YANSS 232 – Adam Grant’s advice for becoming better at thinking about your own thinking so you can harness the power of knowing what you don’t know

How to manage procrastination according to Margaret Atwood, how to work around your first-instinct fallacy, the upsides of imposter syndrome, the best way to avoid falling prey to the Dunning-Kruger effect, how to avoid thinking like a preacher, prosecutor, or politician so you can think like a scientist instead – and that’s just the beginning of the conversation in this episode with psychologist, podcast host, and author Adam Grant.

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In the show, we discuss both his new book – Think Again: The Power of Knowing What you Don’t Know – and his TED Original Podcast, WorkLife, in which he interviewed Margaret Atwood, the author of The Handmaid’s Tale, to learn how she deals with the constant allure of social media and streaming videos in a future where giving in to procrastination is easier than it has ever been. 

In the show, you’ll hear portions of that interview followed by a lengthy interview with Grant about his new book in this all-over-the-place, extensive exploration of how to rethink your own thinking.


“Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.

In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. The result is that our beliefs get brittle long before our bones. Intelligence is no cure, and it can even be a curse: there’s evidence that being good at thinking can make us worse at rethinking. The brighter we are, the blinder to our own limitations we can become.
Bringing together research-backed solutions that range from shadow work to reparenting, embodied healing, and other clinical practices, along with empowering personal stories, this book is a hands-on road map for moving forward with purpose, confidence, and the freedom to become who you’re truly meant to be.”

Adam Grant

Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist who has been recognized as one of the world’s 10 most influential management thinkers and was named one of Fortune’s 40 under 40.

​He is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 5 books that have sold millions of copies and been translated into 45 languages: Think AgainGive and TakeOriginalsOption B, and Power Moves. His books have been named among the year’s best by Amazon, Apple, the Financial Times, and the Wall Street Journal. His viral piece on languishing was the most-read New York Times article of 2021 and the most-saved article across all platforms.

Adam hosts WorkLife, a chart-topping TED original podcast. His TED talks on languishing, original thinkers, and givers and takers have been viewed more than 30 million times. He has received a standing ovation at TED and was voted the audience’s favorite speaker at The Nantucket Project. His speaking and consulting clients include Google, the NBA, Bridgewater, and the Gates Foundation. He writes on work and psychology for the New York Times, has served on the Defense Innovation Board at the Pentagon, has been honored as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and has appeared on Billions. He has more than 6 million followers on social media and features new insights in his free monthly newsletter, GRANTED.

Links and Sources

iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Patreon –  SoundcloudOmnySpotifyAudibleAmazon

Previous Episodes

Adam Grant’s Website

Adam Grant on Twitter

Think Again