Books Magazine

Brainpickings and Mindset

Posted on the 14 May 2016 by Angela Young @AngelaYoung4

I’ve just discovered a website called brainpickings. I was noodling around on the internet, trying to find out something for one of my characters (what it was escapes me now) but I recommend brainpickings for the heart and for the brain. The articles are written by Maria Popova and they’re about, to quote her:

Art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology and more … . Above all [brainpickings is] about how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight, directly or indirectly, into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well.

brainpickings has been running for 10 years (I’m late to the party) and if you love what you find there you’re invited to subscribe both virtually and actually.

I discovered mindset at brainpickings. mindset is an idea of Carol Dweck‘s, a Stanford University psychologist whose research focusses on why people succeed and how to foster success (I don’t like the book’s title, subtitle or blurb: I’d never have bought it if I hadn’t read Maria Popova’s article about it). But don’t let the titles put you off. The idea is brilliantly simple and simply brilliant: it applies to every aspect of our lives and the way we live them. According to Carol Dweck the hand we’re dealt at birth is something we either:
believe we’re stuck with:
the fixed mindset
something we believe we can cultivate and change through our efforts:
the growth mindset

So, either we’re convinced we can’t change or we believe we can. I know where I hope I exist … .Maria Popova’s article was published in January 2014 but mindset has been around since 2006 (I’m late again!) but it’s never too late to change our attitudes to the hand we were dealt and, in a parallel universe where time is infinite and all things are possible, I would love to have invented both brianpickings and mindset. They’re mind- and heart-fulfilling.

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