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Mental Models And How They Can Change Your Life

Mental Models And How They Can Change Your Life

Why should mental models matter to you? Your ability to perform and achieve is determined by your mental models

. Mental modeling will give you significant business advantage.

The way you see the world is based on the mental model you are operating. You don't see the world as it really is but based on your own experience. A hypothetical example to illustrate this point is you are walking late at night in a dangerous part of town. You are approaching a dark alley and hear footsteps approaching you. The sounds of the footsteps become louder and louder. You can't see the person but you know someone is approaching you. Your natural reaction is to go into the fight or flight reaction. You assume this person is a mugger. This individual appears out of the darkness and instead of being a mugger, he is your best friend.

Psychologists have done studies to show that you don't process everything you see and you tend to process things you don't see.

You should constantly challenge your mental models, which are also your limiting beliefs. You may think something is impossible until someone accomplishes it. Why not you be the pioneer and do the impossible. This is one reason why the way you see the world is subjective and not real. You are limited by what you know and don't know.

You have two challenges when it comes to mental models. The first is you could throw out a model that works or the second is maintaining a model that doesn't work. There are also variables to consider. You may have a part of your business that is mostly broken but certain areas work well. Maybe a portion of what is broken may have become obsolete but you have not realized it yet. You have a decision to make about how important it is; whether to scrap all of it, maintain as is, or modify it some.

A problem you could encounter is fixating on a model to the point that you can't see the problem. Changing your paradigm is not easy. Your primary goal is to have people on your team or organization that can see things that you can't see. You may want to hire someone or appoint someone to specifically find what you miss and see what you can't see. Another way is to have a multidisciplinary approach. Involve various specialties in your brainstorming and planning sessions.

by: Bret Bradshaw
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Mental Models And How They Can Change Your Life Washington