General Thinking Concepts

  • Inversion — Otherwise known as thinking something through in reverse or thinking “backwards,” inversion is a problem-solving technique.
  • Second-Order Thinking — Ask yourself, “And then what?”
  • The Map Is Not the Territory —The map of reality is not reality itself. If any map were to represent its actual territory with perfect fidelity, it would be the size of the territory itself.
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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

  • We’re not as rational as we think. 
  • We’re not prepared. We don’t understand the invariant ideas — the mental models — of how the world really works. 
  • We don’t gather the information we need. We make decisions based on our “guts” in complex domains that require serious work to gather all the needed data. 
You are the sum of your decisions

A few major decisions determine a good portion of how our lives, careers, and relationships turn out. The outcomes of these decision points will reverberate for years.

Even small decisions can matter as they accumulate over the years.

We live in a society that demands specialization. Being the best means being an expert in something.  A byproduct of this niche focus is that it narrows the ways we think we can apply our knowledge without being called a fraud.

We should apply all the knowledge at our disposal to the problems and challenges we face every day.

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RELATED IDEAS

Mental models

They are chunks of knowledge that can be simplified and applied to better understand the world, by identify what information is relevant in any given situation, and the most reasonable parameters to work in. 

Mental models simplify complex processes.

Making Smart(er) Decisions And Avoiding Bad Ones

fs.blog

To avoid over-ruminating about a decision, give yourself a time frame to think about it. 

If it’s a small issue such as what paint color to paint your office, perhaps a deadline of 10 minutes is sufficient; whereas a larger decision such as whether to accept a new job offer in another city may warrant a couple of days of thought.

How to stop overthinking your decisions

fastcompany.com

By building a habit, you avoid the decision entirely and you can save your decision making energy for other important things.

3 Timeless Rules for Making Tough Decisions

hbr.org

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