There are many ways to skin a cat.
All people have their uniqueness and also share something common with other human beings. You can classify them as just one race or classify them in million ways. Take a look at cast system in India and tribal groups in Africa. Classifications are always interesting. Like Date Line murder stories, they have their origin, motives and gains. Biggest part of understanding history is to understand the classifications.
Carol Dweck makes one of those interesting classifications of people.
- People with fixed mindset. They think people either gifted or not. They think genes control their ability to succeed.
- People with growth mindset. This kind of people see the world as a place to learn and get better. They believe, with time and effort they can be better at anything.
In my work, I have identified two mindsets about ability that people may hold (Dweck, 1999; Dweck, 2006; Dweck & Leggett, 1988). Some hold a fixed mindset, in which they see abilities as fixed traits. In this view, talents are gifts—you either have them or you don’t.
Other people, in contrast, hold a growth mindset of ability. They believe that people can cultivate their abilities. In other words, they view talents as potentialities that can be developed through practice. It’s not that people holding this mindset deny differences among people. They don’t deny that some people may be better or faster than others at acquiring certain skills, but what they focus on is the idea that everyone can get better over time.