Best Way to Reach Your Goals: Backwards

Stop trying to be so smart and focus more on avoiding being dumb, suggests one business legend.


No one wants to be dumb, so we all look for ways to be more clever. We try to foster greater inattentiveness at our businesses with new programs or processes, we scheme to get in shape by making healthy lifestyle changes, we strive for the good life by trying to accomplish more and be happier. But are we approaching all these goals in the wrong way?

That’s the contention of a recent post on blog Farnam Street, highlighting the wisdom of Warren Buffett’s legendary right hand man, Charlie Munger. The best way to tackle a tough problem, Munger claims, isn’t, as your first impulse likely suggests, to run straight for your goal. Better, he argues, to creep up on it backwards. This is known as inverting the problem (the mathematically inclined among you will recognize the technique), and Farnam Street explains how it works:

Say you want to create more innovation at your organization. Thinking forward, you’d think about all of the things you could do to foster innovation. If you look at the problem backwards, you’d think about all the things you could do to create less innovation. Ideally, you’d avoid those things. Sounds simple right? I bet your organization does some of those ‘stupid’ things today.

Another example, rather than think about what makes a good life, you can think about what prescriptions would ensure misery.

To read full article please visit Team Team

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