* Mental models are blueprints we can use in various contexts to make sense of the world, interpret information correctly, and understand our context. They give us predictable outcomes. A recipe is the most basic form of a mental model; each ingredient has its role, time, and place. However, a recipe is not applicable to anything outside the realm of food. Thus, we find ourselves in a position of wanting to learn a wide range of mental models (or latticework, as Charlie Munger puts it) to prepare ourselves for whatever may come our way. We can’t learn ones for each individual scenario, but we can find widely applicable ones. In this chapter, we start with mental models for smarter and quicker decision-making.
* Mental Model #1: Address “Important”; Ignore “Urgent.” These are entirely separate things that we often fuse together. Important is what truly matters, even if the payoff or deadline is not so immediate. Urgent only refers to the speed of response that is desired. You can easily use an Eisenhower Matrix to clarify your priorities and ignore urgent tasks unless they so happen to also be important.
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Peter Hollins is a bestselling author, human psychology researcher, and a dedicated student of the human condition.
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