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Bentley

@bentley_a46

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10/10/10 Rule

Before making a decision, considers how you’ll feel about this decision in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years.

It’s easy to make short-term decisions that may be beneficial 10 minutes or 10 months from now, but these types of decisions usually don’t benefit us in the long-term. What’s harder is to make decisions that may not appear attractive or impactful in the short-term, but over time can have a positive impact in your life.

@bentley_a46

The Science Behind Smarter Decision Making: 7 Mental Models To Know

thenextweb.com

Pareto’s Law

In anything we do, there’s always ~20% of activities that will deliver 80% of our desired results.

It’s easy to be wrapped up in ‘busy’ work without ever getting anything done. Pareto’s Law is a useful mental model to be more effective, rather than just be efficient.

Parkinson’s Law

Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. So try placing artificial time limitations.

If we’re given three hours to complete a task that normally would take an hour, we’ll find a way to fill those three hours. However, when we’re down to the final thirty minutes, we’re suddenly feeling the pressure to get things done. 

Doubt is necessary for philosophy

Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-55) believed that in order to practice philosophy, you have to doubt everything.

His belief in thinking for oneself is noticed throughout his pseudonymous works. In writing under aliases, he lessened the sense that an authority wrote the books.

Want to think for yourself? Start with an agonising state of doubt, says Kierkegaard

aeon.co

Søren Kierkegaard was influenced by Socrates, who thought that his task was not to discover the truth and then communicate it to his students, but to open the question to the pupils and ensure they stay open.

The last thing you should do is turn to an authority to tell you what you should think. You have to do that for yourself.

Successful people give up all the time. If something is not working, smart people don’t repeat it endlessly. They revise. They adjust. They quit.

Just like the saying goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

The 3 Stages of Failure in Life and Work

jamesclear.com

  1. Failure of Tactics - the HOW mistakes: failure to execute on a good plan and a clear vision.
  2. Failure of Strategy - the WHAT mistakes: when you follow a strategy that fails to deliver the results you want.
  3. Failure of Vision - the WHY mistakes: failing to understand why you do the things you do.
  1. Record your process.
  2. Measure your outcomes.
  3. Review and adjust your tactics.
  1. Launch it quickly.
  2. Do it cheaply.
  3. Revise it rapidly.

Many people prefer to go-with-the-flow and take life as it comes. In theory, that's just fine.

But in practice, there is a problem: If you never decide on a vision for your life, you'll often find yourself living someone else's dream.

These are WHO mistakes. They occur when society fails to provide equal opportunity for all people.

Failures of Opportunity are the result of many complex factors: age, race, gender, income, education, and more.

Comedians As Master Psychologists

When inquired about an occupation that has the most insight on human behaviour and human nature, one would assume it would be teaching, as it requires shaping and developing a lot of young minds.

However, it is a comedian who has a much deeper insight into human behaviour, as he(or she) has to make the audience laugh and yet ensure that the comfort barrier isn’t broken. It requires a great deal of insight into the immediate reaction that a live audience is going to have.

Why Comedians Are Actually Master Psychologists

psychologytoday.com

In his book Rhetoric, Aristotle has analyzed what a joke is: Creating an expectation and then breaking it.

“What’s the best thing about Switzerland?”
“I don’t know, but the flag’s a big plus.”

This joke builds an expectation in the first sentence (Chocolates? Watches?) but breaks it in the second, and after a confusing pause, we see that the answer does make sense: The Swiss flag has a big plus sign.

Psychologists and comedians are working in a similar fashion: They observe the world and test a new hypothesis (raw joke matter) on how people see it. They run experiments on individuals and groups that confirm or deny their new theories or jokes.

Both rely on the feedback of the colleagues, scholars or the audience to shape their experimental jokes or theories.

Meta-Learning

It's knowing how to learn. Learning itself is a skill, and knowing how to do it well is an incredibly valuable advantage.

Merely acquiring information is not learning. People need the ability to make sense of complexity and to combine many bits of data into a broad picture of the world, especially in today's high-information world.

The Complete Guide to Effective Reading

medium.com

Learning has 2 phases

Learning is a two-step process:

  • Read/listen: feeding ourselves new information.
  • Process and recall what you’ve just ‘learned’: connecting new materials to what we already knew.

You should not waste your time by committing unimportant details to memory. 

Your focus should be on understanding the bigger picture, on how things relate to each other.

Mental models and learning

A mental model is a mental, simplified depiction of how something works. It influences our perception, decisions, and behavior. 

Learning means upgrading your mental models. The more models you have — the bigger your toolbox — the more likely you are to have the right models to see reality.

  • Active reading: is reading with the conscious intention to understand, integrate and evaluate the information you’re reading.
  • Passive reading: where you just take the words in.
Mind mapping

It's a visual technique for summarizing the material that is specifically designed for the purpose of building a mental picture and seeing new connections. Mind-mapping is great for getting the core concepts of the book and ‘seeing’ how they relate to each other.

It works great for understanding the broad picture and updating your mental representation of your reality.

Written active recall

After you’ve completed a chapter, write bullet points on what you want to take away from it.

It will give you a concise list of bullet points per chapter, without interrupting the flow of reading and without you having to write stuff you don’t care about.

