Gary Goulin-Think Again – The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know

Author of Book: Adam Grant
Date Read: April 20, 2024

Book Report

Book Title: “Think Again – The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know”

Author of Book: Adam Grant

Date Completed: April 20, 2024

Why I Chose to Read This Book:

I read this book because it was a New York Times bestseller and the title was intriguing.

Book Summary:

In this book, Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist presents the idea (with research to back him up) that the ability to re-think and un-learn is the key to better communication, opening up our (and other people’s) minds, reinventing ourselves and ultimately achieving happiness and purpose.

Adam Grant suggests approaching life like a scientist: always questioning, making hypothesis and testing them out. He suggests this constant questioning will allow us to let go of ideas and views that no longer serve us, and will therefore allow us to evolve. He suggests the process of re-thinking and un-learning should be applied to all areas of our life – from our interpersonal and romantic relationships, to our jobs. He suggests building communities of life-long learners.

Lessons I Learned:

Think like a scientist. Treat the emerging view as a hunch or hypothesis and test it.
Avoid getting stuck in your past beliefs.
Embrace the joy of being wrong.
Question how, rather than why.
Throw out the 10-year plan: what interests you now might bore you next year. Planning just 1 step ahead keeps you open to rethinking.

How This Book Can Help Me While Incarcerated and Upon My Release:

I really enjoyed this book. The lessons are extremely valuable. Within the first day of my arrival here I was forced to re-think and un-learn many of the beliefs and prejudices I held. For example, many of the “scary” (to me) looking individuals, with tattoos from head to toe, turned out to be some of the kindest, most helpful people to me here. Where did my prejudices come from? Why would I think they’d be dangerous and unfriendly? It really challenged my whole belief system and I was forced to evolve, which is a good thing. This life’s lesson has already proved beneficial here and will certainly do so upon my release. I’m sure many people, when they hear the word “felon”, have an idea in their mind as to what that person must be like. I, as a felon, will need to challenge those beliefs by helping people re-think and un-learn, just as I did about the “scary” looking people.

I love Adam Grant’s lesson about throwing away the 10-year plan, and just planning 1 step ahead. Being incarcerated was certainly never part of any 10-year plan I ever made. I like Grant’s stepwise approach.

My immediate plan is to get through my incarceration not only without problems, but by learning and growing as a person: helping others, continuing my education. As Grant mentions in his book, every few months I stop and evaluate my plan and adjust or modify as necessary.

Release and re-entry will likely be the next major life plan. As release draws closer, I will then make a plan. To do so now would be premature as circumstances could change. But, when the time comes. I will carefully come up with a plan. And re-think, and un-learn as necessary.