Think Again by Adam Grant (Summary & Review)

AttitudeBusinessLifePersonal DevelopmentPsychologySuccess

What’s in it? Quick Summary

“Think Again” by Adam Grant emphasizes the significance of intellectual humility and rethinking in a rapidly changing world. The book promotes questioning assumptions, adopting a scientific approach, and seeking fresh perspectives.

YouTube player

You can buy the book in your preferable format below.

Get the Audiobook: Listen free with Audible Trial

Get the Paperback version: View price on Amazon

Get the Hardcover version: View price on Amazon

About the author

Adam Grant is the author of “Think Again”. He is an organizational psychologist and a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a New York Times bestselling author and a top-rated TED speaker. Grant’s research focuses on work motivation, job design, leadership, and organizational culture. He has been recognized as one of the world’s 25 most influential management thinkers by Thinkers50, and he has been named one of Fortune’s 40 under 40.

Bullet Summary: Key Takeaways from this book

  • Don’t hold on too tightly to your beliefs and opinions, and be willing to rethink them.
  • Avoid cognitive laziness and actively seek out new perspectives.
  • Develop the skill of rethinking to keep up with the rapidly changing world.
  • Think like a scientist and question everything.
  • Embrace intellectual humility and admit your limitations.
  • Practice detachment to free yourself from attachment to ideas and beliefs.
  • Challenge your own assumptions and seek out the truth.
  • Avoid confirmation bias and be open to feedback.
  • Laugh at yourself and don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Be patient and build rapport before challenging others’ beliefs.

Think Again Summary (Detailed)

Once upon a time, there was a man who thought he had it all figured out. He had strong opinions and beliefs about the world around him, and he believed that he had all the answers.

But as he went through life, he began to realize that his rigid thinking was limiting his growth and happiness. He needed to learn how to think again.

This man’s journey is the inspiration behind Adam Grant’s book, “Think Again”.

In this book, he encourages us all to develop the skill of rethinking and to cultivate intellectual humility.

Join us on a journey of personal and professional development as we explore the lessons in “Think Again”.

From the dangers of cognitive laziness to the importance of scientific thinking, this book will challenge you to think critically and embrace new perspectives.

So put on your thinking cap and without wasting any time, let’s dive right in.

Lesson #1: Laziness while thinking doesn’t help you much.

We all cherish our core beliefs and opinions.

But do you know that always relying on them and not evaluating them from time to time may actually limit your growth in life.

The author talks about Cognitive Laziness in the book.

Most people avoid thinking if it’s challenging.

If you they feel that thinking more will change who they are, they would rather not think about it.

As a result they keep believing in ideas and opinions that aren’t even true in reality.

We all know that getting new perspectives is good for our growth.

But despite knowing all that, very few people actually seek new perspectives.

That’s because it makes them uncomfortable.

And nobody likes to feel pain, right?

Psychological pain hurts us more than physical pain, doesn’t it?

Haven’t we seen people who become angry when you make them reconsider their thoughts?

We all see stubborn people full of eg, don’t we?

Even when they know deep down that their assumptions are false, they still argue to prove that they are right.

Most people feel very bad when it’s proved that it was their fault to begin with.

It’s all just a defense mechanism in our minds to avoid pain.

Sometimes, it’s cognitive laziness. While other times, it’s just a way to avoid the bad feelings.

For the same reason, people feel so much good when their opinions are validated.

Only crazy people like philosophers deliberately try to seek ideas that go against their assumptions to search the truth.

The entire problem starts when you attach your ideas with your identity.

You are not your ideas.

If your ideas are making part of your identity, it’ll be very difficult to let go of ideas that you strongly believe in.

Why it’s so important to let go of ideas?

That’s because when you get attached to your ideas, you get out of touch with the reality.

You start avoiding anyone or anything that doesn’t confirm to your ideas.

And this is dangerous for your growth and happiness in life.

So don’t be lazy while thinking if you want a better life.

Think again — as the author of this book says.

Best Tools for Bibliophiles

Lesson #2: The ability to rethink is crucial for keeping up with the rapidly changing world.

Everybody thinks. There is no doubt about it.

However, as we previously discussed, we are not only referring to mere “thinking” here.

We are discussing “rethinking” – the ability to think again.

Due to rapid advancements in technology, the world is changing rapidly.

And not just the technology, even the planet itself is experiencing extreme climate change issues. But that’s a different topic for discussion.

Simply put, the world is changing rapidly, and we don’t know what the future holds for us.

Today, AI is capable of thinking and performing many tasks that an average person can do.

Rethinking is not just a necessity, but also a skill that we all must develop to remain relevant and increase our chances of survival.

Just think about what happens to the companies to fail at rethinking.

Well, they fail.

Most of the times companies fail because they make mistakes in their strategies.

They keep thinking in the same pattern that led them to success.

But they forget that the world is changing and so are the consumers’ needs.

They often play it safe hoping that will work out in their favor.

