When making judgments, Elon Musk employs the same strategy Jeff Bezos uses.
You can put it to use as well to make meaningful choices and think more clearly.
This strategy is referred to as using mental models.
Thinking is structured by one’s use of mental models. They make complicated difficulties easier to reason through, so you can benefit from their services. They enable you to make sound, long-term decisions without requiring you to have complete knowledge of the circumstances involved.
When confronted with significant choices, Musk and Bezos always take a moment out of their busy schedules to consult a mental model. Models serve a dual purpose:
1. Assist you in evaluating the functioning of various systems.
2. They facilitate improved decision-making on your part.
Let’s look at some real-world illustrations, shall we?
Musk employs a conceptual paradigm that he calls “First Principles” to simplify highly complicated systems. Within the framework of this idea, everything revolves around the question:
“If we were to start from scratch, what would be the most effective way to address a problem?”
If you disregard humanity’s previous efforts to find a solution to the problem, what would be the most effective strategy if you justified it from its fundamental premises?
As an illustration, the team at SpaceX looked beyond the years of incremental rocket advances to reexamine space travel from the ground up. They asked, “What are the fundamental principles to be the most cost-efficient and power-efficient approach to build a rocket?” These concepts are not historical in nature.
You may follow this to any task by asking yourself the following questions:
1. Which methodology will be used to complete this project? Is it a relationship, a business, an item, or something else that is made up of several components that, in some way, depend on each other?
2. Is it possible that this system is already effective?
3. If it is not yet effective, what rock-solid principles guide its development?
4. Is it possible for me to begin with those ideas to find a much more effective approach to developing this system?
Jeff Bezos could get out of the flow of running Amazon and focus on his new human spaceflight company using the regret minimization strategy. This concept is really straightforward, but at the same time, it offers you an insightful perspective on the genuinely important things.
Bezos was confident that he would not look back on his participation in what he referred to as “this thing called the Internet” and “this thing that he felt was going to be a huge deal” with regret when he reached the age of 80. Bezos was well aware that if he were to fail, he would not regret that fact. Otherwise, he might regret the fact that he never even attempted it.
After that, he followed Musk’s lead and revisited the fundamental aspects of space travel using the “First Principles”.
To put it into effect in your daily life, all you need to do is remember this one thing: to optimize your happiness over the long run, give top priority to the endeavours that, when you are older and reflecting on your life, you would most regret not having done.
These are the most significant mental models that two of the most astute and influential businesspeople of this century have utilized in their work.
If you use them, you will notice an improvement in your thinking, you will be able to arrive at better conclusions, and it will be much simpler to find solutions to all of your difficulties.