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Thursday, April 14, 2016

15 Thought Provoking Messages from the Book "The Art of Thinking Clearly" by Rolf Dobelli

"The Art of Thinking Clearly" by Rolf Dobelli describes, in short chapters, 99 of the most common thinking errors - ranging from cognitive biases to elements like envy and social distortions.

The book was originally written as weekly columns in leading newspapers in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, and later in two German books. The book has been in the top ten of Germany's Bestseller list for 80 weeks in a row and has been translated in many languages.

I, hereby, list down my Top 15 learnings from this epic book. These learnings are worded and appended in a way that makes it easier for most of us to understand and absorb.

So, here we go with the list of 15 of my Book Lessons from this book that influenced me immensely.

(1) Never underestimate the hard work and lower probability of success, just because we are shown more successful people than many more actual failures.
It does not mean, in any way, that you should not dream big. It just says that dont get overawed by the number of success stories you read and assume that success would be easy. No one prints the failure stories.

(2) Confirmation bias is the mother of all misconceptions.
It is a tendency to interpret new information so that it becomes compatible with our existing theories. Warren Buffet has seen people losing money with this because they ignore facts which contradict the theory in the mind of the investor. Dis-confirming evidence must be seeked out to beat this theory.

(3) Calamity of Conformity
If you ever find yourself in a tight unanimous group, you must speak your mind, even if your team does not like it, and even if it means risking expulsion from the warm nest. And if you lead a group, appoint someone as devil's advocate. He or she will not be the most popular member of the team, but definitely the most important.

(4) Induction
Send an email to 10,000 people with stock market prediction by dividing them into 2 groups - telling reverse prediction to each group. Prediction for one of the groups will come true. Send a new prediction to the 5,000 whom you predicted correctly earlier - again after dividing them into 2 groups...carry on like this, and the last 100 would consider you as a genius. People get inducted into a decision based on history without thinking logically.

(5) Loss Aversion 
The fear of losing something motivates people more than the prospect of gaining something of equal value.

(6) Compounding
When it comes to compounding, dont trust your intuition - you have no idea how powerful it is.
Recommended Read (Blog post) --> How powerful can compound interest be?
Recommended Read (Book) --> From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom

(7) It is not what you say, but how you say, that's important. 
99% Fat Free product seems more healthy than a product with 1% Fat.

(8) If you are not a part of the solution, you are definitely a part of the problem.
There is no 3rd category of passive onlookers.

(9) Follow your passion
Follow your passion even if you have to do away with part of your income for that

(10) Whenever you are dealing with averages, be careful of the distribution behind it. 
A Bill Gates monthly income in a group of 50 ordinary citizens can give an extremely misleading average.

(11) Money does not always motivate. 
It works as a motivation only in companies where employees work for only money.

(12) Money comes wrapped in emotions. 
Money won incidentally, as against earned through hard work, is more likely to be spent irrationally - though it sounds illogical because the money is the same. This can be prevented if you have a clear financial plan with you.
Recommended Read (Blog post) --> Do you need a written plan to build wealth?
Recommended Read (Book) --> From the Rat Race to Financial Freedom

(13) Self Control drains your energy
Therefore you need a lot of energy if you want to exercise self control and excel in any specific area of life.

(14) Presence of something is more noticeable and valued than its absence. 
As an example, presence of disease is much more noticeable than its absence. Even, getting off a plane and not noticing that it did not crash is so common.

(15) NEWS is to mind, what sugar is to body
It is appetizing, easy to digest - and highly destructive in the long run. Try and avoid it as much as you can.

Have you experienced some of these earlier? 
Do you have more such Lessons in life which can spark great results? If yes, write to me, and I will update my blog with the ones I feel go well with the topic.

Like the article? 
Do not hesitate to share. It can make a positive impact on someone's life.

Want to read learnings from other epic books that I have read? 

Then you may want to explore Book Lessons link.

We at "Elevate Your Life", believe in spreading life elevating messages across our society, and so are our books.


Manoj Arora
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