Yes, sometimes, playing safe is necessary.

Today, however, it’s isn’t enough as the competition is crazy and markets are constantly changing.

If you have the ability to rethink, you can test your ideas and go with the best ones.

Companies fail when they make assumptions about the needs of the customers.

What customers need and what they want aren’t always the same.

A company might think that their product is superb, but a customer might not like it.

The only way to find the truth is to test our assumptions and act based on the real world data.

Just because a strategy worked in the past, it doesn’t guarantee that it’ll work in the future.

To rethink, sometimes, you have to slow down a bit, evaluate your actions, and see where you are going with your strategy.

You have to think scientifically.

Let’s explore this further in the next lesson.

Lesson #3: Think like a scientist, and doubt everything you know.

What do you believe is the most significant difference between a scientist and an average person?

Most people would say that it’s the difference in knowledge.

Yes, that’s right.

But that isn’t the only thing that makes them different.

Scientists have a unique mindset, which sets them apart from other people.

All scientists are curious and enjoy basing their work on facts.

They are always ready to doubt their assumptions.

They understand that their minds can lead them to wrong conclusions. So they are always evaluating their assumptions.

Assumptions can be helpful during the thinking process, but relying too heavily on them can lead to incorrect conclusions.

That’s because assumptions are made in the factory of our minds.

While the reality doesn’t give a damn about what we think and like.

It is what it is. Accept the reality.

Being a scientist is not just about studying science.

It’s a mindset that we all must develop to see the truth —to develop the guts to face the reality head on and make the right decisions in our lives.

Average people struggle to accept the reality.

They delude themselves. They continue believing in certain things simply because they have always believed in them.

Allegorically speaking, they live in a dark tunnel and believe that the world is a bleak place. If only they would get out of the tunnel and see the light, they would realize that their tendency to seek comfort was preventing them from seeing the light.

You definitely wouldn’t want to be in that situation, right?

Start thinking like a scientist today.

Don’t be scared by the term “scientist.”

It’s fine if you don’t like to study chemistry and physics.

No one expects you to conduct laboratory experiments or prepare research notes.

However, you should try to think like a scientist from time to time by observing your thoughts and actions and evaluating how many of them are false.

Doubt yourself.

It’s likely that 80% of the things you believe are false ideas that you picked up from unreliable sources.

Society teaches you to appear confident in your words.

Try to refrain from those mindless ideas.

Confidence built on false ideas will only cause problems in life.

Seek the truth like a scientist.

Remember that you are not some politician with an agenda or a certain ideology to promote.

You are born to do great things in life.

Staying authentic and in touch with reality is the greatest thing you can do for yourself.

Lesson #4: Ignorance is in our nature, and that’s why we all need to learn with humility.

Many people believe that knowledge alone will solve all their problems.

Sure, knowledge is helpful.

However, for some reason, many people take pride in having more information than others.

They become egotistic, lose their humility, and start thinking that they are superior to other people.

And this is where their growth stops.

Can you see how our ignorance tricks us into not doing better things in life.

The truth is, no matter how much information you have, it will never be enough.

Even with enough information, you are prone to making mistakes.

There are many biases that work against us and affect our decision-making process.

One of the most popular biases is Confirmation Bias.

We only see what we want to see and avoid acknowledging facts that do not conform to our stereotypes.

No one wants to shake their rigid beliefs, even though it’s a crucial step if you’re serious about evolving and moving forward in your personal development journey.

It’s okay to not know certain things in life, as long as you are aware that you don’t know everything and that you can make mistakes while thinking.

The author suggests that we should have intellectual humility like scientists.

With intellectual humility, comes wisdom.

We live in the information age where information is abundant.

Now, guess in which crucial area most people lack these days.

Most people don’t realize that they are poor in wisdom.

Interestingly, wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age, counterintuitively.

It comes with right attitude.

If you are curious, if you are ready to discover new things, if you can challenge your stereotypes, you can become wiser.

The surprising thing about society is that it encourages to talk with confidence.

You may have seen many public speakers who, even if their words don’t carry wisdom, exude great confidence while speaking.

That’s not the right way.

When you are intellectually humble, you think twice before you say something.

You are always rethinking and make sure that only truth comes out from your mouth and not just some wisdomless confident words.

You don’t have to become a mindless preacher.

Maintain a learning attitude and listen to others’ ideas, regardless of where they fall in the social hierarchy.

If we all just realize that our minds are filled with ignorance, we naturally dissolve our pride, and become humble.

Please note that ignorance is not just about having less information. Having more incorrect information is just as detrimental as having no accurate information at all.

People often talk about having an open mind, but unfortunately, not many people actually practice open-mindedness in their daily lives.

They act on the basis of their past beliefs and make all sorts of bad decisions.

A closed mind can be detrimental in all aspects of life.

That’s why it’s common to see struggling companies with bad leaders who refuse to listen to feedback.

