The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking is the one book that I’ll recommend you read. With quite a provoking tagline, it explores the moments where we just ‘know’ without knowing why. Have you ever been in this situation?…… because Blink will help you develop that ‘know’.

With Blink, Malcolm tried to achieve three goals:

  1. Decisions made very quickly can be every bit as good as decisions made cautiously and deliberately. 
  2. When should we trust our instincts and when should we vary them? 
  3. Snap judgments and first impressions can be educated and controlled.

The content was reliable, well organized, and achieved the goals.  He approached each topic with a main illustration, followed by various illustrations that made the point clearer. Furthermore, it was supported by strong research from the fields of psychology, neurology, and medicine.  

The illustrations had a crazy depth.  You’ll learn some interesting insights besides the central theme of the book, but I still wondered, how long till he gets to the point? Is that detail necessary? …. Yes! It was necessary and I felt it later. Again, it’s worth mentioning and appreciating Malcolm for the use of strong illustrations and research. 

The insights were mind-blowing, thought-provoking, and quite surprising. Some revelations were astonishing and a bit scary too. For instance, psychologist John Bargh’s priming experiment indirectly answered the question of why affirmations and positive self-talk work.

I consider the chapter on creating a structure for spontaneity, a valuable one. With Paul Van Riper’s story as the main illustration, the point conveyed is this – when under pressure you won’t logically and systematically compare all options. You will use your intuition and for it to function well, you need to create a structure of spontaneity and reduce the amount of data you are exposed to. 

I have now read three books by Malcolm Gladwell and yet again, his writing didn’t fail to impress me. On the contrary, it sparked my interest in the subject of intuition. Blink has done an amazing job in making me aware of how my unconscious thinks and when I should use it to my advantage. 

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