What if you stopped panicking when new challenges came your way because you had a system for thinking?
How do you make sense of the world around you? How do you navigate through it? When problems arise, how do you confront them?
Mental models shape how you see the world, how you approach problems, and even unconsciously surface the information you think is important.
Your brain forms mental models all the time without you knowing. But power comes when you build a latticework of mental models as a conscious, deliberate process.
No more relying on your brain to automatically and subconsciously do it for you, leading you astray. Using mental models, you can learn to think better no matter what life throws at you.
Thinking with mental models helps you navigate paths of inquiry and chart courses of action to solve problems and improve your outcomes. These enable you to update from reality and adapt to different situations. The knowledge you learn in any area of your life can help you in every other area. You’re never starting from scratch when life throws you a curveball because you have an existing framework.
INTRODUCING Mental Models for Better Thinking:
A practical, actionable system for building a latticework of mental models that help you think and learn better every day. We’ve taken everything we’ve seen and done teaching mental models over the past several years and turned it into a comprehensive course for ambitious thinkers.
Build a latticework of mental models – step by step
This course leads you step by step through every part of building an efficient, personalized latticework of mental models: selecting, distilling, contextualizing, preparing, integrating, applying, reflecting, and improving over time.
Get out of reactive mode and see life from a new angle
You’ll also learn how to get out of reactive mode and know when you need to stop and take a different angle. Most important, you’ll know exactly how to USE your latticework in your day-to-day life, turning learning into action.
Content that will change how you think and work
You’ll get access to 5 modules with over 70 videos, lecture handouts, 15 exercises, and 5 challenges . We’ll show you how to build mental models into your life, making them a part of how you think and work. Engage with a community of other learners through exercises, challenges and more to further your understanding.
Gain a framework and a toolbox
Without a framework for understanding the world, you’ll miss out on angles, have a narrower perspective, and constantly find yourself stumped by problems. Without a toolbox of mental models you’ll be stuck in the same conflicts, deal with the same problems, and experience growing frustration at your lackluster outcomes.
If you’re ready to move beyond your current state of thinking towards more deliberate and practical applications of mental models, join Mental Models for Better Thinking and get:
- Access to 5 modules that cover how to acquire a model, preparing to use a model, integrating models into your current thinking, reflecting on what you’ve learned, and constructing your own Latticework that you can take on-demand
- 77 lectures from experts in mental models
- 15 exercises to help you apply what you learn to your own life
- Live-hosted events led by Rhiannon and Shane where you’ll learn the principles and have the opportunity to ask questions
- Community access
- bonus materials
Learn about mental models from the people who literally wrote the book on it:
The course is taught by Rhiannon Beaubien and Shane Parrish of Farnam Street.
Rhiannon Beaubien, lead author of The Great Mental Models book series developed Farnam Street’s ReThink Parenting course, teaching how to use specific models to improve family life. As a practitioner of mental models, she has yet to come across a situation or challenge that isn’t better navigated with some deliberately constructed models.
Shane Parrish teaches, guides and coaches CEOs wanting to perform at the top of their game. He is the founder of Farnam Street Media, Latticework Publishing and Syrus Partners. Shane authors Farnam Street’s weekly newsletter Brain Food delivering timeless insight for better decisions to over 400K people worldwide.
Shane and Rhiannon don’t just write about them. They teach them to others. And they use these models every day to make decisions, to improve relationships, to solve problems, and to identify opportunities.
Most of our education puts us on a path to specialization.
We learn information in a specific context and are never encouraged to take it out of that box and apply it to the variety of challenges we face. But knowledge isn’t useful if it can’t be used broadly. If it can’t be converted into actionable intuition. If it can’t be applied to make sense of the unexpected.
Wait, what’s a Mental Model?
Mental models are how we understand the world. Not only do they shape what we think and how we understand but they shape the connections and opportunities that we see. Mental models are how we simplify complexity, why we consider some things more relevant than others, and how we reason.
A mental model is simply a representation of how something works. We cannot keep all of the details of the world in our brains, so we use models to simplify the complex into understandable and organizable chunks.
The quality of our thinking is proportional to the models in our head and their usefulness in the situation at hand.
The more you understand about how to build and use models the more likely you are to have the right models to see reality. It turns out that when it comes to improving your ability to make decisions, variety matters.
Most of us, however, are specialists. Instead of a latticework of mental models, we have a few from our discipline. Each specialist sees something different. By default, a typical engineer will think in systems. A psychologist will think in terms of incentives. A biologist will think in terms of evolution. By putting these disciplines together in our head, we can walk around a problem in a three-dimensional way. If we’re only looking at the problem one way, we’ve got a blind spot. And blind spots can kill you.
Already know about Mental Models?
Stop staring at a list wondering what to try
It’s possible you’re already familiar with mental models and have put a ton of effort into pouring over lengthy lists of them.
- Memorized dozens of them
- Taken detailed notes
- Read description after description of concepts that sound useful
- Made an Anki deck or a Trello board
…and yet, it hasn’t made a difference.
Even though you’re aware of what the mental models are, you don’t know how to use them to make a decision or solve a problem.
You’re stuck in automatic mode, too busy reacting to think about how you think. There’s a good reason for that and reading yet more examples of mental models isn’t going to help.
You don’t LEARN mental models. You BUILD them.
