Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Comment: The Art of Thinking Clearly

Title: The Art of Thinking Clearly
Author: Rolf Dobelli
No. of pages:384
Published: 14th May, 2013
Read: February 25, 2015
In engaging prose and with practical examples and anecdotes, an eye-opening look at human reasoning and essential reading for anyone with important decisions to make.
Have you ever: 
• Invested time in something that, with hindsight, just wasn't worth it?
• Overpayed in an Ebay auction?
• Continued doing something you knew was bad for you?
• Sold stocks too late, or too early?
• Taken credit for success, but blamed failure on external circumstances?
• Backed the wrong horse? 
These are examples of cognitive biases, simple errors we all make in our day-to-day thinking. But by knowing what they are and how to spot them, we can avoid them and make better choices-whether dealing with a personal problem or a business negotiation; trying to save money or make money; working out what we do or don't want in life: and how best to get it. 
Simple, clear and always surprising, this indispensable book will change the way you think and transform your decision-making-work, at home, every day. It reveals, in 99 short chapters, the most common errors of judgment, and how to avoid them.

It's another of those non-fiction reads that I enjoyed reading. I am no expert in any cognitive related books most especially topics but seems like I am inclined to reading such, hence, my comment is based on my limited view and knowledge. The book presents 99 short chapters of about two to three pages each for the different cognitive biases or thinking fallacies we commit on a day-to-day basis. Mostly presenting examples on money and investments and business-related decision-making, was also a factor that added to my liking of this book. The chapters were pretty simple with most allowing the readers to be involved by presenting cases or scenarios and questions and make the reader decide on some. Short explanations with different citations, and examples come after; with suggestions to avoid the "unclear" thinking, usually forming the conclusion. For someone who enjoys reading about cognitive topics but have limited time to indulge on the more extensive ones, this book serves as a nutshell.

I personally like these chapters (but I guess most!!):
  • 2- Does Harvard Make Your Smarter?: Swimmer's Body Illusion
  • 4 - If Fifty Million People Say Something Foolish, It is Still Foolish: Social Proof
  • 14 - Why You Should Keep a Diary: Hindsight Bias
  • 57 - If You Have Nothing To Say Say Nothing: Twaddle Tendency
  • 66 - Why You Are a Slave to Your Emotions: Affect Heuristic
  • 85 - Why New Year's Resolutions Don't Work: Procrastination
  • 86 - Build Your Own Castle: Envy
  • 90 - Where's the Off Switch?: Overthinking
  • 91 - Why You Take On Too Much: Planning Fallacy
  • 93 - Drawing the Bull's-Eye around the Arrow: Cherry Picking

The book was an eye-opener but applying this kind of "clear" thinking would not be easy. Still, this again contributed to my amazement on how our mind works. 

Some quotes below:

“If your only tool is a hammer, all your problems will be nails,” 
“How do you curb envy? First, stop comparing yourself to others. Second, find your “circle of competence” and fill it on your own. Create a niche where you are the best. It doesn’t matter how small your area of mastery is. The main thing is that you are king of the castle.” 
“Whether we like it or not, we are puppets of our emotions. We make complex decisions by consulting our feelings, not our thoughts. Against our best intentions, we substitute the question, “What do I think about this?” with “How do I feel about this?” So, smile! Your future depends on it.” 
“historian Daniel J. Boorstin put it right: “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance—it is the illusion of knowledge.” 
“Assume that your worldview is not borne by the public. More than that: Do not assume that those who think differently are idiots. Before you distrust them, question your own assumptions.” 
“It’s OK to be envious – but only of the person you aspire to become.” 
“As paradoxical as it sounds: The best way to shield yourself from nasty surprises is to anticipate them.” 
“We must learn to close doors. A business strategy is primarily a statement on what not to engage in. Adopt a life strategy similar to a corporate strategy: Write down what not to pursue in your life. In other words, make calculated decisions to disregard certain possibilities and when an option shows up, test it against your not-to-pursue list. It will not only keep you from trouble but also save you lots of thinking time. Think hard once and then just consult your list instead of having to make up your mind whenever a new door cracks open. Most doors are not worth entering, even when the handle seems to turn so effortlessly.” 
“This is how top investor Warren Buffett does things: “Each deal we measure against the second-best deal that is available at any given time—even if it means doing more of what we are already doing.” 
“Twain: “We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it—and stop there; lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove-lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove-lid again—and that is well; but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” 
"We are drunk on our own ideas. To sober up, take a step back every now and then and examine their quality in hindsight. Which of your ideas from the past ten years were truly outstanding? Exactly."
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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

WIW: Valentine's Day 2015

Not exactly on the 14th of February but a day after, this is what I wore. Finally, I was able to wear my current chic purchase from Chic Curator (Instagram: @chiccurator), the green Marina necklace. Apart from scarves, necklaces are a favorite accessory, too. The dress is from Ensembles but designed by Vania Romoff. 

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Travel Tuesday: More Food! (Baguio Weekend with My Girls Pt III)

What to do in Baguio? EAT!!! Below's a photo diary. The bad thing about blogging on an almost 10-month overdue story is missing on the details hahaha! Usually, when I view the photos after an event or trip, I already formulate in mind what and how to document. But that was usually and this is not part of it hahaha! I am such a bad bad documenter. The photos were taken from:

50's Diner 
- overrated, huge servings, not-so-yummy, lives up to the 50's ambiance, refreshing milkshakes!
Wright Park 
- for the first-timer Kaye hahaha
Camp John Hay 
- must-visit when in Baguio apart from it already houses a LOT of food establishments, it's like a huge park with things to do and has outlet stores, too
Everything Nice 
- (in Camp John Hay) we did not enjoy the food end of story haha harsh ko!

