I think therefore I am is an old version. The sequel to this one liner could be ‘Think Again’ and that’s what Adam Grant has compelled us to do in his book with the same title. The author has shed light on how changing the old thinking patterns can help us find new solutions to the present problems.
The book starts with an interesting and painful incident related to firefighting wherein one of the firefighters while ‘Thinking Again’ comes up with an odd strategy to extinguish fire. It proceeds on to quote statistics and examples to bolster that we are deep rooted in our thinking and don’t bother to recheck our thinking methodology.
Adam Grant has called on us to be in the scientist mode and keep on thinking again and again instead of clinging to the prosecuting, preaching and politicking mode which leaves no space for questioning our own thinking. Although we think that the purpose of learning is to affirm our beliefs, Adam Grant says that its purpose is to evolve our beliefs.
When it comes to syndromes, we all know that impostor syndrome is branded as bad however, Adam Grant has highlighted its benefits. For instance, he says that if you are feeling impostor, it can motivate you to work hard. Moreover, impostor thoughts can motivate us to work smarter and lastly feeling like an impostor can make us better learners.
While people in relationship know what detachment is, Adam Grant has made us focus on a different type of detachment. Grant says that two kinds of detachments are useful; detaching your present from your past and detaching your opinions from your identity is what Grant thinks is useful.
The author also talks about desirability bias when our preference clouds our judgment. You can see it in everyday life that when we want something to happen, we do neglect the obstacles. This is true in case of television analysts who – when trying to support a candidate – altogether ignore what the opponent has in store.
Another interesting duo in the book is the difference between boat-rockers and bootlickers. The author talks about the political leaders who distance themselves from boat-rockers and get addicted to bootlickers because they want to shield themselves from task conflict. Driving the concept from this, the author states that we learn more from people who challenge our thought process.
Another example of how challenging our thoughts and vision can create wonders is in the form of Wright brothers who invented airplane. Adam Grant quotes that the sister of Wright duo Katharine once threatened to leave the house if both of the brothers didn’t stop fighting. The wright brothers were fighting on the operation of the airplane but their fighting was limited to task conflict and it was not relationship conflict. The wright brothers thought again and again and let the challenging thoughts come their way to reshape their thinking patterns and they finally came up with a working aero plane.
Adam Grant has also made us realize that many of our beliefs are cultural truisms which are widely shared but rarely questioned and many of them rest on shaky foundations. The author then asks us to question our beliefs and think them again. In the book, the reasons for us not to think again are also mentioned, the most important of which is that in school traditional methods of learning are used again and again for success and they do work ; however, in professional life, new ways of thinking get us success.
The final point in the book is not related to thinking again but it is related to happiness. Adam Grant says that we spend too much time striving for peak happiness ignoring that happiness depends more on the frequency of positive emotions than their intensity. Grant says that our happiness depends more on what we do than where we are. It is based on our actions than our surroundings.
Concluding this review, I would state that Adam Grant has given us new goggles to see the world. We can have a fresh perspective to peek into the world which reeks of animosities. Grant has outlined that we can challenge our own thinking as well as we can be awfully wrong at times. The author reinforces the fact that there can be joy in being wrong and respecting other people’s viewpoint is also necessary.
It strikes at the core of our deep rooted convictions and offers us to go beyond our set best practices to come up with new solutions to the old problems. The author asks us to embrace diversity and find happiness in being wrong.