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!


10 steps to cultivate a winning mind set

How do you go from feeling that there is no such thing as following your dream, to actually realising that everything is within your grasp?

This question really is something that can be answered and I don’t believe that being able to achieve your goals/ambitions is fixed to a certain number of people. If we are determined enough and smart enough, our dreams are nothing but goals and platforms for the next.

Follow these 10 steps to have a winning mind set:

  1. Understand that greatness exists within everyone. It is not this ‘God’ like thing that only a few people in the world will ever experience, as the world around us seems to portray and idolise. Understanding this is one of the first steps to help you shape your winning mindset.
  2. Explore and do the things that you are passionate about. List down everything that you are deeply interested in. Then within each topic, list down all the avenues you can explore within it. Interested in martial arts? Why not go and check out one of your local clubs? Or, if writing interests you, why not start a blog? Or maybe technology has always been captivating and the way it has been built is a mystery to you, why not find online tutorials on programming and design?
  3. Organise your thoughts. Few changes in my methodology have been as effective as writing down your issues in day to day life and then writing down possible solutions to them. In this way, you offload your stresses, but at the same time, you also find solutions to your problems. By doing this, you will alleviate most of your day to day stresses.
  4. Learn to breathe. This may seem trivial, but when I’ve suggested to some people to breathe ‘from their stomach’, they don’t know how to do it. I will do a post on how to do this in the near future, because I believe it is vital. The idea is to expand your diaphragm (the sheet of muscle sitting beneath the lungs), so that your lungs can expand and as a result, your stomach expands instead of your chest. You can see new born babies do this all the time, as it is a more natural thing to do. If you breathe through your nose, inhale slowly and exhale at the same speed as you inhale 5 – 10 times, your mind becomes less cluttered and you will feel much more awake.
  5. Read books. I don’t necessarily mean fictional books, but if you’re interested in those, then great! What I mean are books that help you improve in some way or form. If you have a goal in mind, but don’t know how to do it, books and online resources are the best way to help learn. This is good, but what is even better is when you start to read about improving your stress management, or ways to improve your financial situation. These are the things that will allow you to realise your potential and fully wield your mind!
  6. Research your inspiration. One of the best ways to figure out how to get a winning mind set is to actually research how other successful people have done it in the past. If you have aspirations to be a great artist, then how have other artists, famous or not, done it. The difficult part here is to take what you can apply to yourself and disregard the things that are not so useful to you.
  7. Understand you are great. It’s not the fancy car, or the nice watch, or the nice clothes you have on that makes you who you are. It is you and how you handle situations. It is you and how much belief you have in your abilities. It is you period. Too many times I hear people put themselves down by saying they aren’t this or they can’t do that. Instead of saying that, why not focus on what you can do? On what you have achieved. If you really want to do something that you can’t, then actually learning something new will help underline the greatness within you.
  8. Exercise for 30 minutes every day. Movement is life, you don’t have to become an athlete, but doing some form of balanced exercise will improve your psychological health as well as your physical fitness. Being psychologically fit helps your physical body and vice versa.
  9. Rest! This is often very overlooked, resting is vital for your mental health and if you want to cultivate a winning mind set, then do not miss this.
  10. You have a choice. Understand that in every moment of your life, every second, gives you an opportunity to do something that will help you improve your situation. If you want to be rich, guess what? You can learn how to. If you want to become an athlete? Guess what? You can work toward that too. There is nothing in this life that you cannot achieve, unless it is physically impossible to do so.

Above all, you must take action. “Knowledge is not enough, we must apply” – Bruce Lee