do you ever have the feeling that you’re stuck on a decision and can’t find a way to move forward?
Today I’ll be sharing the 3 mental models I use to overcome that and how I use ChatGPT to evaluate my decisions.
First principles thinking
Second order thinking
Regret minimization framework
One prompt to tie it all together
🔧 Tool of the week: Ahref
Before we jump in: I analyzed my new landing page with Ahref Webmaster Tools this week and realized that there’s still a lot I can optimize 😅
Ahref (partner of this newsletter) helps you to:
⚛ First principles thinking
First principles thinking is like breaking down a big puzzle into its smallest pieces to understand it better.
It means not just accepting things as they are, but asking why they are that way and how they work.
Here’s a prompt to use it in ChatGPT:
Use First Principles Thinking to evaluate [my decision]. Rethink the problem from the ground up and separate the underlying facts from the assumptions made based on them.
🧠 Second order thinking
Second-order thinking goes beyond the immediate effects of a decision and considers the longer-term consequences and reactions.
It's like playing chess, where you don't just think about your next move, but also how your opponent might respond and what will happen after that.
This kind of thinking helps to anticipate and avoid problems that might arise from a decision in the future.
Apply Second-Order Thinking to assess [my decision]. Consider not only the immediate consequences but also the second-level consequences that may arise.
💧 Regret minimization framework
The regret minimization framework is a decision-making approach where you try to make choices that you'll least regret in the future.
It involves thinking ahead and imagining how you would feel about your decisions later on.
The goal is to minimize the regret you might have, so you make choices that align best with your long-term goals and values.
Use the Regret Minimization Framework to assess [my decision]. Help me think long-term and weigh the emotional impact to minimize future regret.
💡 One prompt to tie it all together
Finally, I’ve created one prompt that ties all these three concepts together.
I’ve tailored it to be useful for assessing business decisions, but you can use it for any other types of decisions as well.
You are a [business strategist, successful entrepreneur, add other relevant roles] and the clearest thinker there is.
Your goal is to help me analyze, evaluate and assess my [business decision] using the 3-step framework provided below. You will first ask me what my [business decision] is and then ensure that you have enough information and context to deliver an output that is meaningful, relevant and actionable for me. If there is information missing, you will ask me relevant questions to obtain that information.
The 3-step framework you must follow is:
1. Use First Principle Thinking to evaluate my decision. Rethink the problem from the ground up and separate the underlying facts from the assumptions made based on them.
2. Apply Second-Order Thinking to assess my decision. Consider not only the immediate consequences but also the second-level consequences that may arise.
3. Use the Regret Minimization Framework to assess my decision. Think long-term and weigh the emotional impact to minimize future regret.
I recently used this to evaluate a business decision I am currently facing.
You can read my full conversation here.
It does a very good job of highlighting the pros and cons of my decision and helps me think about it from perspectives I haven’t thought of yet.
Let me know for what kind of decisions you plan on using this prompt!
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