How To See More Clearly

Seeing and thinking clearly is not something we instinctually do. Humans are all about survival, pleasure, avoiding pain, food, sex, and sleep. Everything else that we would consider a higher pursuit tends to come second, at least in our brains. Thus, mental models to ensure that we are thinking clearly are of the utmost importance. The world usually looks different at second glance.

* Mental Model #7: Ignore “Black Swans.” This is the first mental model that specifically warns against our tendency to jump to conclusions based on imperfect, skewed, or incomplete information. A black swan event is an entirely unpredictable event that comes out of nowhere. In doing so, it skews all data and beliefs, and people start to take the black swan into account as a new normal. But these are just outliers that should be ignored.

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Peter Hollins is a bestselling author, human psychology researcher, and a dedicated student of the human condition.

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