Blink : The Power of Thinking Without Thinking

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without ThinkingBlink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
4 stars. I really like it.

tl;dr – Lot of interesting stories to learn a lot of things about how our mind works while making decisions.

My sister, mother and I were having breakfast today morning.
I took a sip of tea – and within half a second my sister asked me “today also you didn’t like my tea?”
“Yes”, I said, “just look at its colour, it doesn’t taste good from its colour itself”
“Mummy,” she said looking towards mother, “from tomorrow you will make tea for your son, he doesn’t like mine”

She knew I didn’t like tea before I said anything – she read my face.

Silvan Tomkins once began a lecture by bellowing, “The face is like the penis!” What he meant was that the face has, to a large extent, a mind of its own. (Location 2515, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)

You can hear your voice, but you can’t see your face. If we knew what was on our face, we would be better at concealing it. (Location 2522, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)

I almost judged tea without even tasting it. I just made up a story of why I didn’t like it.

We have, as human beings, a storytelling problem. We’re a bit too quick to come up with explanations for things we don’t really have an explanation for. (Location 821, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)

All of us do it everyday. We judged things before we should. It is not our fault – this is how we are.

Cheskin believed that most of us don’t make a distinction —on an unconscious level —between the package and the product. The product is the package and the product combined. (Location 1931, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)

There are many other great insights in this book.
How autistic mind works vs How normal mind works? And when a normal mind becomes autistic?
How a salesperson without pre-judging his potential client from clothes, holds position of best salesperson since decade?
How quick decisions are different from normal one? And much more.

Ever wonder why you have difficulty in coming up with explanation when you are caught doing things you shouldn’t be doing? Because your heart rate increases.

“After 145,” Grossman says, “bad things begin to happen. Complex motor skills start to break down. Doing something with one hand and not the other becomes very difficult.… At 175, we begin to see an absolute breakdown of cognitive processing.… The forebrain shuts down, and the mid-brain —the part of your brain that is the same as your dog’s (all mammals have that part of the brain) —reaches up and hijacks the forebrain. Have you ever tried to have a discussion with an angry or frightened human being? You can’t do it. … You might as well try to argue with your dog.” (Location 2699, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)

A question from this book:
A man and his son are in a serious car accident. The father is killed, and the son is rushed to the emergency room. Upon arrival, the attending doctor looks at the child and gasps, “This child is my son!” Who is the doctor? (Location 1473, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)

This is an insight puzzle. It’s not like a math or a logic problem that can be worked out systematically with pencil and paper. The only way you can get the answer is if it comes to you suddenly in the blink of an eye. You need to make a leap beyond the automatic assumption that doctors are always men. They aren’t always, of course. The doctor is the boy’s mother!

When we talk about analytic versus intuitive decision making, neither is good or bad. What is bad is if you use either of them in an inappropriate circumstance. (Location 1747, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking)

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Three little stories from The Little Prince

The little prince is a little book with penetrating messages. An adult book masked as a children book. You should read this book even if you are not into book reading. Plus it is really, really small book.

There are many hidden messages in this book. I’ve noted few which resonated with me the most.

Story 1:
The little prince crossed the desert and met with only one flower. It was a flower with three petals, a flower of no account at all.
“Good morning”, said the little prince.
“Good morning,” said the flower.
“Where are the men?” the little prince asked politely.
The flower had once seen a caravan passing.
“Men?” she echoed. “I think there are six or seven of them in existence. I saw them, several years ago. But one never knows where to find them. The wind blows them away. They have no roots and that makes their life very difficult.”

We have no roots. No values. No virtues. We want it all and don’t like what we get. That makes our lives miserable.

It is much more difficult to judge oneself than to judge others. If you succeed in judging yourself rightly, then you are indeed a man of true wisdom.(location 387)

It is possible for a man to be faithful and lazy at the same time.(location 509)

I am the best guy to understand this. Faithful, and amm…lazy…

Story 2:
“Goodbye,” he said. ”
Goodbye,” said the fox.
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“What is essential is invisible to the eye,” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember. “It is the time you wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.”
“It is the time I have waster to my rose-” said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
“Men have forgotten this truth.” said the fox.
“But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose…”
“I am responsible for my rose.” the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember. (location 706)

The essential is invisible to eye, and inaudible to ears. Our heart knows everything. Listen to it.
And We are responsible for our everyone and everything we tame. Including our job, our spouse, house, street, city, country. And planet.

