is an amazing 3 minute video – take a look. [link]


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February 29, 2008 6:10 am

I want to be a child….

Filed under: Children,Parenting,Personal,Personal Development — ramsblog @ 6:10 am

…. for its innocence,

…. for its curiosity,

…. for its eagerness,

…. for its excitement, for its  sociality, for its anger, for its fuss, for its awareness, for its everything….

Tuesday evening, my wife wanted to go to her friend’s place a street down from our house and she mentioned about it. Our 3 year daughter V—- is so fond of going to their house as well, she said she would follow. I asked my wife to leave her home and go alone. So after our dinner, I kept V- aside talking to her so that her mom can sneak out that moment. I took her to the living area and started cleaning up the video tapes and other things lying on the floor. A few minutes later I asked her to wear a jacket and shoes to go out and check the postal mails. All along she kept asking me several questions and we were talking quite a bit.

V—- and I stepped out, locked the door, and stepped on the pavement. She held my hand and kept her other hand in her pocket. Started talking again. We went around for quite sometime, and all along, not even a single minute that she kept quiet. I don’t know how and where toddlers learn Why’s and How’s and Where’s and What’s, She has been pouring her questions on me.

“Daddy, where do we get the mail from?”

“who puts these letters in this box?”

“why do we need to check mails?”

“what is in there?”

“why are we walking on pavement; why not on the road?”

“Oh, cars go on road, not on pavement? why not on pavement?”

“why did she stop the car there?”

“why not going over to the other side?”

“why do I need to wear my cap?”

“why is she talking on phone? (some one parked the car on the curb and was talking on the phone)”

“who is she talking to?”

“oh! christmas lights (seeing lights in front of a house), why not that house has the lights? why have they put these lights on? is it christmas? when is christmas? why is it not now? I want christmas now; I want lights on my house too, …..”

“Oh! somebody has left the lights on – why did they leave it?

“oh! you’ve got aavi (hurt)? how did it happen? did you fall? where did you fall? how did you fall? why did doctor put band-aid for you?

“daddy, I love you!!! I puppy your hand; “

…………………….. and many many many questions and statements….


The beauty is, whatever I answered, either she would ask a follow up question or deviate to next question in the conversation, next observation on the way, the next sequence, the next thing but something to talk….

I don’t know if she’d expect right answers from me for all her questions. Obviously, I did not know answers for the questions like why someone still kept the Christmas lights, or why someone parked the car and still on phone, etc etc. It was like, when conversation was going on, the facts did not count. For lot of such questions, I said “I don’t know” but then the follow up question was “Why you don’t know?”  —

I know at times it is frustrating. But I had a choice – either

(A)       get frustrated with those questions
            make her get annoyed
            she starts crying – hates me more
            I react for that moment – and repent later on
            and so on…

OR (B) answer whatever I know
           enjoy the conversation and
            help her ask more follow up questions,
            help her be engaged in the conversation
            help build that trust in me to share whatever she thinks about
            make that deposit in the emotional bank account
            help her be happy that she got that most valuable time that she can count on
            and so on…

Since I had a surgery a week ago, last night was the first time that I went out on a little walk, and couldn’t walk much. So, I told her that we had to return back and I wasn’t able to walk further. She agreed, and we returned home.

Once back, I opened up the mails and at the time, we both watched a movie “Jingle All the Way” – talking about turbo man, watching fun clips from that movie.

She then started writing on a wipe-clean book that she started practicing alphabets. We learned about the difference between the letters “b” “d” and “p”; and other alphabets. We talked about the kind of bicycle she wants to buy in local toysRus store (looked up on website).

L—— returned home by then, we then each ate a cup of mango pulp. V—- and I ended a day with a spoon of Honey and a good night kiss.

Off late, V—- started surprising me more and more with great things she has been learning – reading and writing alphabets, rhymes, her conversation, the amount of words she has added into her vocabulary (both Kannada and English). It is fun to watch the amount of questions she asks – mainly the follow up questions. I would like her to continue building the questioning skills that I lack even today. hmmm…. in fact, I have started learning some of those questioning skills and tactics from V—-. I know it sounds funny, but true, we learn from every individual, every animal, every bird every day. I think that’s the beauty of having an attitude towards learning and improving self on a day-to-day basis.

I want to be a child, it is lot of fun 🙂

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