To actually see any benefit, you need to develop your own— unique— latticework, along with the understanding of how each model connects with others, when to use it, and why.
Once you learn a repeatable process for turning time-tested concepts into lenses for viewing the world and tools for planning a course of action, you’ll be able to accelerate your path to expertise in any area.
Using mental models will become effortless and intuitive. Facing any situation that calls for clearer thinking, you’ll know exactly which mental model or models to whip out of your toolbox to see what others can’t.
You’re Protected with Our 100% Risk-Free Guarantee
This program can change your life. That’s not something we toss out lightly. It’s based both on results we’ve seen but also what you put into it.
Participate for up to 14 days. If you no longer feel it’s right for you, send us an email ([email protected]) and you’ll get a complete refund. It’s as simple as that.
Who is this course for?
Mental Models for Better Thinking is an interdisciplinary course designed to teach how to construct and apply a latticework of mental models. It might be right for you if you’re:
- A student hungry to learn better–or a lifelong learner
- An entrepreneur or business owner wanting to spot new opportunities
- A leader needing to make smart decisions under pressure
- An ambitious thinker in search of rationality and a competitive edge
- A voracious reader always out to go to bed smarter every night
- Feeling stuck in your thinking and ready for a fresh perspective
- Someone who would like to face and overcome challenges more effectively
What is Farnam Street?
Farnam Street (or FS as we call it) focuses on timeless lessons and insights for work and life. We do this by ‘mastering the best of what other people have already figured out.’ After all, it’s much easier to benefit from lessons that other people have already paid the price for than making all the mistakes yourself.
Our weekly newsletter offers quick and useful multidisciplinary wisdom. Our articles explore timeless ideas and people. Our podcast offers deep and nuanced conversations. And our books offer a deeper exploration of ideas that never expire.
Can I take this course with my team/friends/etc?
If you want to do it with others, which is a great form of accountability, please register separately. Reach out to [email protected] for team discount options.
Can I expense this course?
While this will depend on your organization’s policies, most sensible employers know that encouraging investment in lifelong learning pays exponential returns. If you’re asked to justify the expense, we suggest mentioning points such as:
- At $399, this course is a fraction of the cost of traditional forms of education
- Building a latticework of mental models will mean you’re far more efficient at acquiring other knowledge and skills in the future
- Plus, it will help you get considerably more mileage out of past education or training
- Mental Models for Better Thinking is online and self-paced so it won’t require time off or commitment during working hours
- Farnam Street has a proven track record of boosting the decision-making, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities of thousands of professionals in numerous fields—including investing, sports, academia, marketing, and more.
How long will this course take?
This course is estimated to take approximately 20 hours to complete, including time to try the exercises and apply the learning through the challenges, but we encourage you to work through it at your own pace. If you plan to work through the program in real time, we recommend about 3 hours per week to watch the training, complete the assignments, and practice the skills in life and work.
If you’re not able to find the time, don’t sweat it. We know many of you have full-time jobs and busy family lives. A lot of students want to pause at various points and resume in the future as their schedule allows. Because you have lifetime access for as long as it exists, you’ll never have to choose the course over your life.
This program is action-oriented and based on what works in reality. There are no fast or even guaranteed results. Transforming how you think and learn is more than just taking a five week online course. This course is designed as a hands-on, how-to learning experience. We prioritized supporting people through application challenges, by offering live-hosted events with the instructors, and offering a community experience for peer-to-peer learning and support. While it’s full of timeless behaviors and routines, it’s something you’ll work on getting better at for the rest of your life. The more you put in, the more you’ll get out.
Is this course taught live?
Mental Models for Better Thinking is prerecorded to ensure all of the lectures and instructional videos are polished to a stellar production quality. We chose not to teach it live so you can get the maximum benefit from visually interesting and meticulously edited videos. This also means you can fit it to your schedule, your preferred pace, and your unique learning style.
Why should I pay when there is so much content about mental models for free on the blog or for a lower price in the books?
In contrast to what’s on the market about mental models themselves, this course is about the process of how to use them for better thinking. Free materials from various sources may provide a piece of the puzzle, but cannot give you a latticework you can use in real time. What we’ve created in this program is a way to train your brain for mental model building and application so you can put the puzzle together for amazing results.
We prefer to avoid prescriptive language on our blog and this course is no different. Instead of offering a prescription we give a framework of processes that you can follow as-is or tailor and customize to fit your unique challenges and situation. Each part of the 5-step process to construct a latticework offers a process you can follow exactly or modify.
We’ve done extensive research and are confident that nothing out there for free comes close to the quality and value of this course. It’s an investment you’ll profit from every day for the rest of your life.
What if I’m a total beginner at using mental models?
Mental models are nothing new—they’re how your brain already processes reality into comprehensible chunks. The difference is that this course teaches you how to leverage existing thinking processes by consciously reshaping them.
We encourage a “beginners mind” in this course – and even people who have amassed a volume of mental models will benefit from taking a fresh look at how they acquired them. This course is for learners at all levels.
If you’re new to the topic of mental models, don’t worry. We cover all of the basics, bringing you practical guidance every step of the way.
How long will I have access to the content?
You’ll have access to the course for as long as we offer it. Pause, rewind, revisit, contribute, apply and refresh whenever you wish.