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 you should invest in yourself instead of a new watch

Why am I saying this?

Putting the time and money toward investing in yourself will help you go further than you ever thought of. By analysing your strengths and weaknesses, you can then plan on tackling those things you want to improve. For example, do you want to improve your financial situation? Instead of complaining about it.. use your power of action now. Learn how to invest, or learn how you can manage your finances better. Action is better than talking about it.

Pursuing your passions lifts your self confidence in a good way, because it makes you feel grounded and teaches you a lot more than just the passion that you are following. You’re also not following the crowd and just doing things to fit in, you’re actually taking back control of your life and wielding your mind!

Plan your passion!

It’s a good idea to set aside some time during the week to plan on how you want to tackle your passion. If you don’t know what your passions are then start writing down your interests or things that you would like to learn. From there you can pick one thing to do! It’s important that you also define how far you want to take it, if you wanted to have a ripped body, then define what that is for you. Don’t under any circumstances let someone else define the end goal for you. Just make sure that it challenges you and that you will enjoy the process of doing it.

Writing down a quick checklist is a great way of planning and helps puts things in perspective a little bit. Let’s say that you really want to learn how to cook, write a to do list that you can keep ticking off each week. So your to do list might say:

  • List all cuisines that you want to learn to cook
  • List some of the dishes in each cuisine that you want to cook in
  • Pick one dish and find a recipe that you understand
  • Cook the chosen dish one night this week
  • And so on…

You can keep adding to the list as you go since you just want your passion to drive you instead of it feeling like a chore! You don’t have to do all of the above in one day if you don’t have the time, you can even do each one every other day or even once a week. The point is that you are following your passion and you are learning something new, which means you are going outside of your comfort zone. It’s only here where we start to understand that we can really do what we set out to, no matter what the goal is.

Now I am not saying you shouldn’t ever buy a watch, on the contrary, I like watches. I used the watch as an example of modern day capitalism, where we buy things instead of investing in ourselves. When you start to invest in yourself, you start to understand that you are very powerful and that you have an opportunity to change things around you. That is truly a wonderful gift to understand!

4 ways networking can improve your situation

Networking can sound quite intimidating and scary. You may even think that networking can only be achieved by those who are in a position of power. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can network anywhere and at any time, this is a good thing to do generally, but you can also find meet up groups that specialise in networking for business relations. These targeted networking events can be very fruitful if you know what it is you want to network for. So how can networking help improve your well being?

  1. Learning to get people to trust you – By putting yourself out there,  you are forced to be yourself and you have to get people to trust you. The more you do this, the better you will become at this.
  2. More opportunities –  By interacting with people who share your values and have their own ambitions, the number of opportunities will sky rocket. There is a bit of trust that you have to place in the other person, but generally, in these types of events, people are there to help you.
  3. Your wellbeing – The simple act of attending one of these events really reinforces the fact that you are going after your dreams. That is a really wonderful feeling and what’s the destination without the journey right? Enjoy these steps because these are the things that will forge your successful personality.
  4. Growth – By putting yourself in unfamiliar situations, you will grow as an individual very quickly. By challenging your beliefs, and they will be challenged, you will become a better individual. Broadening your mind and becoming the great person you know you are.

 

5 principles you should follow when dealing with people

A lot of the time, when you are dealing with people, we tend to only think about ourselves, and not those around us. There are some exceptions, however. People use the word ‘I’ more than ‘you’ or ‘us’. With that in mind, here are some principles to try that can instantly boost the way you interact with people, whether that being with your family, or for networking. Try out the following and take note of how your interaction improves. Please note, these will only work effectively, if you are doing it sincerely, it will feel fake otherwise, kind of like flattery:

  1. Smile – Seems simple enough, but I’ve talked to lots of people and they try to force their smile, which comes off as fake and weak, it’s the smile because-you-have-to smile. What I am talking about is the smile that grows when you haven’t seen your best friend in a really long time! You know that sincere, warm glowing smile? How can anyone feel non-receptive when you greet them like that? Smile, honestly and warmly and watch your results sky rocket.
  2. Offer sincere appreciation – How do you make someone feel important and valued? Well, whenever the other person has done something well, congratulate them sincerely and proudly. We love attention, so when someone else is giving it to us, we instantly gravitate toward them. This is a great way to help reinforce when one has done something well.
  3. Get people to talk about themselves – After reading Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence people, I have found that you can get someone to be more interested in you by allowing them to talk about themselves, then if  you talked about yourself. This goes back to the previous point, it makes the other person feel important, because you have allowed that. How do you do this? Ask them questions, then probe some more, without it feeling like an interview.
  4. Do not criticise – This can be all to easy to do. You aren’t always going to agree with the other person, but everyone does have an opinion. If we automatically go straight to criticising then we get nowhere. Instead, if you step into the other person’s shoes and understand why it is they hold a certain view point, you can get to the heart of any problem very quickly. This is very important in business, workplaces and indeed in social situations.
  5. Step into the other person’s shoes – This one follows nicely with the previous point. Stepping into the other person’s shoes allows you to understand things from their perspective. Why do they feel anger toward that situation? Why do they feel unloved here? If you could only take a few minutes to do this, you will go very far in your quest to become the leader that you are.

There are more principles, but these are the ones that stick out to me. With all of this in mind, there are those who will be very difficult to converse with, but this challenge also stood in front of the great diplomats in our past. It is with diplomacy that we can break down borders and bridge relations!

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

How to tackle any problem you are faced with

Hey guys, in this blog post, I’ll go through a great technique that you can use to help you tackle any problems that you are faced with. This technique will help you remove any worries and stresses very quickly. That’s because the way this technique is structured is such that you will first dump all your stresses down on paper and then also you’ll go through the possible solutions. This means that you are actually making progress on your problems because you’ve solved them very quickly.

What you will find is that, the act of writing down your problems, you will probably have the solution to it.

The first step is to get your own personal problem solving book. It can be any standard notepad or a fancy book if you like. For each problem, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What is the root cause of the problem?
  3. What is the worst that can happen?
  4. What are all the possible things you can do about it?
  5. What is your decision out of the solutions in 4?

Ever since I have started using this formula, I’ve managed to reduce my stresses almost instantly. My stress management has improved drastically and I am a happier individual.

This is my challenge to you, try this for 1 week, for any problem big or small that you find is bringing you down.