Don't change who you are. Be more of who you are - Sally Hogshead
Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol
Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol

Like many of you, I like to read the best business and leadership books throughout the year. There are standards like Good to Great by Jim Collins and more recent entries such as Bob Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime. There are also books that may not be quite as obvious – or perhaps even ones we avoid. This week I read one such book – 2020’s Think Like a Rocket Scientist by Ozan Varol. In Ozan’s words, “Rocket Scientists imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable. They transform failures into triumphs and constraints into advantages…they’re moved not by blind conviction but by self-doubt…They know the rules are not set in stone, the default can be altered, and a new path can be forged.” Perhaps, what drew me most to this book was the simple statement, “Lurking behind the elusive subject of rocket science are life-changing insights on creativity and critical thinking that anyone can acquire without a PhD in Astrophysics.” What could be more helpful – especially at a time like this – than developing and/or enhancing your creative thinking AND criticalthinking?

Varol organizes his book into three sections: the launch, the acceleration, and achievement. The overall design is to move us through a process of changing how we think about challenges and encouraging actions that can and will change our lives. The writing is clearly not written for scientists but for artists, and businesspeople, and teachers, and those that want to change their current situation. The foundation may be built on the sciences, but the examples and applications are for all of us.

This book calls on us to abandon our allegiance to a vision or an assumption and do the hard work of getting down to the fundamental components or truths. While it is tempting to do whatever we can to prove something is true and right, Varol encourages the reader to do whatever possible to disprove the assumptions. At the end of the process, you will come down to what is true and provable and useable. In our current culture, we hear many suggesting that failure is important to progress, but we are reminded here that it is not so much the failure that is key but the lessons learned from the failures.

Varol’s writing is filled with lessons, examples, and stories to encourage you, the reader, to seek out solutions and strategies that can lead to a fulfilling life. We’ve all talked about thinking outside the box. Perhaps, Think Like a Rocket Scientist can help all of us to learn how to get outside of that box.

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