Second-order Thinking - Deepstash
Second-order Thinking

Second-order Thinking

Second-order thinking is a tool that you can use for making decisions that are not just beneficial in the short-term but are also nondestructive over a longer period of time.

What looks like an investment now might turn out to be a liability later. What looked like a good decision earlier is now a bad one.

Second-order thinking is a is a mental tool that will help you examine the long-term consequences of your decisions, thereby helping you make decisions that will stand the test of time.


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An aspiring writer. Loves reading, walking and spending time with my wife.

A mental tool for better decision making.

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Plan For the Future

Plan For the Future

Being proactive and thinking long-term while making decisions in the present is something that primes us for a better and deliberate future.

We start to consider the second-order consequences of our decisions, understanding that short-term thinking is too common, and long...

How To Use It

You can use second-order thinking in two ways:

1. As a purely mental exercise

2. You can write it down on paper

Consider a decision you have to make.

Look at the most immediate (first-order) effects of making the decision. Then for each effect ask yourself: "And then What?...

Second-Level Thinking

Second-level thinking is a form of mental model that makes us map out the complex implications of the various decisions under consideration.

This helps us take into account the limitations of our minds and separate the signal from the noise.

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