Rolf Dobelli presents a riveting way to challenge the typical way the world thinks by outlining the many facets to thinking. In The Art of Thinking Clearly, Dobelli has compiled ninety-nine mini chapters on different theories of thinking. Each mini chapter, some only a page or two, read as mini parables and are packed with lessons. Each mini chapter has a specific message, examples of the theory in real life and often anecdotes from Dobelli’s own experiences. It is very apparent in the book how intelligent, thoughtful and well-read Dobelli is, yet his instructional approach will be relatable and useful to a wide spectrum of readers.
The mini chapters break up the information and allow for it to read conversationally and not like a textbook. Each chapter presents an example on why we think a certain way, how we should think, and then lays out ways that we can avoid falling into thought patterns that eventually create faulty behavior patterns. Essentially, Dobelli wants to challenge what we know, how we present not only ourselves, but also our thought processes. Basic thought processes shape the very way we, as society and individuals, look at the world, finances, careers, relationships and more without often so much as a second guess that it should be any different. There is a lot of irrationality in thinking and Dobelli sets out to prove that this irrationality can be contained and changed to work in our favor once we develop a new way of thinking. There are no instructions for mental exercises, but rather just definitive ending paragraphs that contain analogies and tips on how to avoid falling into thinking traps and biases.
The Art of Thinking Clearly had me constantly reaching for my notebook to jot down notes and I finally just gave up and begin underlining and making notes all over the book. I realized many of my own thinking patterns, a lot of them negative, and how they really do affect my views and my behavior. I will be rereading and referencing this book in the future for sure. The mini lessons contained within allow for selective and thoughtful usage for the reader and everyone that reads this book can take away something different. Dobelli’s writing style is dry, concise and absolutely engaging. He is able to transform very complicated, detailed information and ideas into tangible material that is easy to comprehend and utilize.
Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harper. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.