The most important choice we can make is ‘to lead a full life’. Really understand everything. Decipher the causalities that govern a situation! Living a meaningful, a full life requires only one thing: to think. Think like a scientist. And, each one of us have enough intuition and brainpower to think like a scientist. Good luck is Preparation meets opportunity. Bad luck is Reality meets lack of preparation. An unprepared person has no freedom of choice
We need humble arrogance. Be humble to assume that one doesn’t know. Be arrogant- have the confidence that one is capable of figuring out how to make things work
The more complicated the situation seems to be, the simpler the solution must be. The key for thinking like a true scientist is the acceptance that any real life situation, no matter how complex it initially looks, is actually, once understood, embarrassingly simple.
There is no limit to how much a company can improve. Get rid of forecasts. Anything that doesn’t need to be so needs to be analysed, from first principles.
The most meaningful opportunities are the ones that open when a person realizes how to overcome a constraining situation. Repressing a problem is a waste of an opportunity
For a person to think clearly, what is needed is to accept the concept of Inherent Simplicity. Nature is exceedingly simple and harmonious with itself. Few levers run the whole machine
Reality does not contain contradictions, but it is full of conflicts. Normally leads to a bad compromise. Treat it like a contradiction: look for the erroneous assumption, the source of the conflict. Eliminate the conflict, don’t settle for optimization
Look for daring solutions, and shoot at the big problems. Question assumptions. The big difference between organizations and individuals is that with organizations, the underlying assumptions are perceived not as assumptions but as facts of life
Obstacles to thinking clearly: (1) The perception that reality is complex (2) The tendency to accept conflicts as given (3) The tendency to blame the other party (4) Saying “I Know”
The belief in Inherent Simplicity also implies a deep conviction that harmony exists in any relationship between people.
Win-Win: Such a state exists for any relationship; Look for it; it is the key for reaching a full life. Seek the other party’s win, it dramatically increases the chance of finding such a solution. Not the win that is in conflict but a different not less important win
Goldratt says the key to thinking clearly is to avoid circular logic, Simple! You start with an effect, any effect, and dive down to the root causes by asking: ‘Why does the effect exist?’ The difficulty is, when we do so, we will reach causes that are abstract entities: causes whose existence cannot be verified directly through our senses. They probably do exist, but we know it through logic and not through direct info of our senses
Circular logic is a point of no return for thinking clearly. We must look for atleast another observable resultant effect. Then, you can dive down for its root cause. Inherent Simplicity to the rescue
So, how does one practice thinking clearly? Use any opportunity to try to decipher the cause & effect. Be it a casual conversation with a stranger, a comment from your wife, or something that you are reading. The more you practice this, to the extent that it becomes your second nature, the easier it becomes. People will even start calling you a genius. And this search may not even take more than a second or two!
People are Good. Trust them
Logic does not exist in a vacuum. The only way we can come up with a hypothesis or a predicted effect is by intuition. And intuitions stems from emotion. We as human beings are standing on a 3-legged stool: emotion, intuition & logic!
We have our strongest intuition in the areas that are the most important to us. The more we practice thinking clearly the deeper our emotions in those areas become. The deeper the emotions, the stronger is the resulting intuition. Reinforcing helix
An Optimist but never leaving things to chance, Goldratt ensures the deck is always stacked in his favour: puts safety nets upon safety nets. Goldratt calls himself an optimist with experience: a practical visionary
What you will become is your choice. You can no longer find refuge in blaming others, or blaming circumstances, or saying it’s out of your control or beyond your abilities. You have to take full responsibility for your life. This will lead you to a full life but not an easy life