How to Track Wisdom

February 10, 2011

Thomas, from Germany, wrote in recently with a question for our QS advisory board:

do you have an idea how to track wisdom? i would like to start a project involving “mental models” as promoted by charles munger. but how do i know that this is working? how can someone track the
quality of his decisions and understanding of the world?
QS advisor Seth Roberts rose to the challenge of answering Thomas’ question:
I would start by writing down each day a few of my decisions. Perhaps just one decision per day. So I would have a slowly growing list of decisions. Then I would later come back and rate each one. I’d need to develop a rating scheme; it might have more than one dimension. For example, one dimension might be importance, another might be time frame, a third might be how expected the outcome was. In other words, I would start with the simplest easiest project that might shed some light on how to do it. It’s really important to make the first steps as easy as possible. But it’s also important to make it something you do every day, so that you acquire a habit. So you start by acquiring a tiny amount of data each day.
If you have a burning tracking-related question, write to us and we’ll try to get it answered for you! Also, if you have an alternative answer for Thomas on how to track wisdom, please leave a comment below.

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