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Conscious Thought Is Too Logical

Hey everyone,

Hope you're having a great week. Here are a few things I've been reading and pondering lately. Enjoy!


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1. A Primer on Unconscious Thought Theory

There is actually some really good science behind "sleeping on" important decisions. This is a simple idea that makes a ton of sense.

Conscious thought is linear and convergent, whilst unconscious thought is parallel and divergent, making it far more powerful in considering a wide range of possibilities. The problem is that our conscious mind does not always trust what our unconscious mind thinks, in particular its ability to think rationally.

Conscious thought is not as logical as it thinks and is very liable to bias, effectively weighting decisions according to criteria such as social desirability.

2. 122 Things Everyone Should Know About Investing and the Economy

This is a great post. Here are a few gems from this huge list of useful knowledge.

40. Since 1871, the market has spent 40% of all years either rising or falling more than 20%. Roaring booms and crushing busts are perfectly normal.

84. There is virtually no correlation between what the economy is doing and stock market returns. According to Vanguard, rainfall is actually a better predictor of future stock returns than GDP growth. (Both explain slightly more than nothing.)

3. The Choices That Led Small Business Owners to Wealth

If you want a writing lesson, consider how the New York Times presents these interviews compared to how most content sites would do it. The Times, as usual, nods to their sophisticated readers instead of filling your Twitter feed with more noise.

Small-business owners are generally focused on the day to day, if not the minute by minute, to keep their enterprises moving forward.

But they still have to make decisions to professionalize the business, put systems in place and have a plan that allows them to do longer-term planning. Those decisions can make the difference between being a small-business owner and a business executive with significant wealth.

Of course, which of those decisions matter most is generally clear only in hindsight.

4. A Lifetime of Riches – Is it as Simple as a Few Habits?

This is a great post from the always-entertaining Mr. Money Mustache.

...I was surprised to learn habits are much more than that. As it turns out, habits are little chunks of auto-pilot behavior that get burned right into your neurology – permanently. Once you develop a habit, you can never truly erase the program, even if you manage to deactivate it.

It gets even crazier than that: when your brain starts running one of its many habit scripts, a good part of your conscious judgement is shut off for the duration. The habit takes over, controls you until you get to the end of the script, and then dumps you out at the end. And this is not just a rare occurence – depending on who you ask, habits are in at least partially in control for between 50 and 90% of our waking hours.

Have a great weekend!

Jimmy

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