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How to Train Your Brain to Think in New Ways

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.

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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

7

Key Ideas

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

Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari

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

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.

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.

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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Single & Double Loop Learning

The first time we aim for a goal, follow a rule or make a decision, we are engaging in single loop learning. 
If we question our approaches and make honest self-assessments, we shift...

How Success Becomes an Impediment

Many skilled people excel at single loop learning where they become accustomed only to success. 

They aren’t used to failing, so they struggle to learn from their mistakes and often respond by blaming someone else.

“their ability to learn shuts down precisely at the moment they need it the most.”

The Key to Double Loop Learning

Push the single loop to the point of failure, to strengthen how you act in the double loop.
  • Stop getting defensive. Instead, collect and analyze relevant data, draw conclusions and test  them.
  • Change your mental models. Problem-solving isn’t a linear process where you can make one decision and then sit back and await success.
  • Fail early. Fail fast. If you learn to deal with failure you can have a worthwhile career.

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