Collection: Charlie Munger - #164 'Inversion; Problem Solving In Reverse'



[Transcript]

CHARLIE MUNGER 00:00

Another idea that I got — and it was encapsulated by the story that Dean recounted about the man who wanted to know where he was going to die and he wouldn’t go there — that rustic let that idea have a profound truth in his hand.


The way complex adaptive systems work and the way mental constructs work; problems frequently get easier and I would even say usually are easier to solve if you turn around in reverse. In other words, if you want to help India, the question you should ask is not, “How can I help India?” You think, “What’s doing the worst damage in India? What would automatically do the worst damage and how do I avoid it?”


You’d think they are logically the same thing, they’re not. Those of you who have mastered algebra know that inversion frequently will solve problems which nothing else will solve. And in life, unless you’re more gifted than Einstein, inversion will help you solve problems that you can't solve in other ways.


But to use a little inversion now, “What will really fail in life? What do you want to avoid?”


Such an easy answer: sloth and unreliability. If you’re unreliable, it doesn’t matter what your virtues are, you’re going to crater immediately. So doing what you have faithfully engaged to do should be an automatic part of your conduct. You want to avoid sloth and unreliability.


(Source: https://youtu.be/jY1eNlL6NKs)

 

[YAPSS Takeaway]