Driving back home with my grand-aunt, we were having conversations about life, dealing with adversity and making key decisions that would shape one’s future. The conversation with grand-aunt was filled with precious lessons, and one that stands out for me is-
“When you are taking important decisions in your life, if you feel even a red-flag, don’t go for it!”
I was reminded of this conversation once again, when I started reading the book – Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, “The Power of Thinking Without Thinking” as part of an activity by Lean In Personal Branding led by Suba Lakshminarasimhan.
Blink is an interesting book that offers a unique narrative to how a human mind can bring as much value in the blink of an eye as in months spent on analysis. Malcolm introduces the readers to snap judgement that can be taken in seconds with limited information through – “Thin-slicing”. When I was contemplating with myself if this theory is right or wrong, I went down to my memory lane to recollect the instances where I might have applied this theory.
And the one simple instance from my routine that I could recollect was my regular commute to the office. I had to cover a brief distance by hiring an auto-rickshaw. Every time I got off the bus, I would take a quick glance at the auto-drivers and in seconds decided whom I should go with. That was me, applying the Thin-slicing theory, analyzing with the limited information I had based on the auto-drivers personality, body language and facial expressions because I was too conscious about my safety. Most of the times I was right, for I never had a bad experience except for few.
There is no right or wrong approach to this. It all depends on the data and information that is available.
“The truth is that it can. Just as we can teach ourselves to think logically and deliberately, we can also teach ourselves to make better snap judgments. The power of knowing, in that first two seconds, is not a gift given magically to a fortunate few. It is an ability that we can all cultivate for ourselves”
In 2005, the National Science Foundation published an article summarizing research on human thoughts per day. It was found that the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thousands of thoughts, 80% were negative, and 95% were exactly the same repetitive thoughts as the day before. Just as important it is to provide relevant data to build a meaningful model with machine learning and artificial intelligence, we have to make conscious efforts to send information that can teach us in taking better snap judgments. We need to filter our thoughts to an extent that our decisions are not driven by our biases, past experiences, stereotypes etc.
“Blink is concerned with the very smallest components of our everyday lives-the content and origin of those instantaneous impressions and conclusions that spontaneously arise whenever we meet a new person or confront a complex situation or have to make a decision under conditions of stress.”
Is there an experience that you can recall, share in the comments section below.
P. S. This is my first attempt at writing a book review based on the first two chapters of the book. 😊
“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one” ~ Mother Teresa.
Happy Monday Dear All,
It was a peaceful and a relaxing morning today. My mornings usually begin with good and relaxing music. I think it helps so much to set the tone for the entire day. There is a sense of gratitude, helps boosts ideas on my next writing/improve my writing or plan out on the goals.
I’ve been making notes of everything that I want to achieve in life because that’s a sweet reminder to my dreams and makes me determined and focused to pursue them.
One thing on my list is to create a Kalam Library and be a part of Dr. Kalam’s dream to give the access of books to all young souls despite what background they come from.
I wrote a few posts in connection to this in the past. You can check them out here:
Fortunately, early this year, I got an opportunity to partner with a very inspiring young lady, Charmy and together we set up a library for the kids at the Juvenile Correction Facility in our city.
It doesn’t stop here.
My goal now is to independently open one all by myself, for which I have begun hunting for the place and I hope to make this happen as early as possible. I am writing it here so I don’t forget this goal. 🙂
This world measures success with career and personal accomplishments based on how much wealth or fame you earn. But to me, we are successful if we can change one life positively with one single act of kindness. And when we do, no need to keep it to ourselves. We need more people to join this mission and be inspired to make “Our world” a better place.