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Anchor System Thinking: The Art of Situational Analysis, Problem Solving, and Strategic Planning for Yourself, Your Organization, and Society


Loved it! 😍

In Anchor System Thinking, Shoukry presents a practical meta-thinking system for improving one's self-reflection and analytical abilities.

In this book, Shoukry at least partly follows the behaviorist tradition of Ivan Pavlov, and therefrom derives a meta-thinking system he calls "Anchor System Thinking", which both builds upon and expands the behaviorist conception of the mind as a "black box". As such a meta-thinking system ought to be judged by its usefulness, I was naturally skeptical at first as to how Anchor System Thinking could improve one's thinking in "Situational Analysis, Problem Solving, and Strategic Planning for Yourself, Your Organization, and Society", as his subtitle proclaims. When I got further into the book, however, I started recognizing the value of the metaphor of the “anchor system” and the different components thereof. As Jocko Willinck has especially emphasized, it can be difficult for us to make an objective assessment of ourselves and our own situations, but I think Shoukry’s “Anchor System Thinking” could help one do that, if one understands and applies it adequately. 

The book is rather short, at just under a hundred pages, but with Shoukry’s curiosity and eloquence reflected throughout the work, in addition to his insightful examples and even interactive tasks for the readers to get more emerged with the meta-thinking system, it turns out to be both an easy, educational, and entertaining read. Additionally, Shoukry provides a good overview in the introduction to inform the reader about what he will explain in the individual chapters, highlights certain sentences he wants to emphasize, and last, but not least, he is doing a great job at categorizing the concepts he’s presenting, as well as the interaction between the categories, to illustrate how the metaphor can be applied to one’s own self-improvement. 

Among these categorizations, one that stood out to me was “entity anchors”, which was categorized into “objective”, “subjective” and “inter-subjective” entities. When I read this, I recalled that Yuval Harari had made a similar distinction in his best-seller book “Sapiens”, indicating that one inspiration of Shoukry's may have been Harari, though it’s possible that the idea was discovered separately. Nonetheless, Sapiens certainly works as a good complementary read to “Anchor System Thinking”, if one wants to delve further into the implications of that categorization. 

All in all, I enjoyed the book, and thought Shoukry had an interesting thesis of a meta-thinking system that could be useful to improve one’s thinking in analyzing oneself and others, and to further grasp how we’re all connected to things of which can have a smaller or bigger impact on us, like places, people and entities. If you’re interested in such meta-thinking systems, and/or want to improve your thinking to become a more perceptive analyst, I would recommend to check out “Anchor System Thinking” as a quick and easy read with a lot of good content. 

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Avid reader curious to always learn more about human nature and the world at large. Our capacity of reason allows us to explore these wonders, hence Pascal's assertion that "Man is obviously made to think. It is the whole of his dignity, his whole merit; and his whole duty is to think as he ought."


About the author

Ahmed I. Shoukry is an Associate Professor of Urology at Cairo University, Egypt. He started blogging in 2004 and launched a portal for independent bloggers in 2007. In late 2017, he released the bestselling book In or Out. His latest book is Anchor System Thinking. view profile

Published on December 16, 2018

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Genre: Self-Help & Self-Improvement

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