This is part of the series “Bitesized Insights: Books in under 5 Minutes”, where I summarise books worth your time.
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The Book in one paragraph
The author disagrees with the common cultural conception that our personality is something permanent or innate. Instead, he shows how it’s our view of the future that shapes who we are today. It’s an empowering, anti-deterministic message to fight all sorts of fixed mindsets.
What are my 3 key take-aways?
- Your future defines you. How you behave right now and how you see yourself is less a cause of what has happened to you and much more a reflection of where you see yourself in the future. (Actually similar to self-signaling & the idea of “casting a vote for identiy” & “identity instead of action [be a healthy person > don’t eat junk] in Atomic Habits).
- The Past is a reflection of your present. Our memories are constantly reconstructed and reinterpreted depending on how we feel right now. So the past doesn’t give meaning to your present – it’s the opposite. Your present gives meaning to your past.
- Fixed mindset creates entitlement and obstacles. If you believe that personality is innate, then you feel both entitled to your behaviour without questioning it (“I just don’t like talking in front of many people”) and limited by ultimate obstacles (“I just can’t draw, so there is no point practising it even though I love what I could do with it”).
3 Questions to answer before reading Personality isn’t permanent:
- Do you have an idea of what your personality is?
- Are you trying to find yourself?
- Do you have trouble finding your passion in life?
3 Questions to answer after reading Personality isn’t permanent
- Who is your future self?
- What is a habit / believe / trait that “brought you here, but won’t bring you there”?
- What is your keystone goal?