Practical Intelligence

Not Acting Smart
Not Acting Smart

I got to know about this book through a friend who was exploring topics that ranged from manipulating personality test results to acting smart in front of employers. It’s a great boon that this is not the kind of book that teaches you to act smart. Karl Albrecht writes realistically about how we can go about making ourselves more intelligent in practical situations. There are many ideas in the book I’ve thought about previously but failed to put into concrete concepts as he did. I must say Karl did a wonderful job.

Like most of the other books on thinking, Karl discusses the make-up of the brains, the way different lobes on the brain controls different stuff and how they work together in concert and then he draws some meaningful speculation on the way we think. There are many speculations which are largely unproven in neuro-sciences but are well known in the field of psychology. Never mind the actual theories, Karl shows us how they might be useful for aiding us discover our mind’s potential. He firms up the concept of ‘Affirmative Thinking’, which I think is a very important idea in our lives. We’ve cease to be gatekeepers of our mind in this media age, often pushed around, influenced by the people who are in turn controlled by others around as well as prevailing culture and fads. To accept that we are often being bombarded by thoughts and ideas of others and we often take them as if they’re our own is the first step to controlling our thinking and helping us steer ourselves towards healthy thinking and mental habits.

Karl recommends simple methods to help us regain control of our minds and direct our attention so that we can tap on our mental habits, thinking preferences and styles to aid us with daily thinking, problem-solving and just plain existing in our complex world. I’m interested in the implication of Karl’s ideas on education and learning. He has another book I’m looking forward to read, Social Intelligence, which he actually wrote before this book.

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