This book will challenge your thinking — about thinking!
This may be the most provocative and thought-stimulating book I have read in years. In fact, the content was so arousing and thought-provoking that I had to read it twice within a fortnight to wrap my head fully around Jacob Kashiwagi’s concepts.
The main premise of In Search of Truth is that truth is right in front of us. We simply need to open our eyes (and minds) to see it. Those who stop long enough to observe and look for it will find it.
The author provides five keys to help readers open their eyes (and minds) and unlock the truth. A good explanation is provided for each of these five elements, which he notes can be used individually or collectively.
Professor Kashiwagi writes that “it is not difficult to find the truth, it is all around us. No one can hide or stop you from finding it because it is everywhere. All it takes is someone to look at life the right way to see it.”
This book will challenge your thinking – about your thinking! It will prompt you to question and reflect upon what you think and why you think it, and how you can be sure what you think is accurate. And this is good. For it is important to know that you do not always accurately know, especially when you think and believe you do.
As the author points out, there is a difference between thinking something and knowing (i.e. knowing that it is 100% accurate). “A person who knows what they do not know will keep their mind open, ask questions, and verify information,” notes Kashiwagi. “An open mind does not determine reality (i.e. accept or reject ideas) by familiarity, relationship, or hearsay, but by the level of evidence and information presented on the idea.”
While he does not discuss cognitive biases in his book, his thinking is in alignment with what I shared earlier in this blog in the posts on The Impact of Unconscious Bias on Decisions, Thinking, and Outcomes, why Your Biases Can Make You A Poor Decision Maker, and how Unconscious Biases Directly Impact Our Decision-Making Processes.
Two-Step Process To Better Thinking About Truth
One of the most valuable exercises in the book is a two-phase process to identify if a belief or an opinion is accurate and matches with reality.
First, ask yourself how you know whatever belief or opinion you hold. Second, explain to yourself how you know it. In other words, why do you believe an opinion or thought you hold is totally accurate, 100% accurate?
This process leads to uncovering the many aspects about your belief or opinion you do not currently or fully know. It also helps you determine if your thoughts are based on indisputable facts and empirical evidence, or are founded on other beliefs and thoughts you hold. After all, all thoughts have a degree of accuracy to them, but how can you be sure yours is 100 percent accurate?
It can also help you understand why someone else holds a different or opposing opinion or belief. If more people could, and would, do this we would have a whole lot less friction and divisiveness in society and our workplaces today.
If you follow the methodology and practices in this book, particularly with family members and those you frequently interact with, life will become simpler and less stressful. At least that has been my experience.
In Search of Truth is available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. While only 100 pages in length, it is a short read with a mighty wallop that may change the way you think about your thinking, beliefs, opinions, interpersonal relationships, and how you make important decisions.