Posts in Mental Models
Make Decisions Like a Boss

Making good decisions is an essential life skill, and you can improve it with practice. We have some fundamental handicaps to overcome, but if we make it a habit to practice decisiveness in low-impact environments and avoid worthless decisions when it matters, we can dramatically improve our ability to make high quality decisions. By committing to better decision making, recognizing when to make decisions and when not to, improving our ability to do one thing at a time, and clarifying what we are deciding, we can improve not only the quantity but the quality of the decisions we make. 

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A Quick Start Guide for Your Brain’s User Interface

Note: This post might get your hackles up a bit. You might find it especially surprising in a space dedicated to agency and self improvement - but stick with me and you might learn something extremely useful.

We overestimate our control over what we think, how we feel, and even what we do. We assume that every moment of every day we are rationally picking and choosing what to do. It turns out this is an extremely inadequate view of how we operate. We actually take most of our actions on autopilot with little or no conscious thought. Even when we are exercising conscious thought, it is shaped and influenced by mysterious factors under the surface and in our environment. This all sounds somewhat depressing until we realize that we have the power to shape these factors and build the systems that drive our behavior. Our brain has a user interface and we can access it if we know where to look.

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Analysis is Only the Beginning: An Introduction to Systems Thinking

Let’s talk about systems. We’ve touched on them in several posts, and they provide an incredibly valuable tool for understanding a complex world. When we stop thinking about things as independent objects and start thinking about them as elements in a greater whole of interdependent parts, we recognize that they are systems. Today we’re going to talk about a method of inquiry custom designed for such highly complex entities: Systems Thinking. 

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