I recently read an article by James Clear on how to train our brain to think better by enriching our mental models. A mental model is a framework we use to explain how the world works. It defines our perception, behaviour, decision-making skills and problem-solve capacity. Learning new models expands our perspective, how we see life.
We each have our favorite mental models we instantly use to find an explanation. The downside is that our worldview might be reducing the richness of our entire reality. When the set of mental models we employ is limited, so are the possibilities of finding solutions. Want to develop great thinking? Diversify your mental models!
Sounds Good, in Theory. Now, Let’s See How We Can Apply It.
Best mental models are those that are useful in our daily lives. What broadens our mental models? Reading, studying the fundamentals of unrelated fields and interacting with people with contrasting life experiences.
Get familiar with “liquid knowledge”. Be able to intersect ideas from different topics. Bring together views from various subjects. Easily making links between different mental models, you’ll notice solutions most people overlook.
According to James, “In school, we tend to separate knowledge into different silos—biology, economics, history, physics, philosophy. In the real world, information is rarely divided into neatly defined categories. In the words of Charlie Munger, “All the wisdom of the world is not to be found in one little academic department.”
World-class thinkers are often silo-free thinkers. They avoid looking at life through the lens of one subject. Instead, they develop “liquid knowledge” that flows easily from one topic to the next.”
Interested in learning more? Read more here.