3 Mental Models that Work

Mental models are tools we use to understand reality and solve problems that one encounters in life. They are the frameworks to make sense of the world around us and help us navigate with ease. In practice, they mean— the devices we use to solve complex issues and troubles we get as part of life.

Charlie Munger, the American investor and right-hand man of Warren Buffet popularized it.

He asks us to draw great ideas from various disciplines of the world—mathematics, history, philosophy, physics, chemistry, psychology, engineering, environment and build a mental latticework and an idea palace that we can use as our toolbox to solve the situation at hand.

So here are some of them


It means solving a problem by going backwards. It is bending down the problem and turning it upside down. It’s like coming from the back door and attacking the enemy.

Say you want to write a great essay. But we don’t know how to do it and it takes a lot of time to figure that out. Meanwhile, you get demotivated and drop the idea. Now, simply apply inversion. We all know what a bad essay is, don’t we? So, simply avoid writing a bad essay and you end up writing a good one.

2)First Principles thinking—

It is quite useful when we have very complicated problems and it has become almost impossible to move around. The idea here is simply to break the question or a problem into smaller parts and questioning them to find solutions.

If our problem is a whole train then this principle asks to break that down into cabin, coaches, engine, tracks, wheels and then look at each of them to find a reasonable solution.

Even while looking at individual components, we need to question all the fundamentals and the whats, whys, hows, and wheres.

Try it now!!


The idea is to push and pull people towards a decision of the desired choice through subtle poking and reminders.
For instance, you want to practice the guitar daily without a miss. Nudging means putting the guitar in the centre of your bedroom.
Or simply sticking photos of famous guitarists or bands on the wall.

It’s a powerful tool that can be used to motivate ourselves internally with external cues.

It’s simple and easy. You can use your stick notes to nudge into going gym or simply write that blog post idea you have been ass-sitting for days now.

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