About "An Exercise in Clear Thinking"
Intelligence is the ability to accurately interpret the world fast enough to ensure your survival and progress. In a busy and disruptive world developing the ability to think fast and make accurate decisions fast is an indispensable skill.
In this highly awaited masterpiece from the phenomenal learning Coach Ugochukwu Chukwu, he detailed vital exercises to make our thinking clear, our activities helpful, our actions successful and our life ethical.
An exercise in clear thinking is not just a manifestation of brilliance or smartness; it is a manifestation of sufficient intelligence that is powered chiefly by courage. To think clearly you must develop the courage to question your assumptions, beliefs, and convictions.
Taken as a whole, Exercise in Clear Thinking (ECT) offers a structured, vital, repeatable system for the long term success of any endeavor. Each chapter is carefully designed to clarify your thinking in a way that builds lasting significance and helps you make better decisions in your business, work and personal life.
ECT is simultaneously a framework to create any successful project in the present and a tool for securing an enduring legacy in the future. In large and small ways alike, it will save you years of “trial and error” and make your most genuine of dreams to come true.
These exercises are not the quick-fix, flavor-of-the-month strategies that are so prevalent in today’s world, Instead, they reflect the ageless truths about how to think thoroughly through a problem, deeply stir yourself into action, cultivate tremendous results and productivity and make the most out of your life.
If you ever desire to consistently drive successful outcomes—in specific projects and life in general—while at the same time securing a lasting legacy by building an ethically rich life you need this book as a manual and trusted reference for life challenges.
In the book Ugochukwu exposes the nature and sources of our thinking patterns and how they affect our decisions. He explains the nature of intelligence, the nature of reality and how a conflict between these two can affect our decision-making matrix. Through enthralling storytelling, he captures historical events and historical personalities that show us how our brains have been built for thinking and decision making.
With insightful exposition into the lives of historical personalities like Socrates, Julius Caesar, Einstein, Lee Kuan Yew, Hitler, Darwin, amongst many others Ugochukwu provides a detailed guide to how our brains condition us in making decisions against our own selves.
As COVID-19 ravages our world, upturns the economy, upends the markets and unsettles the fabric of our social lives. You find yourself where you are boxed in a survival mode, with shortsighted thinking. Unknowing to you this affects every of your decisions. In times like these when things are as uncertain as the can ever get, the real danger you will face is the feeling of understanding and control. It is an insidious illusion that can force you, your family and business into oblivion if you are not careful. The decisions you make from now on are as critical as the can get. Therefore, extra care is needed to make sure that the machinery used to conduct this thinking and decisions is effective in its functionality.
To ensure this Ugochukwu provides a guidance that will help you overcome biases and interpret the world accurately to making swift and accurate decisions. He aptly surmises these in the following 11 rules for thinking and acting:
- Understand what Value is:
Value is anything that is sufficiently useful to life. Couched in these words is the instructive interpretation of what value is and how you should approach any service or product you intend to give the market.
- Understand the laws of reality and always judge from them:
Reality is not what you perceive from your senses. It is a hacked experience that forces you to live in perpetual illusion. Ugochukwu reveals the three levels/dimensions of reality. When confronted by a problem, determine which dimension or level of reality that problem is based in and think of your solutions from the first principles that govern that dimension of reality.
- In analyzing issues of right or wrong, good or bad: Use natural ethics, not moral rules:
Morality is a finite game; ethics is an infinite game. To provide value to the world that is sufficiently useful and sustaining you must learn to play the infinite game.
- To ensure fast and accurate results in your learning and work use the Value Efficiency Demonstration – (VED principle):
A project without a defined timeframe for its completion is an exercise in indefinite mental drudgery. Ugochukwu gives you a precise recipe for getting your work done fast with excellence.
- In determining your vision, make sure its demands are sufficiently valuable and inherently ethical:
…what it takes to be a good person is not goodwill but sufficient intelligence. The first rule of life …is based on the principle that life is the chief value. Any vision or ambition that is inherently inconsistent with this rule will veer off ethically at some point in its pursuit of success. The difference between a Hitler and Mandela lies in their ability to engage in the exercise in clear thinking that is outlined in this chapter.
- In search of the right course of action to follow, be driven by your vision or curiosity:
Ugochukwu explains through the lives of Lee and Darwin how to ensure that the trajectory of your major and minor life’s decisions are protected from the complexity of ideologies and opinions of others. “In any system, the single most important resource is human capital … This is based on the fact that the important resource in the world is the educated human mind that can convert both material and immaterial resources into valuable assets.” Learn how Lee Kuan Yew utilized this resource and developed a unique exercise in clear thinking that has in many instances in history served great leaders of organizations and countries to survive impossible times.
- In deciding whether to undertake anything have a bias toward action:
…you have to get yourself to act because most times it only takes action to discover the answer you need. Having a bias towards action requires that you develop a rare character trait that allows you to speed-implement your work for the most efficient and effective results.
- In your analysis be statistically deductive, in your actions be insanely reductionistic:
“The level of your clarity of thought determines the simplicity of your actions which affects the potency of your results.” To arrive at the right decision, you must learn how to analyze your decisions for the best results. There’s a system for doing this fast and efficiently. Your inability to do this in our fast paced world like ours could have devastating consequences. “…the cost of a disempowering decision is infinitely worse than any time it will take to complete a course of action.”
- When a matter is too complex to deduce, use ‘Associative Patterned Reasoning’ (APR) to simplify and solve it: “You must understand basically that not all facts in the world are connected in the way your mind instinctively assumes they are. In gathering your data see each fact as an isolated factor and only connect them when they’ve proven beyond common sense to share a causal relationship.” Solving complex issues can be very unnerving but it doesn’t have to be so because the universe is filled with patterns. Things are connected to other things. If you unlock this pattern, you have unlocked the hidden treasures of the universe.
- To arrive at the root cause of a problem, use intelligent questioning: The quality of the questions you ask yourself determines the quality of your life. The IQ method gives you a framework to drill down to the basis of a matter and solve the root cause instead of getting stock with the complexities of the symptoms.
- In every circumstance, you must tell yourself the truth: Truthtelling is at the basis of our perception and interpretation of reality. If you’re unable to get yourself to come off your head and perceive the world at it is then your life would become an exercise in self-deception. Understand how your brain could be affected when you fail to do this and learn how to prevent yourself from falling into this trap.