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Mental models - Navigating Life Strategically

by
Julian Shapiro
Julian Shapiro
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Mental models, frameworks for thinking, simplify complex concepts & processes so you can reason through them. However, it takes discipline to use them.

Mental Models

Without mental models: 1. You go where your momentum takes you. 2. You use your instincts, shaped by past experiences & advice. Accomplished people share 3 traits: 1. Prefer to take action 2. Look to prove themselves wrong 3. Reassess priorities without fear of changing them

The World is a Patchwork of Systems

  • Process - economic growth
  • Business - Microsoft
  • Tool - toothbrush
  • State - happiness A mental model of a system highlights the system's core components & how they work together.

How to Make Decisions

Half of the power of mental models is in optimizing systems; the other half is making better decisions. 1. Prioritizing: which path should you take first? 2. Allocating: how much attention, time & capital should you spend on this?

Models that help optimize systems include:

  • Local/Global
  • Theory of Constraints
  • First Principles

Mental models that help make decisions include:

  • Regret Minimization
  • Pareto's Principle
  • ICE
  • Eisenhower Matrix

Elon Musk & Jeff Bezos

  • Wisdom is the advantage one person has over another due to mental models.

What Now?

  • Cultivate the discipline to use mental models
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