The best way I know how to teach and share with others is to use examples from my own life.
One of the mental models I use all the time is the 80/20 principle.
The 80/20 principle, also known as the Pareto Principle, is a phenomenon that appears everywhere in life.
It states that 20% of inputs are responsible for 80% of the outcome. 20% of people will hold 80% of the wealth in any given area. And 20% of your relationships are responsible for 80% of the value you get from relationships as a whole.
Although it’s a model and not a hard-and-fast rule, I’ve found the 80/20 Principle to be shockingly accurate in my own life.
Here’s when I use this mental model:
- When I’m stuck on a project and I don’t know what action to take next
- When I’m stretched too thin and I need to figure out where to actually invest my time and energy
- When I’m trying to decide what to write about next (AKA figuring out what topic could relate with the most people)
- When I’m wanting to choose a workout that won’t take forever but will actually help me get stronger and have more energy (Push-ups for the win!)
Now it’s your turn.
If you stop to think about it, I’m sure there are certain mental models that you use all the time.
You may even use the 80/20 Principle without realizing it.
Think about these questions:
Are there mental models you are currently using?
Are they helping you or hurting you?
Could you try a new mental model for a week to see how it impacts your decisions?
Because, whether you know it or not, you’re using mental models every single day.
And you could be using ones that don’t help you very much.
That’s why it’s so important to ruthlessly interrogate the models your mind relies on.
The better your models of reality are, the better the outcomes you’ll get in life.
It may not happen immediately, but it will happen.
Commit this week to try out the 80/20 Principle or any other mental model that sounds interesting.
Life’s too short to follow a model that’s hurting you and holding you back.