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by Mike McKee

My Favorite Quotes From Thinking Better

8 gems with more wisdom than most LinkedIn posts

A few days ago, I finished reading the book “Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut” by Marcus Du Sautoy.

It’s all about improving our problem-solving skills by finding patterns and shortcuts in our work.

Here are my favorite quotes from it:

“As nineteenth century American psychologist William James write: ‘The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.’”
“One of the greatest shortcuts that mathematics has discovered for winning a game is to turn the game into something completely different, where a strategy for winning becomes much more transparent.”
“Too much data and you can drown. Too little and your project won’t get off the ground. The shortcut of statistics reveals that you can often get a long way on a surprisingly small sample size.”
“Orbach became famous for treating Princess Diana’s eating disorder. As she explains in the book, therapy isn’t just about training the mind and body to do something new, like play the cello or speak Russian. You’ve got to start by doing the much harder task of unlearning something.”
“Shortcuts are hard-earned, requiring many years of work.”
“The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing… Foxes tap into a broad range of interests - a horizontal thought process. The hedgehogs think deeply - a thought process that runs vertically, perpendicular to the foxes’ thought process. Foxes are interested in everything. The hedgehogs are single-minded in their obsessions.”
“But [Ognjen] Amidzic believes that fundamentally, success depends not on investing 10,000 hours of practice, or on having access to great teaching and education, but rather on genetics. ‘You are born a grandmaster or you are born an average chess player.”
“Sometimes it’s just as important to know when there are no shortcuts to the problem you’re trying to crack.”