Let me begin with a story.
There was once a child. Whenever he did something wrong, others used to tell him, ‘Why are you making so many mistakes? Why can’t you understand things well? Can’t you think properly?’
When the child went to school, he was brought up in an examination system instead of an education system. When he did not do well in his exams, his parents and teachers used to say, ‘Why can’t you study properly? Think about what we tell you, otherwise you will not only fail in your exams but also fail in life.’
As a teenager, he fell in love and had his heart broken. His friends told him, ‘We had told you not to go after that girl. Why did you not take our advice?’
When he got out of college and worked in various companies, his bosses would say, ‘Your effort is important in work—but what matters more is the result. Think about it and you will succeed in your career.’
When he got married, had children and was bestowed with the responsibilities of a householder, the elders in the house would advise him. They said, ‘Remember and understand your duties. No one can run away from it. It is part and parcel of life.’
Then came a stage in his life when his children were settled and he was close to retirement. His friend asked him, ‘Have you thought about what you are going to do post-retirement? Do you have a plan?’ He did not.
Finally, he was old and alone. His wife had passed away, his children and grandchildren were busy with their own lives, and he had nothing much to do. He had all the time in the world to look back and ponder over his life.
While reflecting upon every stage of his life—as a child, student, teenager, professional, homemaker, he was constantly advised by others to ‘think’, to succeed in life and to avoid making mistakes.
He hadn’t really got a chance to do an in-depth reflection on the word ‘think’ at all.
Now, for the first time in his life, he was ‘thinking about thinking’.
But was it too late?
All his life, he had been told by others to think. But no one actually taught him ‘how to think’.
Does the story tell you something? Does it ring a bell inside your head?
Do you think this story has a connection to your life?
If you really ‘think’, you will understand that this is a story about all of us. This is a story of every man and woman, every child, every teenager, every professional, the young and the old, the married and the unmarried.
This is the story of you and me.
Strange but true, one can lead one’s whole life without thinking.
What a tragedy.
Now let us reverse this story.
Imagine if you were taught how to think from the very beginning, the moment your thinking faculties develop. Instead of loading the child with information, if one taught the child the right methods of thinking—analysis, decision-making, prioritizing, planning, structuring, critical evaluation, logic—things would be different. You would question when questions are required. Accept others’ views where it is necessary. Think through all the consequences. Take calculated risks and, without doubt, you will be far more successful. You will be successful not only at the very end, but also at every stage of your life.
In this book, we present something very interesting: Some methods and techniques of thinking, the philosophy of thinking and alternative ways of thinking. This book is simple yet profound. It will lead you to something that will ignite your mind and intellect.
In a sure yet subtle way, it will change your thinking. It will add a new dimension to your views about life in general. I hope the book becomes a silent killer. It will kill various misassumptions you had in the past. It will kill your ignorance and make you happier. If understood from the right perspective, it will kill your ego. You may die internally once, only to live a full life again.
Most importantly, you will enjoy this journey—it is fun. It will help you discover yourself all over again.
Let us call this process an adventure in thinking.