Inversion: a mental model

Is a thinking model to get insight by turning a question backward, that is, by studying how to create non-X.

It is in the nature of things that many hard problems are best solved only when they are addressed backward", the great mathematician Jacobi noted. Instead of thinking how can you be happy, ask how you can be miserable and avoid that.

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"How to Guarantee a Life of Misery" | James Clear

jamesclear.com

Johnny Carson's 3 Paths to Misery

In a graduation speech Johnny Carson, the legendary host of The Tonight Show, listed his prescriptions for misery:

  1. Addictions- Ingesting chemicals in an effort to alter mood or perception
  2. Envy
  3. Resentment.

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Charlie Munger's Paths to Misery

Charlie Munger, the famous investor, added more paths to Misery to complement Jhonny Carson list: 

  1. Be unreliable. Do not faithfully do what you have engaged to do.  
  2. Learn everything you possibly can from your own personal experience, minimizing what you learn vicariously from the good and bad experience of others. Never learn. 
  3. Go down and stay down when you get your first, second, third severe reverse in the battle of life. 

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