A Tale Of Two Mental Models


A mental model is a representation of how something works.  If used properly, it can be a powerful tool to enhance your effectiveness in dealing with a wide range of topics and situations.  brain-998996_1920_PixabayIf overlooked, its loss can limit your horizons and compromise your opportunities. What follows is:

  • a brief history of two early mental models
  • a profile of the elements of a mental model
  • examples of mental models you can use.

A single mental model was the original and definitive standard practice for financial operations of businesses until it was supplanted nearly overnight by a successor.  The reach of the original practice and the duration of it influence reflects the power of mental models.  The speed of its extinction demonstrates the necessity for us to question periodically even the most useful and honored of the mental models we use.

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Not All Wandering Minds Are Lost

River_river-krka-slovenia-autumn-nature-940367In 1870 a 23-year old budding inventor arrived from Scotland with his parents at their new home near the banks of the Grand River just outside of Brantford, Ontario, Canada.  He expected he would soon succumb to tuberculosis as his younger and older brothers had before him.  Instead, he survived and flourished in his new environment.  Over the next four years, he worked as a teacher while toiling painstakingly to invent a revolutionary new technology that remained just beyond his grasp.

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