Unleashing Your Potential: Training Yourself to Be Smarter

Alessio Frateily

Hatched by Alessio Frateily

Jul 28, 2023

3 min read


Unleashing Your Potential: Training Yourself to Be Smarter


In a world that demands constant learning and adaptation, developing the habit of mastering the multiple models which underlie reality is crucial. This sentiment is echoed by influential figures such as Charlie Munger, Ray Dalio, and Elon Musk. By understanding and applying mental models, we can interact with the world more effectively, make better decisions, and unlock our full potential. In this article, we will explore the most useful mental models and principles that can help you train yourself to be smarter.

The Power of Mental Models:

Mental models are descriptions of reality that apply across every area of our life. They provide a framework for understanding how different aspects of life work and help us make better decisions. These models are like little mental maps that guide our thinking and actions. By incorporating mental models into our lives, we can gain immediate results and avoid outdated thinking.

The Pareto Principle:

One of the most famous and valuable mental models is the Pareto Principle, often known as the "80/20 rule." This principle states that 80% of your results come from just 20% of your efforts or work. Vilfredo Pareto, the discoverer of this principle, observed that 80% of the land in his area was owned by 20% of the people. This organizing principle applies to various aspects of life, including relationships, productivity, and health. By identifying the crucial 20% and prioritizing our efforts, we can double our productivity and create a more fulfilling life.


Dr. Robert Cialdini's concept of "pre-suasion" emphasizes the importance of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it. By strategically guiding preliminary attention, we can move prospects into agreement with our marketing message. Establishing trust, directing attention, and creating a unitary focus are essential components of pre-suasion. By understanding and applying these principles, marketers can make their strategies more effective.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the Pareto Principle: Take the time to identify the 20% of efforts that yield 80% of your desired outcomes. Prioritize these tasks and allocate your resources accordingly. By focusing on what truly matters, you can achieve greater productivity and success.
  • 2. Implement Pre-Suasion Strategies: Before interacting with your audience, establish trust by conveying information in their best interest. Use specific images, quotes, or anecdotes that resonate with each individual. Direct attention, highlight commonalities, and tap into the power of metaphors to influence perception and build a connection.
  • 3. Communicate with Intention: Whether it's in your marketing materials or day-to-day conversations, ensure that every element of your message is intentional and supports your goals. Use easy-to-understand language and avoid unnecessary jargon. Focus on the benefits for your audience and make them feel valued and understood.


Training yourself to be smarter involves incorporating mental models and principles into your thinking and decision-making processes. By understanding the Pareto Principle, embracing pre-suasion strategies, and communicating with intention, you can unlock your potential and achieve greater success in various aspects of life. Remember, the journey to becoming smarter is a continuous process of learning and growth.

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