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How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways

Yuval Noah Harari

“Scientists generally agree that no theory is 100 percent correct. Thus, the real test of knowledge is not truth, but utility.”

Yuval Noah Harari

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways

How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways

https://jamesclear.com/feynman-mental-models

jamesclear.com

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Key Ideas

Tools for Thinking Better

You don't need to master every detail of every subject to become a world-class thinker.

If you can master the fundamentals of each discipline, then you can develop a remarkably accurate and useful picture of life.

Mental Models: Out of Box Thinking

Mental models are the various thinking frameworks that are used to understand life, make decisions, and solve problems.

Just raw intelligence is not enough to solve problems. A different or a broader set of mental models can provide a different view of the problem, leading to an unconventional, new solution not thought of before.

Mental Models: Examples

A mental model is an explanation of how something works. They are beliefs, worldviews or frameworks of thinking. You carry a certain kind of thinking in you to arrive at a solution to a problem.

Some examples:

  • Demand and Supply: to understand the economy
  • Game Theory: to understand trust and relationships
  • Entropy: to understand disorder and decay

Different perspectives

Each individual mental model is just one view of reality. The challenges and situations we face in life cannot be entirely explained by one field or industry.

All perspectives hold some truth. None of them contain the complete truth.

Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger

“All the wisdom of the world is not to be found in one little academic department.”

Liquefy all your Knowledge

Develop "liquid knowledge" that flows easily from one topic to the next.

Instead of separating knowledge into different sections, isolating it, we are better off expanding, merging and liquefying the knowledge.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Think like Sherlock Holmes

“What Sherlock Holmes offers isn’t just a way of solving a crime. It is an entire way of thinking."

"Holmes provides... an education in improving our faculty of mindful thought...

Engagement
As children, we are remarkably aware to the world around us. This attention wanes over time as we allow more pressing responsibilities to attend to and demands on our minds to address. And as the demands on our attention increase so, too, does our actual attention decrease.

 As it does so, we become less and less able to know or notice our own thought habits and more and more allow our minds to dictate our judgments and decisions, instead of the other way around.

Pitfalls of the Untrained Brain

Daniel Kahneman believes there are two systems for organizing and filtering knowledge: 

  • System one is real-time. This system makes judgments and decisions before our mental apparatus can consciously catch up. 
  • System two, on the other hand, is a slow process of thinking based on critical examination of evidence. Konnikova refers to these as System Watson and System Holmes.

To move from a System Watson- to a System Holmes-governed thinking takes mindfulness plus motivation.

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Thinking is not IQ

We often make the mistake of thinking that people with high IQs think better. But it's not true. That's not the type of knowledge or brainpower that makes you better at life, happier, or more succe...

Principles for seeking wisdom
  • Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.
  • "I’m not smart enough to figure everything out myself, so I want to master the best of what other people have already figured out."
If you want to think better...
  • Become better at probing other people’s thinking. Ask questions. Simple ones are better. “Why” is the best.
  • Slow down. Make sure you give yourself time to think.
  • Probe yourself. Try and understand if you’re talking about something you really know something about or if you’re just regurgitating something you heard.

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A Meeting With Conflict

When polarizing topics are discussed in meetings, it can turn into a fight. In these conflicts, where passions run high, people tend to confuse correlation with causation while determining the rea...

Hanlon's Razor

This mental model states that most actions made by people need not be categorized as malicious or intentionally bad, but simply a sign of incompetence and acting out of fear.

Many poor decisions and actions are not intentional but due to ineptitude. By following this mental model, we untie ourselves from unnecessary negativity and work towards a solution.

Relativity

The mental model of relativity states that everyone's outlook, viewpoint and perspective are different from ours.

The same situation is looked in different ways by people, and understanding these variations can help us toward a meaningful dialogue with them. We can diffuse any inherent conflict by hearing out and identifying what we understand, making the other person feel listened to.

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