Our decisions shape who we are and the reality we live in.

A map is not the territory

Maps help guide us where we want to go. They represent the accumulation of knowledge from people who have traveled the route before you. Maps help you avoid getting lost and wasting time. But a map is not reality—just as an architectural blueprint for a building is not the building. A map is both a... more

Blind certainty

Our interpretations of the world can often be wrong due to bias, optimism, pessimism, or bad information. Yet most of us think we are right and other people are wrong. This can cause us to overlook or dismiss crucial information and lead to bad decisions. In 1847, Ignaz Semmelweis proposed doctors wash their hands before... more

The company’s most valuable asset

People are the most valuable asset of most companies. Your strategy to attract, hire, and retain talent will have a big impact on the success or failure of your business. To solve hard problems, you need to assemble a team with diverse skills, personality traits, and viewpoints. Bringing together individuals with different mental models, experiences,... more

Be like Ike: Make better decisions, get more done

Dwight Eisenhower was a productive person who is best remembered today as a military leader and two-term U.S. president. In World War II, Eisenhower served as a five-star general in the U.S. Army and supervised the invasion of Normandy as the commander of the Allied Expeditionary force in Europe. After the war, Eisenhower served as... more

The most powerful force in the universe

It’s not easy to become great at anything. No one is born a great entrepreneur, artist, or athlete. We have to earn it. One thing I’ve noticed about high achievers is they leverage the compounding principle by designing their life around it. The compounding principle is based on incremental, constant, progress over a very long-time... more

Write to think better

Nothing is more important or more valuable than thinking and communicating clearly. Thinking before acting helps you minimize expensive and painful mistakes. Clear thinking allows you to prioritize effectively, produce more, and make better decisions. Good communication starts with good ideas. So, your ability to deconstruct ideas and think critically enables you to communicate effectively.... more

The advantage of going first

Have you ever had the experience of walking down the street and found yourself smiling at a stranger who smiled at you first? You were practicing mirrored reciprocity, a universal social norm. For the last 20,000 years of recorded human history, mirrored reciprocity has been foundational in human relationships, culture, and economic exchange. By choosing... more

Find the root cause

To build something new requires you get good at solving problems, and you need every advantage to solve them. Clearly defining the problem is always the first step in the process. Tease apart the problem and break it down into smaller pieces to recognize the type of problem you are facing. We frequently do not... more

Solving problems backward

I want to share one of my favorite mental models called inversion. Mental models provide shortcuts to higher-level thinking, forcing your brain to think about a problem or decision from different perspectives. Inversion helps you flip a problem around and approach it from the opposite end of the natural starting point. Instead of starting at... more

The advantages of thinking gray

Black-and-white thinking distorts your ability to see reality objectively. Jumping to conclusions too quickly when making important decisions does not serve you well. The stakes are high because your decisions will play a large part in determining whether you succeed or fail. The world is complex. To efficiently navigate life, we make instant judgments. We... more
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