One of the topics from a workshop I attended today was on the suggestion to adopt a growth mindset over a fixed mindset, a view I completely agree with since reading Matthew Syed’s book Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice in December 2015.

The workshop presenter referenced Eduardo Briceno’s Tedx talk, based on the work of Dr Carol Dweck (Professor of Pyschology at Stanford University) and suggested that:

  • an individual with a fixed mindset says things like
    • Effort is for the incapable.
    • Do I look smart?
  • versus an individual with a growth mindset saying things like:
    • Effort makes me smarter.
    • I can’t do it… yet.

I enjoyed this section of the workshop and it prompted me look over some notes I took after reading Matthew Syed’s book (Bounce):

Nature vs nurture or talent vs effort – the author argues for the importance of the latter, telling his own story as a former professional table tennis player and using case studies of successful individuals, mostly sportspeople. Well-written and convincingly put together. Some lessons:

  • the importance of purposeful practice (not just 10,000 hours but purposeful and meaningful practice), feedback (learning where things went wrong and improving), internalised motivation (why not the how), and belief (is empowering).
  • a ‘growth mindset’ is an empowering belief in self-ability – “encouraging application, emphasising personal responsibility, and… regarding failure as an opportunity, not an indictment.”
  • a ‘fixed mindset’ (and/or the talent myth), is built on the idea that innate ability rather than practice is what ultimately determines whether we have it within us to achieve excellence… it is (also) a rather corrosive idea, robbing individuals the incentive to transform themselves through effort.
  • ‘Intelligence-based praise orientates its receivers towards the fixed mindset; it suggests to them that intelligence is of primary importance rather than the effort through which intelligence can be transformed, and it teaches them to pursue easy challenges at the expense of real learning’.

Caught a Seel (on Pokemon Go)



  • Breakfast: red bean paste, oats, dried blueberries, dried cherries
  • Lunch: conference food; pasta, rice pilaf, fruit, chocolate, coffee
  • Dinner: veggie burrito


  • 5.7km run at 5.21min/km
    • Easy run with a 1 minute increase in pace every 5 minutes or so
    • Average steps per minute: 170 steps per minute
    • Average stride length: 1.1m
    • Elevation gain loss: 32m, 30m