Just when I thought I’d heard it all regarding the ins and outs of mindset, along comes a podcast episode by a bloke I just discovered this week. It is Growth Mindset by Andrew Huberman.
Who Is Andrew Huberman?
Andrew is a neuroscientist from Stanford University who has gained a large following in the last couple of years with his Huberman Lab podcast. While he discusses a wide range of topics (solo and with guests) his core work centres around “science based” tools to improve human performance and mental wellbeing.
The exact podcast that piqued my interest was How To Enhance Performance and Learning by Applying a Growth Mindset. After listening to the whole 2 hours of this podcast I was very impressed with the breadth of his knowledge and calm delivery. In short, he knows his stuff!
Effort Praise Vs Intelligence Praise
What I found the most intriguing on his Growth Mindset podcast was the breakdown of a study that compared “intelligence praise” with “effort praise.” The former is described as praise that is based on identity, eg: “You are so smart”, “You are so talented.” The latter praises the effort, eg: “You didn’t quit”, “I’m proud of the way you dug in and kept going.”
When comparing the two types of praise most people (myself included) would assume that “intelligence praise” would be more beneficial to the recipient. However, the opposite turned out to be true. It seems that too much “intelligence praise” can be detrimental, especially when the inevitable happens…adversity, setbacks and obstacles.
Did I Apply This Mindset Unconsciously?
The more I think about it the more it makes sense to me. For example, when I rebooted this blog I (unconsciously perhaps) focused heavily on the daily effort areas (steps, training, nutrition, etc) that I could control 100%.
Even when I had a good week, month or 12 week Mission I attributed the results to my efforts rather than any innate skill I possessed. This also had the effect of keeping my feet on the ground and realising that the daily efforts needed to continue if I were to maintain (or improve) my physique.
This type of mindset was especially helpful during the various injuries and weight loss plateaus I went through during my first four Missions. If I had have been too attached to my “new” identity or any innate “skills” and “abilities” I most likely would have fallen into a “mini-abyss” again. When I was unable to train heavy for eight weeks due to my wrist injury I would have felt everything “slipping away” if my self-esteem was drawn from adjectives and not verbs.
So, all in all, I highly recommend Andrew Huberman’s podcast on Growth Mindset if you’d like to broaden your knowledge on this fascinating topic.
Until next week,
Weekly Accountability Log
Mission 9: Week 3 of 12 (M9 Day 21)
1) Mindset (0.5 pts per day)
2) Motivation (0.5 per day)
3) Goals (0.5 pts per day)
4) Scales (0.5 pts per day)
7) Real Time Wildcard
Cumulative Acc. Score
Cume. Acc. Percent Score
Mission 9: Day 21 Accountability
Mission 9: Day 21 of 84 – Sep 10, 2023
Day 21 Weight/Bodyfat
Day 21 Steps/Training