The title of the book gives the impression that it's a self-help book. It's more of a psychology book explaining how people can make mistakes, think they are right, and honestly believe that. A good example is false memories. How often have you said, "I could have sworn I did that." You see the event in your head, yet evidence shows it didn't happen. You rationalize it ("someone must have moved it") instead of accept the most obvious answer ("I was mistaken in thinking that I did it").
The books goes even further into big mistakes that people make and refuse to admit, such as in the criminal system where suspects are locked away for years ("I know he's the rapist so I'll interrogate him for hours until he finally confesses") until DNA finally proves their innocence. Fortunately for most people, they are not making mistakes that means life and death. The book contains many extreme examples. Still, this is great book to read to understand and recognize your own mistakes. For example, maybe a friend asked for a favor and you said no. Initially you felt a little guilty for saying no. Then you start justifying the answer, "She wouldn't have helped me if I had asked for a favor. She's always looking for someone to do her work." So that guilty feeling goes away. It's a rude awakening to realize how your feelings have completely changed -- you went from feeling a little guilty to thinking your friend is selfish and lazy.
This book didn't have any new information for me. I've already read "The Power of Habit" and learned that it easier to rid a bad habit by replacing it with a good habit, such as replace "eating sweets" with "eating an apple" rather than simply trying to stop the bad habit. I've also read "The Willpower Instinct," which explains conditions that helps you strengthen self-control (like building up your willpower a little at a time like a muscle). This book also provided other well known techniques for learning something -- observe, perform, and teach. If you had ever tried teaching others, you would have found gaps in your knowledge of the topic as soon as the learners started asking questions. As you find the answers to those questions, then you really become an expert in that topic. If these concepts are new for you, then this book would be useful.
This book is a balanced blend of scientific data and storytelling. The author explains how your brain works (e.g., it's easier to drive and talk at the same time, but not read email and listen to a conversation). You learn what to do -- minimize multitasking as much as possible and don't do it at all when the two tasks rely on the same region of the brain. The author then takes you through the problems faced by two fictitious characters, Emily and Paul. The same scenes are replayed following his advice. Although the scenarios are fictitious, they represent common situations at work and how they can be handled poorly (as we react without thinking) or effectively (stay calm and re-direct it to a positive outcome). The pattern in the book of data, scene, and replay of scene reminds you to slow down and think, especially as you see how Emily and Paul in their rush to get things done, they end up doing rework to fix their problems. I think this is a book you can read again to identity bad habits you continue to do and work on those.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
I truly believe this book should be required reading for both introverts and extroverts. More than that, I wish it could be downloaded directly in the minds of many people for maximum effectiveness. Many signals and assumptions that introverts take for granted in an extroverted world are spelled out, analyzed, and made accessible for immediate understanding and integration. For extroverts, the assumptions of the world they've made are challenged, and a new perspectives are offered. The result is genius cleverly disguised as good old common sense. The playing field has been leveled quite effectively, and now the introvert has a fighting chance to proceed in everyday situations according to natural inclination without being subjected to the challenges of misunderstanding, ridicule, or low self-esteem. This book is a bridge. All that remains is for it to be utilized.