“The premise of this book is that it is easier to recognize other people’s mistakes than our own.”
In Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman explores what he calls our System 1 — the intuitive, fast-moving side of our thinking — and System 2 — the slower, more logical side of our thinking. He discusses how we often make decisions based on System 1, using a more surface level mode of analysis, even when we think we’re making a reasoned, carefully thought through decision. Becoming more aware of this dichotomy in our daily lives could help us recognize these systems at work and, ideally, help us make better, more conscious choices.
Kahneman also discusses how these systems play a role in what we think of as success. While society often assures us that so much of “success” is due to skill and hard work and talent, a lot of it actually has to do with luck. For instance, Kahneman points out that some financial experts may actually be just lucky — after all, they do not have a more accurate crystal ball than the rest of us when it comes to predicting the future.
Another dichotomy Kahneman explores is that of the remembering self vs. the experiencing self. Your remembering self lives in your memories, painting a picture of your identity from past events and circumstances. Your experiencing self, on the other hand, is the self you embody from one present moment to the next. So often we get caught up in our remembering selves, in framing the narratives of our own memories in just the right light. However, there can be a disconnect between how we experience something and how we remember it later on. As Kahneman points out, most of our life is lived by our experiencing self, yet more often than not we focus on our remembering self instead.
Although slow at times, I enjoyed this book overall. If you’re looking for a different way to think about thinking, this one is worth a read.
Have you read this book? I’d love to know your thoughts.
Take care xx
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