Our memory system has so far failed to meet many demands of modern life. The self-control system is still in the pre-historical era. The formation environment of the reflex system is completely different from that of modern times. In other words, human brain performance is not ideal enough and has been gradually improved in the process of adaptation to evolution. Some examples and conclusions in the book are very instructive.
1. Consider as many other feasible options as possible.
The brain will involuntarily be occupied with a large amount of bandwidth by the most concerned things at present, and will turn a blind eye to some possible discoveries. – We need to carefully consider what may happen or could have become, rather than just care about the current situation.
The more we pay attention to other ideas and possibilities besides the things we are most concerned about, the better.
2. Redefining the problem.
It is the same sentence, but different description methods will bring different effects. For example, is that soap 99.4% pure or 0.6% toxic?
Our job as consumers and citizens is to always look at everything around us with a skeptical eye and form the habit of thinking over and over again about anything asked.
If you can think about the problem in another way, you might as well give it a try. Background – related memory means that we always have to think in reverse: how we think about a problem affects our memory content, which in turn affects the answers we can get.
3. Always keep in mind that correlation is not equal to causality.
There is a very interesting piece of knowledge in the national population surveys. The size of their shoes is highly correlated with their common sense level: people with large shoe sizes usually know more about history and geography than people with small shoe sizes. But this does not mean that you can become smarter by buying a bigger pair of shoes, or that having big feet means you have a high level of intelligence.
There are many similar examples, for example, people who study more can earn more money. This is a related factor, not a causal relationship.
4. Never forget to control the sample size.
From medical research to baseball performance statistics, people often ignore the scale of data they use to draw conclusions. Any single event may be random, but the recurrence of the same pattern is unlikely to be an accidental event. Mathematically, the larger the number of samples, the more accurate the statistical results.
People often ignore its existence. We have to find some explanation for the data model. Faced with some small samples ( for example, the results of several baseball games or the stock market fluctuations on a certain day ), such samples only reflect the influence of random factors.
5. Predict one’s own impulse and restrain it in advance.
In the United States, some people will set up ” Christmas shopping savings” and will not dare to use the money on the book for a whole year in order to be able to shop freely at that time. This kind of behavior is regarded by economists as completely irrational. Temptation is the most difficult to resist when we can see and feel it. Therefore, if we plan for the future, we will have a better life than always acting on impulse. Therefore, smart people like to work step by step.
Just like in the process of cultivating habits, forming a fixed rhythm, such as exercising for 10 minutes every day, reading 10 pages of books, writing hundreds of words, and carrying out according to a fixed plan, will automatically obtain more benefits as time goes by.
6. Don’t just set goals, make contingency plans.
In many cases, it is almost impossible for people to accomplish a vague goal, such as ” I want to lose weight” or ” I plan to finish this article before the deadline”.
Almost everything we do must go through the older ancestral reflex system. Therefore, detailed contingency plans provide a way to help us bypass the cognitive limitations of the brain by transforming abstract targets into forms that our ancestral systems can understand. In this way, because we have mastered the language used by the ancient brain system, our probability of achieving our work goals is greatly increased.
7. At any time, if you are tired or still thinking about other things, try not to make important decisions.
Thinking when you are exhausted ( or distracted ) is not much different from driving after you are drunk. Because after exhaustion, we rely more on our reflex system than on our thinking system. The same is true when we are distracted.
8. Keep a distance from yourself.
Our brain’s mechanism for considering distance is almost established in completely different ways: ( for the brain ) proximity is a clear and specific concept; However, far away is an abstract concept.
It is not always better to consider problems with abstract concepts. Do you still remember what you promised to do six months later? At that time, you probably didn’t see any harm to you from your promise, but as the fulfillment date approaches, you will feel that it is like a heavy burden imposed on yourself.
It is good for us to realize that our handling methods will be different at this moment and in the future, and try to balance and make good use of the two thinking modes of immediate and long term.