How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways - Deepstash
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Mental Model

Mental Model

Mental models are explanations of how something works.

  • They guide your perception and behavior.
  • They are the thinking tools that you use to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems.
  • They are imperfect, but useful.
  • The best mental models are the ideas with the most utility.
  • Learning a new mental model gives you a new way to see the world.

Developing a broad base of mental models is critical for anyone interested in thinking clearly, rationally, and effectively.

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The Secret to Great Thinking and Decision Making

When a certain worldview dominates your thinking, you’ll try to explain every problem you face through that worldview.

The more you master a single mental model, the more likely it becomes that this mental model will be your downfall because you’ll start applying it indiscriminately to every problem.

What looks like expertise is often a limitation.

The secret to great thinking is to learn and employ a variety of mental models.

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Expanding Your Set of Mental Models

Mental models provide an internal picture of how the world works. We should continuously upgrade and improve the quality of this picture. By

  • Reading widely from the best books.
  • Studying the fundamentals of seemingly unrelated fields.
  • Learning from people with wildly different life experiences.

The mind's eye needs a variety of mental models to piece together a complete picture of how the world works. The more sources you have to draw upon, the clearer your thinking becomes.

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The Pursuit of Liquid Knowledge

Avoid looking at life through the lens of one subject. Try develop “liquid knowledge” that flows easily from one topic to the next.

It is important to not only learn new mental models, but to consider how they connect with one another.

Creativity and innovation often arise at the intersection of ideas. By spotting the links between various mental models, you can identify solutions that most people overlook.

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