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INVERSION - Mental model that enhances wisdom by 100x.

“Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.” — Anonymous


Mental models are tools that allow us to simplify complex situations and make sense of the situation in the world around us.


Out of these mental models, Inversion is the most powerful and dominating I found in my life with clear-cut examples:

  • For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

  • Every picture has two sides.

  • What could go wrong?

  • Black and White.

  • Life and Death

  • Tit for Tat.

  • Karma.

Inversion involves reversing a situation to gain a fresh perspective or solve problems more effectively it starts with,


“How can I avoid failure or prevent undesirable outcomes?”


This mindset shift allows individuals to identify potential pitfalls or obstacles ahead of time and develop strategies to counter them.

INVERSION: a reversal of position, order, form, or relationship. It used to revert face value of given information about reality.

Inversion - Illustration of two opposite arrows
Inversion


Philosophical advocates of inversion

Charlie Munger, who, along with his partner Warren Buffett, is one of the world’s most successful investors, is a contemporary advocate for inversion thinking:


“Turn a situation or problem upside down. Look at it backward. What happens if all our plans go wrong? Where don’t we want to go, and how do you get there? Instead of looking for success, make a list of how to fail instead — through sloth, envy, resentment, self-pity, entitlement, all the mental habits of self-defeat. Avoid these qualities, and you will succeed. Tell me where I’m going to die, that is, so I don’t go there.” — Charlie Munger


Top 25 world-class examples of Inversion


1. RECIPROCITY — (Inversion of Psychology)

When you get something from someone, psychologically you are bound to pay it back in some form.


2. BINARY — (Inversion of Computing)

World’s most advanced machine ‘Computer’ operates on simple 1 and 0. Quantum computers make it to the next level by merging 1 and 0 together as Continuous called Quantum Superposition.


3. RECIPROCAL OF FRACTION — (Inversion of Mathematics)

Number ‘2’ can be written in Reciprocal Fraction as 1/2 or One Half.


4. SPACE & TIME — (Inversion of Astro Physics)

Nothing can be escaped from the control of Space and Time.


5. LIFE & DEATH — (Inversion of Biology)

Death is an event that becomes obvious, it changes the human mind from 0 to 180 degrees.


6. KARMA — (Inversion of Religion)

What you sow you reap.


7. PARADISE & HELL — (Inversion of Moral Behaviour)

These are used in religions to manage the morals of society.


8. ALPHA & OMEGA — (Inversion of God)

God was always there from the beginning and will stay till the end of the Universe.


9. TIT FOR TAT — (Inversion of Circumstances)

Equivalent Retaliation of one’s action.


10. PRIMAL DESIRES — (Inversion of Behaviour)

Fear and Greed run (stock, crypto, forex, and real estate) markets and the business world. Sane investor understands both Fear (Bearish) and Greed (Bullish) and react objectively.


Inversion of Primal Desires - Bear and Bull
Inversion of Primal Desires

11. NEWTONS THIRD LAW OF MOTION — (Inversion of Physics)

When two bodies interact, they apply forces to one another that are equal in magnitude and opposite in direction.


12. CONVERGE & DIVERGE — (Inversion of Productivity)

First Diversify to learn many things and then focus on becoming expert which you like the most and feasible to do.


“Optimistic contrarians are the rarest breed.” — Naval Ravikant


13. POSITIVE & NEGATIVE — (Inversion of Numbers)

Plus (+) and Minus (-) are the building blocks of the universe.


14. OPTIMISTIC AND PESSIMISTIC — (Inversion of Thinking)

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” — William Arthur Ward


Parachute is an example of Pessimistic Thinking.


Inversion of Thinking -Pessimist and Optimist
Inversion of Thinking

15. ENTRY & EXIT — (Inversion of Decision)

If someone asks you to join a business opportunity or subscription, always ask and look for the exit strategy.


“Invert, always invert.” — Carl Jacobi


16. ANODE & CATHODE — (Inversion of Chemical Reaction)

All electronics are working on this simple chemical reaction battery which has two poles moving ions from anode to cathode.


17. REVERSE ENGINEERING — (Inversion of Engineering)

Hacking the physical product by un-assembling or decompiling the code.


18. CONTRAST — (Inversion of Graphics)

Different from the rest.


19. TURNAROUND — (Inversion of Strategy)

Sometimes losing a battle suddenly becomes a winning battle.


20. MALE & FEMALE — (Inversion of Family Unit)

The most important model to be preserved for the growth of human society.


21. YES & NO (Inversion of Decision Making)

“If you cannot decide the answer is no.” — Naval Ravikant.


22. YIN & YANG (Inversion of Philosophy)

In Chinese Yin Yang is called Dark-Light.


23. BUY & SELL (Inversion of Investment)

Everyone loves to buy at low prices and sell at higher prices. But there are short sellers too.


24. DEMAND & SUPPLY (Inversion of Economics)

Price is at equilibrium when Demand intersects with Supply.


25. BACKUP & RESTORE (Inversion of Disaster Recovery)

A smart company always keep its data properly backed up and tests its restoration regularly.


Inversion thinking in practice.

Imagine you want to run a marathon. What steps would you take?


Thinking linearly, you might:

  1. Buy a nice new pair of sneakers.

  2. Research a beginner’s training routine.

  3. Commit to regular endurance workouts.

  4. Change your diet.

Now, invert your thinking. Why might you fail on your path toward this goal?

  1. Lack of motivation.

  2. Lack of accountability.

  3. Lack of time.

  4. Injury.

There’s nothing wrong with the first set of answers. But the second reveals issues that the first elides.


In your excitement at the start of an ambitious new journey — as you’re lacing up that clean new pair of Nikes — thoughts of losing motivation or getting too injured to carry on couldn’t be further from your mind.

But a few weeks in?


Those improbable ideas can suddenly become all too real.


When you apply the inversion model, though, you’re forced to reckon with both possibilities from the very start. The early acknowledgment and articulation of these potential adverse outcomes is the first step toward building your armour against them.


Conclusion

Inversion helps you to think about the opposite of information by helping you to invert your ideas and know what valuable insights you can discover.


This framework enforces objective analysis by articulating flaws and limitations and applies across many disciplines, including politics, sports, business, investing, and law.


They say that often, doing less wrong can be as productive as doing more right.


“Avoiding stupidity is easier than seeking brilliance.” — Charlie Munger


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