Story 3:
“Good morning,’ said the little prince.
“Good morning,” said the railway switchman.
“What do you do here?” the little prince asked.
“I sort out travelers, in bundles of thousand,” said the switchman. “I send off the trains that carry them: now to the right, now to the left.”
And a brilliantly lighted express train shook the switchman’s cabin as it rushed by with a roar like thunder.
“They are in a great hurry,” said the little prince. “What are they looking for?”
“Not even the locomotive engineer knows that,” said the switchman.
And a second brilliantly lighted express thundered by, in the opposite direction.
“Are they coming back already?” demanded the little prince.
“There are not the satisfied where they were?” asked the little prince.
No one is ever satisfied where he is,” said the switchman.
And they heard the roaring thunder of a third brilliantly lighted express.
“Are they pursuing the first travelers?” Demanded the little prince.
“They are pursuing nothing at all,” said the switchman. “They are asleep in there, or if they are not asleep they are yawning. Only the children are flattening their noses against the windowpanes.”
Only the children know what they are looking for,” said the little prince. “They waste time over a rag of doll and it becomes very important to them; and if anybody takes it away from them, they cry…”
“They are lucky,” the switchman said.

Get inspired by children. Learn from children. Perhaps, only they know what they want.



PS: I can provide you its e-book(English version). You can reach me at

I want to start reading books. Where should I start?

Lot of books, Library

To start with, I will recommend “The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo” – it’s a small book with interesting story. For me it is 3 out of 5, but a lot of humans around me love this book. The reason to recommend this book is to develop your interest in reading, to ensure that reading is fun.

As you think by James Allen“, another short book with strong message. “Who moved my cheese? By Spencer Johnson“, yet another small book to digest.

Start with small books, develop a habit of reading. Whenever you start something new, don’t overdo it. Start small and move fast.

At any particular day read till you can digest. Save something for next day too.

Now comes “The War of Art by Steven Pressfield“. A 5 starer for me.

Next is “Creativity by Osho“. Also “Intuition by Osho“. Osho is dangerous guy. Don’t read his books back to back, read someone else in between. It can be “For one more day by Mitch Albom“, my first favorite book, or “Five people you meet in heaven“.

Read “The kite runner by khaled Hossieni“, and “To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee” when you are ready to advance your reading level. Highly recommended novels. If you don’t find them interesting then don’t read it forcefully. Close it and move to any other one. Then after some time, may be some years, read it again. Sometimes, we are not ready for some books, but when we are ready and when we feel the book, it will be an unexplainable pleasure.

To fall in love with science once again, read “The short history of nearly everything by Bill Bryson“. Another must read book.

You will learn to find books you love once you start reading, you will learn to manage to-read list along the way. Will recommend to manage your bookshelves in Goodreads, here is mine

Reading is to mind what exercise is to body. Practice it. Adapt it. Love it.

Book Review : The Great Gatsby

Dishonesty in a woman is a thing you never blame deeply. (Location 666, The Great Gatsby)

“99% . Time left in book: 1 min”, bottom of my page printed. My finger went to touch the surface but something in me hesitated. Book will be finished if I will turn this page. “Oh my god! You will be alone”, that something said to me. I was so eager to complete the story that I was running an hour late for my work, but when it was on the verge of finishing I did not want it to finish. Readers irony, I guess.

Every one suspects himself of at least one of the cardinal virtues, and this is mine: I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.(Location 677, The Great Gatsby)

I was so into the story, in to its characters that the thought of leaving them made me feel lonely. I wanted to learn more about Jay Gatsby, Daisy, Jordan Baker, Nick, Tom. But its consummated. The end.

First 20% of this book was tough read for me as I am amateur in English literature. I was about to skip this book and move to another. But when I opened my kindle that night to start another book, The Great Gatsby was open and it said to me to “Read this last page and don’t read it further if you don’t like it”. So, I read that one page and another and another…And I enjoyed it. I was trapped.

“There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”(Location 898, The Great Gatsby)

Nothing drastic happens around 50% of this book. Everything is good and usual. Then starts the story. Which made me restless. First 50% took me seven days. And remaining just two.

Classics has something in it to be classic.
I am not exaggerating but Fitzgerald is a master and use of language is exemplary.

For now, this book has my four star. I will reread this book sometime in future. To understand even more, to know things which I missed, and most importantly to live Jay’s life once again.

“One thing’s sure and nothing’s surer The rich get richer and the poor get – children.”(Location 1072, The Great Gatsby)

(On Goodreads )