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Second-order thinking is a tool that you can use for making decisions that are not just beneficial in the short-term but are also nondestructive over a longer period of time.
What looks like an investment now might turn out to be a liability later. What looked like a good decision earlier is now a bad one.
Second-order thinking is a is a mental tool that will help you examine the long-term consequences of your decisions, thereby helping you make decisions that will stand the test of time.
You can use second-order thinking in two ways:
1. As a purely mental exercise
2. You can write it down on paper
Consider a decision you have to make.
Look at the most immediate (first-order) effects of making the decision. Then for each effect ask yourself: "And then What?"
That is how you examine the second-order of your decisions consequences.
This exercise can be repeated for as many orders as you find practical.
Alternatively, think about the decision in different timelines. Ask yourself: what will be the consequences of this decision in:
1. 5 minutes
2. 5 hours
3. 5 days
4. 5 months
5. 5 years
This means you get a chance to consider the short-term, medium-term, and long-term consequences.
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An aspiring writer. Loves reading, walking and spending time with my wife.
A mental tool for better decision making.
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