Three-Dimensional Thinking With Shane Parrish

Shane is just trying to share his journey hoping it resonates. His goal is to bring in small incremental changes.

His blog has an interesting tagline ‘Upgrade Yourself’ because it means you have to do the work and no one is going to do for you.

Shane has a learning community, in-person events and many avenues to help you. But ultimately you have to decide what is right for you because each one of you is different.

So he takes information and makes the best with his approach for the listeners or readers.

Hence, Joe recommends his newsletters.

Who Are You Shane

People come fs street because there is a new element of thinking which you might be unaware of.

There is no definitive path for writing he uses – history, modern world and perspective, everything is covered to help you. For example, Shane uses thermodynamics to help you see a deep idea and directions for you to apply it to your life.

In a nutshell, he guides you with different thinking models and then you can take it to your situation and make it better.

The whole game is of perspective – which helps you learn deeper things and make your life better.

Are You Complicated

Joe believes that Shane’s blog is complicated for new readers. There is a mix of history, philosophy to explain simple things.

So if you are new to Shane’s content, you should go to mental models – the university 101 education. In high school, you specialize and then you progress. So you are missing out on many different broad areas of learnings because of specialization. His blog covers that in detail to carve the path.

The idea is to have different domains – mental models – so you can see a problem and approach it with different ideas rather than a one dimensional way.

For example, you focus on one variable for a decision and stop thinking – so you are not maximizing by seeing the whole picture. Once you can see by product by second-order thinking, it helps you make a better decision.

Joe Likes – Hanlon Razor

Always remind yourself that people make mistakes – you can either think that people are doing it deliberately or they are just being stupid – the latter is of higher probability most of the times.

Once you ingrain this thought, you can see the world a different way. People are generally not going against you.

Hate From NY times Feature

If you are putting yourself out in public then hate will come – Shane has developed a thick skin. Instead, it drives him.

Also, one positive comment got more likes than a negative comment so there is hope. And by the way, NY times approached him.

Are You On Journey – Landmarks For Success

Shane is ambitious because he wants to change the world. As naive and crazy it sounds, making a free world-class education available to everyone is his long term goal.

The world is filled with so many unequal opportunities that it makes Shane motivated to provide free opportunities (not outcomes). And with the internet, it seems possible.

There are things you can not control – what country, economies and zip code you are born in- that is luck.

Providing good education is the first to provide equal opportunity to everyone, so that’s what Shane is trying to do.

Think Direction Over Speed

There is a difference in physics of speed and velocity. With velocity, there is a direction.

When you want to reach a destination, speed doesn’t help you. You can be at high speed but in the wrong direction, you are doomed. On the flip side, once you direct yourself then you can focus on speed to help you.

For example, be effective and then efficient. Take a food chain restaurant, if it focuses on speed and the food is bad then no customer will come again. But if food takes long as long as it tastes good, the customer will come again. And then you can focus on speed delivery.

Munger, Buffet -Opinion

Once Shane was in a meeting with eight people and he needs to decide. Everyone had their monologue and ego. What dawned to him was – if people can’t think about counter argument then there isn’t much thinking they have done.

Most people don’t do the work for an opinion. People say things which they already know.

Knowing different counter-arguments helps. You need to do this for a huge decision like a life or death situation.

You should hold a 3-dimensional view.

Your ego shouldn’t be attached to the idea rather than the outcome. You should change your mind if the counter-argument is strong than your original idea.

Shane’s Reading List

You wanna learn things that stand the test of time. If you learn something then you should want them to be cumulative.

If you want to read then don’t go to the bestseller list. Because most books are only at the top for 3 weeks or less. And that too for popularity and not for ideas within. Most books won’t change your life.

A book is a product – the harder it is to comprehend the fewer people will buy. The simple it is – it sells more.

But change comes with difficult to understand, deep and complex topics. So go for such books. Books with textures and biographical element should be on your reading list.

Ideally, read 3 or 4 authors on the same idea. You don’t have to read the whole book – just the gist and perspective. Which helps you form a good overall 3-dimensional idea.

So a new problem can be approached in 3 or 4 perspectives to help you make a better decision.

Understanding is more important.

Shane’s New Book

Shane is writing a new book which might be a series of books on mental models. All new content which would have texture to understand – 2000 or 3000 words each. Eventually, it will be free.

In conclusion, stay optimistic. Look for clarity and synthesis thinking.

Shane’s blog

The Knowledge Project Podcast