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The Secret Ingredients of a Happy Life

How can we attain happiness? It is a question asked by philosophers, poets and theologians since time immemorial. In the seventh instalment of ‘The Pursuit of Wisdom’ Public Lecture Series held on 23 September, Dean of Social Science Prof. Chiu Chi-yue also tried to weigh in: It is through growth mindset that we can attain happiness in different aspects of life.

Growth mindset refers to the belief that one’s talents can be developed with effort, learning and dedication. In his lecture entitled ‘Mindset and Success: the Psychology of a Flourishing Life’, Professor Chiu illustrated with scientific evidence that when students learn that their academic ability is not a fixed trait like eye colour, but instead is like a muscle that can grow and develop with hard work, they do better in school. Similarly, compared with people with a fixed mindset, those with a growth mindset are more likely to sustain and improve their romantic relationships, to learn from other disciplines and thus advance their careers, and to embrace different cultures and facilitate a harmonious and innovative society.

Professor Chiu reminded the audience that ‘changing your mind, changing your life’ might be easier said than done. ‘The further you go from personal to interpersonal levels, from vocational to societal levels, the harder you will find it to follow through with the growth mindset.’

This article was originally published in No. 545, Newsletter in Oct 2019.

'The Pursuit of Wisdom' Public Lecture Series Chiu Chi-yue Growth mindset Dean Faculty of Social Science