Why did I read this book?
Once people notice you reading books with some consistency it is amazing how many suggestions on
what to read are offered. “OMG you will love this book.” It is hard to know what recommendations will
be good. We all enjoy different things. Although I have really liked several books in here, I am a tough
critic. This book was on several of the white-collar inmates top #5 books to read. Another Matt (not
Professor Matt) named this book as his number #1 book of all time. However, I found out all this
information after I had already received this book. My Dad is the one that ended up recommending it. I
am still going strong in the self-help department…. although it feels like some of the content is starting
to overlap. It is still something that interests me a great deal. I intend to continue to absorb as much
information as possible.
What is this book about?
“If knowledge is power, knowing what we don’t know is WISDOM.” Think Again reveals that we don’t
have to believe everything we think or internalize everything we feel. This book feels like a blueprint to
help us let go of our views that are no longer serving us well (things we have conditioned ourselves to
believe) and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. People nowadays
favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort that comes with doubt. We listen to opinions that
reinforce the way we think, instead of challenging ourselves with ideas that make us think differently.
We fear disagreement because it makes us feel uncomfortable when it is really an opportunity to learn.
The worst part is we reinforce this behavior by surrounding ourselves with people that agree with our
opinions…. We should be surrounding ourselves with people that challenge our thought process. There
is joy that the author wants us to feel when we find out we are wrong, and we learn that this is best way
to acquire new knowledge. I love this thought. It is a hard concept to embrace but it does make sense.
When we are wrong or challenged it is a great opportunity to learn more. Thinking differently (or
thinking again) can help you generate new solutions to old problems and revisit old solutions to new
problems. “A mark of lifelong learners is recognizing that they can learn something from everyone they
One of my favorite sections reads as follows:
“If we are insecure, we make fun of others. If were comfortable being wrong, were not afraid to poke
fun at ourselves. Laughing at ourselves reminds us that although we might take our decisions seriously,
we don’t have to take ourselves too seriously. Research suggests that the more frequently we make fun
of ourselves, the happier we tend to be. Being wrong won’t always be joyful. The path to embracing
mistakes is full of painful moments, and we handle those moments better when we remember they’re
essential for progress. But if we can’t learn to find occasional glee in discovering we were wrong, it will
be awfully hard to get anything right.”
Many of the most talented communicators try to make themselves look smart. Real talent comes from
being interested in making your audience feel smart.
This book has some wonderful stories that illustrate its points in a very creative fashion.
How will I apply what I learned moving forward?
One of my favorite concepts in the book is the idea that we need monthly/yearly checkups on
everything from work to relationships. I love this idea and I hope to apply this in every facet of my life.
This book really focuses on thinking about things differently. I remember in High School and College
when the teachers used to tell us that your first guess on a question is usually right. According to
research (hundreds of thousands of tests analyzed) this is not true. I have thought this way for 25/30
Sometimes it is good to trust your initial thoughts but often additional thoughts on subjects we are
unsure of can help us analyze and find correct answers.
I have often gotten stuck in past beliefs; I just find info to support these beliefs. This is shortsighted. I
need to keep evolving – be someone who values curiosity, learning, being creativity, and searching for
It is amazing how often people strive to avoid conflict…conflict is uncomfortable. But conflict requires
us to think. A support network is huge; however, a challenge network is just as important. There are
several people here at the LPC that get me to argue (that is not normal for me…I don’t like conflict).
When I first met them the fact that they always pushed my buttons annoyed me. However, I have now
embraced these relationships and actively engage in debates with them. Disagreements don’t have to
be disagreeable. I am now framing disagreements as debates…. I am approaching them intellectually
and not taking it personally. In these debates I am trying to change people’s minds. I learned some time
ago you can’t bully someone into agreeing with you. I am learning to figure out what would be most
effective in changing their mind. Trying to convince them on terms that are their own.
I am challenging myself to think deeper on subjects I felt very comfortable about. I want to make sure
the sharper I become the more I focus on continually seeing & analyzing my limitations. I am working on
making sure when it comes to my knowledge and opinions, I favor being right over feeling right. (Very