This is why couples often argue over trivial issues. In such cases, one or both partners may not be willing to listen with an open mind.

Lesson #5: Practice detachment to develop your rethinking ability.

We all have a tendency to become attached to people, objects, and ideas in our minds.

Whenever something serves us, we tend to develop an attachment to it.

We all do it unconsciously though, which is why many people are not aware of why they feel attracted to certain things and struggle to give up their bad habits.

For example, “Validation feels good.”

We all crave validation, don’t we?

And just because it feels good, almost all humans have developed an attachment to it.

It is rare to find people who feel good when they are proven wrong or guilty.

Similarly, humans develop attachments to their ideas.

Somehow, we have been conditioned to believe that we always have to be right. And if we are wrong, then we are not a good person.

However, this is not true.

It’s possible to be wrong at times and still be a good person.

To internalize this, you must first detach yourself from your ideas. In other words, you must understand that your words do not define you.

Not everything you think is necessarily right all the time.

You can always rethink ideas and evolve.

You are not a stone.

You are an evolving human being with lots of ideas, a majority of which have come from other people.

By realizing this, you become detached from your ideas.

When you distance yourself from your ideas, you lose the motivation to defend them. They become detached from your identity.

It is actually people with selfish agendas who have led you to believe that you always have to associate yourself with a common opinion.

This is why you see cults all around the world. They all have certain core beliefs at their center that keep them together.

This doesn’t mean that they are wrong. It’s just that when you attach yourself to a certain group of ideas, you may become blind to other ideas that do not align with your own.

This limits your ability to rethink, and in turn, limits your growth.

In fact, this also affects your emotional intelligence — your ability to handle different emotions.

If all of this sounds difficult, start with a simple exercise today.

Try to make fun of yourself.

Many people feel unhappy because they take themselves and their ideas too seriously. This leads to rigidity and loss of flexibility of mind.

Laugh at all the silly mistakes you did today.

This may sound ridiculous right now, but it will bring you joy.

Lesson #6: Challenging someone else’s beliefs can often make them defensive. Therefore, it is important to be patient and make the other person feel comfortable before attempting to do so.

Just because you have learned the concept of “Rethinking” today, don’t assume that every other person you’ll meet will be doing the same.

Most probably, if you will push other people to rethink, they will become defensive. And see you as a threat.

The idea that “you are helping them live a better life by forcing them to rethink” may not even cross their minds.

So keep some patience.

Build rapport with the person first.

People do not feel comfortable opening up in front of others unless they consider you a friend.

Although we celebrate the principles of “free speech” and “free thinking”, debating is often treated as a form of war.

The ability to think scientifically becomes even more important, especially in workplaces where self-serving behavior and politics are prevalent.

Unfortunately, most people struggle with critical thinking.

People may always assume that by challenging their opinions, you are attempting to attack them or have some ulterior motive in doing so.

Please do not behave like them.

Now that you have learned the importance of rethinking, try to encourage others and assist them in their own rethinking process.

Remember, if both parties are defensive, there can be no productive discussion.

At least one side must demonstrate empathy and humility.

Consider learning from expert negotiators.

Learn how to build rapport and keep conversations flowing smoothly.

This will be very helpful while working in teams.

Companies where teams work collaboratively and think like scientists tend to achieve the best performance.

Think Again Book Review

I believe that everyone should read this book because it encourages us to rethink, something that we all need to do.

We are living in a time where many people are lost without a sense of purpose.

By thinking about the direction we all are heading, we can improve our lives.

I appreciate how the author emphasizes the significance of intellectual humility, which entails acknowledging one’s limitations, questioning one’s assumptions, and being receptive to feedback.

The book is well-written, engaging, and filled with practical tips and strategies that readers can apply in their daily lives.

Overall, “Think Again” is a thought-provoking and insightful book that challenges readers to think critically and embrace new ideas.

This is a must-read for anyone interested in personal and professional development, as well as those who want to improve their thinking skills.

Highly recommended!

Buy the book! And support the AUTHOR!

You can buy the book in your preferable format below.

Get the Audiobook: Listen free with Audible Trial

Get the Paperback version: View price on Amazon

Get the Hardcover version: View price on Amazon

Now It’s Your Turn

Now you tell me:

What are your best takeaways from this book summary?

Do you have some feedback?

You can contact me anytime and let me know.

Spread the wisdom:

If you liked this, don’t hesitate to share it with your friends and family members.

Thanks for reading.

Shami Manohar

The Brain Behind

I am Shami Manohar, the founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books has fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on topics such as business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more.

My mission is to educate and empower individuals with the knowledge that works in real life.

Connect with me on LinkedIn

Consider supporting me in my mission:

I invest a lot of time, energy, and money in things like softwares, books, design, videos, artists, designers, etc., to provide you with this level of quality content at zero cost. If you love consuming my work and appreciate it, support me. This would help me provide even more value and help humanity grow. Every little penny counts.

Donate here

Become a channel member on YouTube