How to Make Decisions in an Imperfect World - Deepstash
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The best ideas are imperfect

The best ideas are imperfect

The insight that the best ideas are imperfect is vital to remember if we want to learn how to make decisions and take action.

For example, Albert Einstein developed the general theory of relativity, which is one of the most important ideas in modern physics. However, while his ideas explain how the universe works, it breaks down in certain cases (like inside black holes.)


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'All models are wrong, some are useful'

These famous words of statistician George Box pointed out that we should focus more on whether something can be useful in daily life than debating if it is correct in all cases. The test of knowledge is utility, not truth.

Einstein's work was not always correct, but it has been very useful to increase our understanding of the world and to use for practical purposes such as the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) used in your phone.


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How to make decisions in an imperfect world

How to make decisions in an imperfect world

We can develop a broad collection of thinking frameworks, also known as metal models. The more mental models you possess, the more tools you have in your thinking toolbox.

For example, ways to think about productivity:

  • The 2-minute rule. If something takes less than two minutes, do it now.
  • The Ivy Lee method. Create a to-do list writing down the six most important things to do tomorrow, then prioritise them and work on them in order.
  • The Seinfeld strategy. Pick a new habit and mark an X on the calendar for each day you stick with the behaviour.


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