The author explains that hope is an expectation that tomorrow will be better than today. Grit has a different type of hope, hope that our skills will improve better throughout the years. Normal hope vs grit hope is different, because grit doesn’t include luck, but our own efforts.
Hope can affect the way we do stuff. The author kept thinking that she can’t do her college exams until the final test, where she said to herself that she could do it, all while working really hard to improve.
A dog experiment in the 60s by Marty and Steve proved that hopelessness isn’t from suffering, but from the thought that you can’t control the suffering.
A few more experiments concluded that hopelessness can make depression, eating habits and activities on people and animals.
Marty did more experiments to those dogs that he found that 1/3 of the dogs have an “I won’t quit” response, and that led Marty to study that in people.
He found that optimists are as likely to get into problems as pessimists, but it’s their reactions that makes them different. Pessimists blame their own mind or personality while optimists think of problems as temporary and fixable. Pessimists are more likely to suffer from depression.
Aaron Beck didn’t agree that people thought that mental ilnesses come from unconscious childhood conflicts.
Carol found out that people are pessimists because they believe mistakes were because of intellectual inabilities, instead of lack of effort.
She made a success-only program, where kids are always praised even if they didn’t complete their math problems; and an attribution-retaining program, where the kids got told “you should have tried harder” if they didn’t complete a math sheet.
She made them do a bunch of hard problems, and the results were that the success-only kids gave up as easily as before they joined, but the attrubution-retaining kids tried harder in trying to complete them.
People have either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Fixed mindset people believe that there is a set intelligence capacity, but growth mindset people think that anyone can learn anything if they try hard enough.
If fixed mindset people get a bad grade, they think that the subject isn’t right for them and they should switch, growth mindset people think they can do better and try to learn more.
Encouragement words also affect grit. By saying a kid is talented instead of a learner, people make kids have a mindset that they don’t need to work hard on it.
James Baldwin said kids have a problem with listening to their parents, but not imitating them. If parents think of a child’s mistakes as problematic, the kids will have a fixed mindset.
The Nietzche said “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” and that line has been repeated a lot of times by famous people.
But sometimes what doesn’t kill people makes them weaker instead, because they’re more vulnerable to suffering aftetwards. What makes people have different results?
The same Steve as the guy who did experiments with Marty found out that if people can control their suffering through their own efforts, made them able to be more adventurous in life.
Steve also found out that if a person faces a problem in their life, they’ll learn to face it in a different and better way if they have the same thing later on.
Some people even have a smooth life with lots of successes but have never failed in anything, so if they fail once in later life they won’t know how to deal with it. The author calls them “fragile perfects”.
A fixed mindset about ability makes a pessimistic view on problems, and leads people to avoid challenges so they don’t fail. A growth mindset is more optimistic about problems and makes people look for new challenges so they can improve.
Growth mindset -> optimistic self-talk -> perseverance
Carol finds that the brain adapts when you try to get better at a skill, so in fact, intelligence can improve over time just like any other skill.
The author also says that sometimes, people also need help from others. So even if it sounds unappealing, if you’re a really bad pessimist, go see a therapist.
Previous chapter: Chapter 8