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The Most Powerful Way to Think | First Principles

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZRDUZuIKg4

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The Most Powerful Way to Think | First Principles
Signup for your FREE trial to The Great Courses Plus here: http://ow.ly/9oQl30hIuI8 __ Instagram: http://instagram.com/freedomintht Twitter: http://twitter.com/freedomintht Facebook: http://facebook.com/freedomintht Read more essays: http://freedominthought.com Book Recommendations: http://amzn.to/2kw7Mp4 __ Transcript and sources: http://freedominthought.com/archive/how-powerful-people-think __ The Great Courses Plus is currently available to watch through a web browser to almost anyone in the world and optimized for the US market.

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First Principles

A first principle is the fundamental building block of an idea, the most indivisible part that we know to be true and that we can use to build more complex thoughts.

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First Principles: Not A New Idea

Thinking from first principles is not a new idea. It's actually the single most consistent factor among great thinkers.

For example, Aristotle believed that you could not possess true knowledge without first understanding the first principles. He thought that everything could be divided into categories and sub-categories (the smallest of them being the equivalent for first principles).

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Reason And Experience

An empiricist is a person that believed all true knowledge is based and obtained through experience.

The process of seeking knowledge through experience and making use of reason to give it structure it how we can find the first principles of a subject.

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Conventional and Unconventional Thinkers

  • Conventional thinkers: their knowledge consists of proof that is on display.
  • Unconventional thinkers: they use experience and reason to organize their knowledge; they ask questions and make analogies to get to the roots of am idea.

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The Art Of First Principles Thinking

Once a first principle is understood, we can look and improve each component (from the simple to the more complex) of a subject or a product.

If every part is remarkable, then the total is remarkable.

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Benefits of First Principles Thinking

  • Innovation: once you understand the fundamentals of an idea, you can change and rearrange them to create new ideas and products.
  • Optimization: a fundamental component could be changed, to improve and idea or product.
  • Integration: once you understand a foundational component of an idea, it becomes a lot easier to integrate new knowledge into your understanding.
  • Transfer: understanding first principles makes it easier to transfer complex ideas to other people.

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Become A First Principles Thinker

Write down and organize information. Create hierarchies and mind maps.

Most ideas are nested outside or inside one another. You have to learn to map out how these ideas are linked.

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