Cicero
“Nothing so much assists learning as writing down what we wish to remember.”
The QEC method

The QEC (question/evidence/method) described by Cal Newport: "Reduce the information presented to you into questions paired with conclusions. Between the two, list the evidence that justifies the connection. In other words, the questions and the conclusions become a wrapper around the raw facts — transforming them into self-contained ideas."

Intentionally direct the workings of your subconscious mind while you’re sleeping.

  • Every night, take out an empty piece of paper and jot down thoughts and a follow-up question relating to what you’ve been trying to understand. 
  • Every morning the first thing you do after waking -  answer last night’s question.
Engage in active recall

What you can’t explain to others, you don’t understand yourself.

The single best strategy for organizing constant growth is by involving fellow human beings. To test your understanding of something — anything — explain it to someone.

The cycle of learning

Acquiring information and learning are not the same thing.

To learn, we need to get the information into our latticework of mental models. For a higher return of investment of reading, we need to engage with the information we read and reflect on it.

Failure leads to underestimation

We have all encountered failure, be it failing a final exam, or a job interview. We're told that overcoming difficult obstacles will make a future success much sweeter.

But new research shows that initial failure can lead people to underestimate how good it would feel to succeed.

Does Failure Make Victory Seem Sweeter?

scientificamerican.com

  • "The grass is always greener on the other side" suggests that people spend much of their time longing for things they don't have.
  • In Aesop's fable of "The Fox and the Grapes", the fox walked away from the grapes he desired because he could not reach it, concluding that the grapes were probably sour anyway. This tale teaches that failure can make future success appear less attractive.

In a study, people who see grass as greener on the other side predict higher happiness with future success. Participants that reacted like Aesop's fox would try to distance themselves from failure. It suggests that initial failure made people underestimate how good it would feel to succeed.

Named after "The Fox and the Grapes", the sour-grape effect is a systematic tendency to downplay the value of unattainable goals and rewards. We underestimate our future happiness because we don't always know what we want, and adjust our desires to what appears within reach.

People will rather devalue a goal than devalue the self. It means that people could miss out on the chance to try again because what once seemed impossible might now be within reach.

Charlie Munger's 2-Step Decision Process

An approach to decision making that prevents manipulation:

  1. Understand the forces at play: know what you know and what you don’t know.
  2. Understand how your subconscious might be leading you astray: there are many causes of human misjudgment, including over-confidence.

The Munger Two Step

fs.blog

Describing "flow"

Flow is a state of mind when we are so absorbed in an activity that we lose all track of time and effort.

Flow happens when we are doing an activity that embraces our skillset with several challenges we are able to overcome only by stretching ourselves. And we feel good when we conquer each challenge.

Why Do You Feel Happy When You're 'In the Zone'? Science Finally Has an Answer

inc.com

People who are in flow can keep going for a long time without experiencing cognitive fatigue. They report feeling calm and detached from negative emotions.

In a study, volunteers had more sympathetic activity in a state of flow, meaning they were more alert and mentally sharp. They had demonstrably less activity in the amygdala, a brain region involved in emotion-processing.

To get into flow, find an activity you can do with some effort. The challenge should meet your skillset without making you feel overwhelmed or bored.

If your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, then getting into flow can help you detach from emotional reactivity.

What superstition is

Superstition can be described as the belief in supernatural forces, such as fate, to describe unpredictable factors. Psychologists found that superstition comes from the assumption that a connection exists between non-related events that coincide.

Individual beliefs and experiences drive superstitions, explaining why they are generally irrational.

The science of superstition – and why people believe in the unbelievable

weforum.org

  • Some superstitious beliefs help promote a positive mental attitude, although they can lead to irrational decisions, such as trusting in good luck and destiny rather than sound decision making.
  • Carrying charms, wearing certain clothes, preferring specific colours, and using particular numbers are elements of superstition.
  • Superstitions can also give rise to the idea that objects and places are cursed. Many buildings do not have a 13th floor. In some countries, such as Italy and Brazil, the typical unlucky number is 17.

Superstition is also prevalent within sport. It has been shown to reduce tension and provide a sense of control over unpredictable factors.

Personalized actions and behaviors include wearing lucky clothes, kit, and charms.

While superstitions can provide reassurance and help reduce anxiety in some people, research has shown that it can also become self-reinforcing, meaning the behavior develops into a habit, and failure to perform the ritual can result in anxiety.

This is regardless of the actual outcome of a situation that is still dependent on known factors and not unknown supernatural forces.

Pablo Picasso
"Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not."

People with creative personalities really do see the world differently

theconversation.com

The central concept of creativity is that some people are open to examine things from all angles and visualize more possibilities.

The part of our personality that seems to drive our creativity is called openness to experience. Openness best predicts performance on varying thinking tasks, on real-world creative achievements, as well as engagement in daily creative pursuits.

Research found that open people don't just bring a different perspective; they really see things differently.

The research findings suggest that open people's creative tendencies are ingrained in their basic visual perception. Open people may have inherently different experiences to other people.

A well-known perceptual phenomenon is called inattentional blindness. This is when people are so focused on one thing that they miss something else right in front of their eyes.

A study showed that your susceptibility to inattentional blindness depends on your personality. Open people are less likely to suffer from inattentional blindness.

There is mounting evidence that personality is malleable, and cognitive training interventions shows promise to increase openness. Travel also broadens the mind.

However, the dark side to the permeability of consciousness that characterises open people is that it is linked to aspects of mental illness, such as being disposed to hallucination. Care should be taken not to see things that are not there.

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