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Saturday, February 21, 2015

I Couldn't Ask For More Year 4!!! Happy Four-ever!!!

Year F-O-U-R -- 4!!! Year 1Year2, Year 3!!! This blog of mine already witnessed four years of our relationship! O-ha-o-ha!!! Hahaha! Blessed with a man who is still able to keep up with me! Let's admit it, most of the time, girls are the ones who make the relationships more complicated than it really seem, aminin na natin! 'Wag nang matigas ulo! And if we find a man who can keep up with our silly and shallow rants and pagtatampo and pagsosnob, at pagpapakipot, and you still feel that he did not love you any less, thank God for him!! I remember one time when we were asked to introduce ourselves with our name and our quality measurement in terms of the work we do, to a new batch of hires in that one company we previously worked for, Luke told of his personal quality instead, "sweet and understanding", and we all laughed! On a more serious note, those traits are true of Luke. He may not be the sweetest and the most understanding guy out there, but in compatibility with me, I'd like to believe that he is the best for me.

2014 was not that of an extreme ride. It's that year we started getting really comfortable with each other and seemed like we have already adjusted with who we really are, I guess?? It's also the year that we saw each other the least in terms of days as compared to the previous years!! I had to transfer to a new job down south and away from the "civilization" of Makati and Taguig, so it was not that easy for us to see each other after working hours as soon as we want to, because of our location, unlike before when we were just a 15-min cab ride away from each other's workplace. We valued our dates more and our dates comprise of major catching up! Dati kasi araw-araw pwede magcatch-up but the past year, we do it on weekends, our weekends with each other were so valuable.

While our relationship was on the less extreme side, Luke's adjustment on his life generally was on the most extreme side -- he had to move out of Makati and yay he's now also living somewhere in the South and with his family; he had no choice but to move to another department at work and adjust accordingly, and a lot more. I, on the other hand had a year of pursuing my passion and got really busy on that aspect of my life. We had our own adjustments but we made sure that we were still there and supporting each other. I feel so thankful having him support me all the way. On the other hand, I am very proud of Luke's life decisions lately and his life is a testimony of answered prayers. There were things that we have been praying even before we went into our relationship, and the answers were granted after years. It didn't matter how long it took. Looking at our lives right now, we firmly believe in God's sovereignty. GRABE! IBA SI LORD TALAGA! And we continually pray for God's grace and shower of blessings upon us.

It was a year of adventures as well!! This year is our most travelled year! We climbed Luzon's highest peak, we explored different islands and lakes, we went in museums, we went out to another country, we had food trips up north and everywhere! And I continuously pray for more more MORE this year! We still discover a lot with each other when we go out and travel. And I believe this is an essential part of every relationship, getting to know more despite the number of years and still longing to discover more about each other. Para hindi boring. =)

My prayer is for us to be stronger and more patient with the both of us, with life, with the people around us. I pray for us to be more open-minded and may the Spirit of the Lord always guide us in our decisions most especially now that we enter into the major life decision phase. I pray for us to inspire and to bless the people surrounding us. I pray for more love, trust and understanding. I pray that our relationship be an instrument for us to be the best version of ourselves. I pray that may God be the center of our relationship always.

This year's celebration took us to a not so faraway venue -- Tagaytay. E sa hindi kami nagpaplano ng selebrasyon ng anniv namin, we always end up being spontaneous on our special day. From Bataan to Baler to Zambales, sa Tagaytay pa rin bumagsak hahaha! Sabi nga niya, "ang mahalaga kasama mo ako". Hahaha! Kaya we told ourselves to plan our next anniversary already hahaha!
Hihi he took a photo of me outside taking some selfie shots hahaha!
Compare and contrast our photos now versus previous years, my boss amo now knows how to smile! Of which I am very very very happy about! Hindi na rin mahirap magpapicture! We went to the much talked-about Skyranch. Parang mga teenagers lang these days! We even rode the Tagaytay eye haha saka na ang pangarap niyang London Eye. Nakakatawa, sabi ni Luke, "Sa MOA ni hindi tayo sumakay, pumunta pa talaga tayo dito." Hahaha! Oo nga naman!
And then he already gave me his gift. I joked him, engagement ring na ba laman ng box. Hahaha! I was purely kidding. But what's inside was also something really valuable, a symbol of time. Love it! I gave him a swingman NBA jersey (ang mahal pala neto?? HAHAHA!) and his "dream" branded polo shirt.
I don't want to narrate how we ended up in Pamana instead of our much anticipated Antonio's Garden and after all our restaurant choices. Still, not bad for our anniversary. Sabi nga nya ulit, "ang mahalaga magkasama tayo." Hahaha e pwede naman pala sa bahay na lang namin. I kid of course.
 We absolutely liked this kakanin fondue. 
We had a breakfast buffet in the hotel the next morning! Weeee I love breakfast buffets!!! With a piano man in the background and the breathtaking Taal view. 
 We left The Lake Hotel and ate at Rowena's cafe. They now have a menu on meals and not just a pasalubong place! The nearby Bag of Beans were closed that Monday, and the museum that we should visit was expectedly, but we forgot hahaha, was also closed on a Monday. Hence we just reminisced our childhood days in Picnic Grove, which is so different from the Picnic Grove we knew as kids. Sayang =( Calling out to the Cavite government to look into this!
I love you Luke, congrats to us Lurie!! I still pray that I could still make your everyday sweet and remembered and happy.  I will always be here no matter what life may bring. I love you always. 

Happy FOUR-EVER!!!
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