When people with a fixed mindset are confronted with a difficult problem and experience early failure, they attribute that failure to lack of innate talent or intelligence. they do not believe that additional effort will lead to success. Instead, they try to prevent looking stupid or lacking in talent. They try to prevent future failures and give up. People with growth mindset believe that effort and persistence are more important than innate talent or intelligence. When they experience early failure, they understand that they need to dedicate themselves to harder work. They are likely to study their early failure for lessons that can be used to try to achieve later success.
Understanding about growth and fixed mindsets and how they affect persistence is important. People with growth mindsets tend to be more successful. The good news is that mindset is changeable. Most people have growth mindsets in at least some areas of their lives.They can learn to change their mindset to growth mindsets in others. For example, think of someone who is not a very good athlete and is a good mathematician. Assume that person has a growth mindset in math but a fixed mindset when it comes to sports. S/he can learn to apply a growth mindset to sports.
Give the preconceptions many of us have about intelligence, it often makes sense to start talking about intelligence by talking about what it is not. Intelligence is not fixed but malleable. A shorthand way of expressing this idea is by saying, smart is not what you are but what you get.
So, how do we express what intelligence is? When it comes to intelligence, heredity counts, but it is not destiny. Intelligence is being able to behave completely in both the physical and social world. Another way to define intelligence is the rate at which a person learns. Although the brain is not a muscle, like a muscle, it can be strengthened with tough exercise. Although we learn somethings readily in some domains, we can learn practically anything by sheer will and determination.