We tend to skip over the fundamentals. Few of us go out of our way to find them and try and understand them. Driven by a perception of busyness, we accept how the world works to make our lives easier.
We don't question, we accept.
When it comes to decision-making, we do the same. We don't try and find the fundamentals. We take the information we're presented with as gospel. There is little thought to the incentives pushing the poster of such opinions. There is no scope for validation, let alone digging to find the source.
In means most decisions are spoilt.
There are secondary effects too. Those fundamentals don't just live within their own space, we can apply them in other areas too. Think about the fundamentals of fire. Those three sides of the fire triangle—heat, fuel, and oxygen shape so much of our life. The hot water from the tap. The ability to get in a car and drive somewhere, even the streetlights that show us the way to travel—they all feature the fundamentals of fire.
This is a simple example, but listen to Palmer Luckey, listen to Nick Kokonas, listen to Elon Musk and you'll find something behind the success.
It is 'first principles'.
It is a mentality to understand the fundamentals of anything of interest. For Palmer, hear him talk about making oil-based food as a way to reduce obesity. Ponder how Nick Kokonas grasped the supply and demand mechanics of the theatre and applied them in his restaurant. For Elon, the examples are endless.
But lying behind each of their successes is a desire to find the fundamentals. This acquisition of the basics allows each of them to then transfer them. The key is the desire to find the fundamentals first.
I'm not expecting you to become one of those three, but this week's One Weekly Decision is a challenge to find the fundamentals. Don't accept information as it appears. Question it. Dig into what you think you know to find the basic truths. What you begin to build is a latticework of foundational truths. It is the act of thinking from first principles. It means asking questions like a child.
The doorway it can open might surprise you. It is the secret to making it big. Now you might not want to make it big, but if you can leverage the same methods of thinking the successful use, then why wouldn't you try?
The point isn’t to make it big, but to recognise the value in finding the fundamentals.
Thanks for reading.
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Founder, The Resolve Blog
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