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Inversion: The Crucial Thinking Skill Nobody Ever Taught You

Project Management

Failure Premortem/ Kill the company: one of the applications of inversion, in which you imagine the most important goal or project you are working on right now, then fast forward six months and assume the project or goal has failed.

Tell the story of how it happened. What went wrong? What mistakes did you make? How did it fail? 

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Inversion: The Crucial Thinking Skill Nobody Ever Taught You

Inversion: The Crucial Thinking Skill Nobody Ever Taught You

https://jamesclear.com/inversion

jamesclear.com

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Key Ideas

Inversion

It is a mental model, a way of thinking backward about what you don’t want to happen. It is about taking an idea upside down and thinking about what could go wrong.

Inversion is a powerful thinking tool because it puts a spotlight on errors and roadblocks that are not obvious at first glance.

Avoiding failure

Avoiding mistakes is an under-appreciated way to improve.

In most jobs, you can enjoy some degree of success simply by being proactive and reliable—even if you are not particularly smart, fast, or talented in a given area. Sometimes it is more important to consider why people fail in life than why they succeed.

Project Management

Failure Premortem/ Kill the company: one of the applications of inversion, in which you imagine the most important goal or project you are working on right now, then fast forward six months and assume the project or goal has failed.

Tell the story of how it happened. What went wrong? What mistakes did you make? How did it fail? 

Productivity

Applying inversion to productivity you could ask, “What if I wanted to decrease my focus? How do I end up distracted?” 

The answer to that question may help you discover interruptions you can eliminate to free up more time and energy each day.

Decluttering

Marie Kondo, the author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, uses inversion to help people declutter their homes.

Her famous line is: “We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” This shift in mindset inverts decluttering by focusing on what you want to keep rather than what you want to discard.

Relationships

Inverting a good marriage can show you how to avoid a bad one.

Ask yourself what behaviors might ruin a marriage ( Lack of trust, not respecting the other person, not letting each person have time to be an individual, etc.)

Personal Finance

Ask yourself how could you destroy your financial health.

Before you worry too much about how to make more money make sure you have figured out how to not lose money. If you can manage to avoid these problems, you'll be far ahead of many folks and save yourself a lot of pain and anguish along the way.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Inversion

Is the way of thinking in which you consider the opposite of what you want.

Inversion puts a spotlight on errors and roadblocks that are not obvious at first glance. What if the opposi...

The "kill the company" strategy

The idea is to identify challenges and points of failure so you can develop a plan to prevent them ahead of time.

Imagine the most important goal or project you are working on right now. Then fast forward 6 months and assume the project or goal has failed. Tell the story of how it happened and ask yourself, “What could cause this to go horribly wrong?”

Inversion and productivity

Applying inversion to productivity you could ask, “What if I wanted to decrease my focus? How do I end up distracted?” 

The answer to these question may help you discover interruptions you can eliminate to free up more time and energy each day.

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Stoic Philosophy

Stoicism acknowledges the challenges we face and teaches us practical lessons so that we may overcome whatever stands in our way. By taking a practical approach to happiness, we learn how to mainta...

Epictetus
Epictetus

Don’t seek for everything to happen as you wish it would, but rather wish that everything happens as it actually will—then your life will flow well.

Suffering and Desire

Buddha taught that there is suffering in this world, it is inevitable, and the root cause of suffering is mainly the desires we feel.

We want something, always, and feel miserable when we don't get it.

Stoicism teaches us to live in accordance with nature and to accept that suffering will manifest in different ways in our lives.

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Marcus Aurelius

"You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."

Marcus Aurelius
Premeditate

Premeditation is one of the most powerful of the Stoic tools for coping with stress. Is involves visualizing the future and imagining all the bad things that could happen

This puts things in perspective. We tend to blow things up in our minds and make them appear much larger than they really are. By imagining all of the worst things that could happen, you come back down to earth and realize the present isn’t so bad.

Act Like You’re Not Stressed

Stoics thought that, when experiencing a heavy emotion or mental state such as anger or stress, adopting the behavior of someone who feels the opposite way can actually help us alter our state.

Scientific evidence indicates that things like body language and forcing a smile can actually change our mental state, making us happier, less stressed, and more confident.

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