This book opened a lot of doors in my mind that I've been trying to get through for a long time.
This book is a great mix of topics that helped me gain a different understanding (several mental models are proposed in the book that offer a mental paradigm shift) of the relationship of emotion to thought to psychology, philosophy, belief, truth, etc. and helped me gain a historical and cultural understanding of the belief structures I have working in my life.
In this book, De Bono proposes that critical thinking is powerful, but less than perfect, if it is the only thinking we use. He proposes that Critical/Rational thinking as developed by Socrates/Plato has provided the means for our technological success today, but has also blocked our progress as humans because it is only one kind of thinking (black or white, right or wrong). There are other ways of thinking and when they are used in conjunction with rational thought we have a better chance at improving our human interaction and the world we live in.
I have a true, good friend who recommended this book. I had asked him for his opinion on why I feel the need to "evangelize" other people. "Why do I feel this need to convince other people that my beliefs are correct and that theirs are somehow flawed if they don't match mine exactly?" I've observed how this practice has had poor effects in my own life and also how similar practices have not had good effects in the world e.g. War, Politics, Religion, etc. On a technical level we've made all kinds of progress, yet on a social level we are still acting like cavemen!
So, anyway, this year I've been studying motivation, behavior, psychology, belief, various religions, etc. attempting to understand myself and how/why I interact with other people in the way I do even though I know my confrontational approach is less than Ideal. This book gave me some breakthrough thinking on this subject and I'm still sorting through the debris of my former beliefs on human motivation as a result. This is why I feel like I will give this book 5 stars in a few months after I've had a chance to study it more. Right now, I'm wondering if I've been logically tricked...
One thing is for sure, I didn't "get" De Bono's 6 Hats until reading this book. I bought "SIX THINKING HATS" at the same time I bought "I'M RIGHT, YOU'RE WRONG" and it seems like these two books together offer practical approaches to revolutionize our thinking patterns and improve our human interactions.
Do these ideas result in practical change and improvement for myself and world I live in? I will need to report on this later. As a intellectually stimulating book I give it 5 stars. For pragmatism, I give it 3 because I haven't tested it yet. So, for today, I give it 4 stars overall.
Note: This was not an easy book to read. It seemed like de Bono took forever to get to his points. In fact, at one point, I skipped a few chapters and then found I had to go back and make them up. His teaching seems so simple in hindsight! But de Bono is building a logical argument throughout the book and while it seems like he is taking too long to get to his points, the points are WORTH IT! This is NOT a book on practical tools. He has written other books about practical tools (of which he reminds you quite often). This book provides a foundation on which to develop practical solutions.