The 1 thing you need for decision making

If anyone has ever read Poor Charlie Munger’s Almanack, a fantastic insight into the partner of one of the best Investors on the planet. You will know what I mean when I say using multiple mental frameworks for making decisions.

I wholeheartedly agree with attacking things from multiple angles. When testing software such as apps or websites, you must have in mind the user, the product manager and the developer. Then attack from all those angles to improve the value of the software.

Charlie Munger though, takes it a lot further. Suggesting that we should use the basics of Maths, Psychology, Engineering, Biology including evolutionary biology to solve our problems. Suggesting to derive some 80 different types of mental frameworks from these subjects. Of course,  you can broaden the topics you find your mental models from, but not shrink them.

A very interesting and useful concept. It may seem difficult and odd to think of solving problems on these levels, but it can be done. Plus, it’s extremely effective in weeding out some of those things that you hadn’t thought about, because you are using multiple viewpoints.

For example, setting up new businesses, in the new world of software, we want to give the customer fast feedback on what is being created. This is so that you don’t waste huge amounts of effort that will not be useful to the customer later on.

This simple principle can be applied into any aspect of setting up a business. If you have an idea in mind, it’s much better to try it quickly and cheaply, then gather feedback and iterate over the idea.

Starting up a new business from an evolutionary perspective, you would try an array of ideas and pick the ones that shows promise and iterate over that until 1 or 2 ideas have wings.

I’ve just used a few mental models here to show you, but these can be broken down and looked at from even more mental models, like quality, decision tree theory, basic algebra, efficient ecosystems, human psychology and many more.

I believe that what we learn in one discipline is transferred in other disciplines. As you can see, things that I have learnt in software engineering have been transferred over into other areas like business and vice versa. I don’t see why you cannot transfer lessons learnt from martial arts and transfer those into your daily lives, while on the job or with your family life!

What opportunities do you have to attack problems from these new and wonderful viewpoints? If you’re not doing so, why not give it a try? You will be amazed at what you will find!

Why I choose progression over perfection!

To perfect or not to perfect?

Perfection is an idea. The idea of ‘perfection’ in my mind is most likely different to what perfection in your own mind is, which means, it must be subjective as with most things in life. So when we say we are ‘perfectionists’ or wanting something to be perfect, we want it to be it’s most ideal case. This idealistic view can be motivating, and it can also be very dangerous to our productivity. Think about it, when we start at the bottom of the mountain and look up, we see a mammoth task ahead of us. Now, imagine that perfection personifies the mountain. The mountain is an ever growing one, which means we will never reach it no matter how high we go up, because we will always see the flaw in our idea or creation. When we compare what we have with our idealistic view, or perfectionist state, it causes us to get frustrated and confused. Worse still, it can even paralyse us because we feel so inadequate, even though what we have actually done is excellent.

Progress over perfection

The idea that progression is the way forward is much better for our psychology and well being. That’s because, we are focusing on our improvement and that excites us and motivates us. How many times in your life have you felt extremely happy that you accomplished something, however minor it may seem, like tidying up your house, or getting that raise. This is very true to when we apply it to our goals, as long as we are going one step closer to our goals and seeking progression toward them, we are living our dream. This helps us live in the moment and not in the future, which is what the idea of perfection does.

The idea of living now means that you are truly living your life to the fullest, you are able to sense all the small things that you wouldn’t have noticed before.

Progress with high standards!

Not being a perfectionist does not mean that we still do not have high standards for our goals and dreams. We still make sure that we are doing our work to the best of our ability, and to the standards that WE set. It keeps us much more motivated to consistently hit our standards, and continue our excellent work.

The key is to practice being in the moment, and having presence now, coupled with discipline and routine, we can achieve tremendous things with these powerful forces.

The other thing I love about progression is that, although it is a never ending task, it means that you will always be improving, while living in the moment. This does wonders for your well being, and mental attitude. It’s a much more positive way of living. This is why I choose to focus on progress over perfection 🙂 What do you think? What are your thoughts on this matter? I’d love to hear them.