I believe in the discipline of mastering the best of what other people have figured out
Thinking better isn't about being a genius. It is about the processes we use to uncover reality and the choices we make once we do.
A mental model is simply a representation of how something works. We cannot keep all the details of the world in our brains, so we use models to simplify the complex into understandable and organisable chunks.
Q. Why mental models? A. There is no system that can prepare us for all the risks in life. They are unexpected a lot fo times. Factors of chance introduce a level of complexity that is not entirely predictable. But being able to draw pictures of mental models can help us minimise the risk by understanding the forces that are play.
When understanding is separated from reality, we lose our power. Understanding MUST constantly be tested against reality and updated accordingly.
It's hard to understand a system that we are part of. The reason because we have blind spots and we can't see what we aren't looking for. There are 2 flaws associated with us:
A man who committed a mistake and didn't correct it, is committing another mistake - Confucius
Most geniuses - especially those who lead others - prosper not by deconstructing intricate complexities but by exploiting unrecognised simplicities.
Understanding only becomes useful when we adjust our behaviour and actions accordingly. This was pointed by James Clear as well in his book Atomic Habits.
We are often afraid to learn and admit when we don't know enough. This is a mindset that leads to poor decisions. This is a source of lot of painful consequences when we realise that world is not working the way we want it.
We should realise the fact that ego is not just an enemy. But also a friend. We, as human beings, should learn to differentiate when it serves us and when does it hinders us.
We tend to optimise for short term ego protection rather than long term happiness.
Most of us are studying something specific and don't get exposure to the big ideas of other disciplines. We need to look at the results of applying the model over the largest sample space possible to be able to refine it so that it aligns with how the world actually works.
The chief enemy of good decisions is a lack of sufficient perspectives on a problem - Alain de Botton
The world will never isolate itself into discrete disciplines. We break it down because it is much easier to understand and preach the complexities that way.