Think Like a Rocket Scientist Book Summary - Think Like a Rocket Scientist Book explained in key points
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Think Like a Rocket Scientist summary

Ozan Varol

Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life

4.5 (389 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol provides unconventional yet practical strategies for problem-solving inspired by rocket scientists. The book encourages readers to think creatively and challenge assumptions, ultimately leading to more innovative solutions.

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    Think Like a Rocket Scientist
    Summary of 8 key ideas

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    Changing your attitude towards uncertainty opens you up to discovery.

    The engineers and scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have a strange tradition. At crucial moments in every space mission, they chomp on peanuts. This phenomenon began when a Ranger spacecraft successfully launched after a long run of failures. An engineer had brought a bag of peanuts into mission control that day. Since then, peanuts are eaten at every launch to ward off bad luck.

    This shows that even the most scientific among us fear uncertainty. That’s why we engage in strange rituals – like eating peanuts or wearing our lucky jeans – to regain a sense of control. We can’t help feeling this way. Fear of the unknown helped keep our ancestors safe from saber-toothed tigers. But when we avoid uncertainty altogether, we close ourselves off to new possibilities.

    The key message here is: Changing your attitude towards uncertainty opens you up to discovery.

    Scientists don’t see uncertainty as something to fear. When faced with a dark, shadow-filled room, they don’t turn away like most of us. They poke around in it until they find a light switch. Once that light’s on, they can evaluate what they’ve found. There might be something curious in the room, or there may be another door leading to yet another mystery.

    Uncertainty doesn’t make scientists panic. It invigorates them. Instead of worrying about the monsters that might be lurking in corners, they focus on all the amazing things awaiting discovery.

    There are some practical steps you can take to get excited about the unknown, instead of letting it inhibit you. Start by asking yourself what the worst possible outcome would be. Next, consider how likely it is for that outcome to occur. Writing down these thoughts puts them in perspective, since tragedy rarely strikes. More often than not, you’ll see that the things you value most will still be intact, even if the worst scenario plays out. Acknowledging this disarms your fears about venturing down a new path. Once you’ve faced your fears, you’ll be free to set off on your journey and see what you can achieve. 




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    What is Think Like a Rocket Scientist about?

    Think Like a Rocket Scientist (2020) reveals the strategies that rocket scientists use to innovate, problem-solve, and bring the unimaginable into fruition. By learning the techniques that scientists use every day, you’ll gain powerful tools that will help you fulfill both your professional and personal dreams.

    Think Like a Rocket Scientist Review

    Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol (2020) is an engaging book that offers valuable insights into problem-solving and decision-making. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • With its practical strategies and thought-provoking exercises, it provides readers with the tools to think creatively and overcome challenges.
    • By drawing on examples from various fields such as space exploration and innovation, the book offers a fresh perspective on problem-solving that can be applied to any aspect of life.
    • The author's ability to simplify complex concepts and make them relatable ensures that the book never becomes boring, keeping readers engaged from start to finish.

    Best quote from Think Like a Rocket Scientist

    Hustle and creativity are antithetical to each other. You cant generate breakthroughs while clearing out your inbox.

    —Ozan Varol
    example alt text

    Who should read Think Like a Rocket Scientist?

    • Seekers of original thought
    • Business managers looking for cutting-edge solutions
    • Victims of fear who hold themselves back

    About the Author

    Ozan Varol’s diverse career spans rocket science, law, and authoring nonfiction books. A former member of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers team, Varol penned Think Like a Rocket Scientist to help non-scientists reach their full potential. His award-winning articles are taught in colleges and graduate schools, and his work has featured widely in US and international media.

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    Think Like a Rocket Scientist FAQs 

    What is the main message of Think Like a Rocket Scientist?

    The main message of Think Like a Rocket Scientist is to apply the mindset and principles of rocket science to everyday life for better problem-solving and decision-making.

    How long does it take to read Think Like a Rocket Scientist?

    The reading time for Think Like a Rocket Scientist varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes a few hours. However, the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Think Like a Rocket Scientist a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Think Like a Rocket Scientist is worth reading for its practical strategies and actionable advice that can be applied to any field or profession.

    Who is the author of Think Like a Rocket Scientist?

    The author of Think Like a Rocket Scientist is Ozan Varol.

    What to read after Think Like a Rocket Scientist?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Think Like a Rocket Scientist, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher
    • Perfectly Confident by Don A. Moore
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