Via Negativa This term was originally used in Christian theology to describe what God isn’t in order to understand what God is. But it soon evolved to beyond theology and became nothing about religion. I was introduced to this term when Nassim Taleb used it in his book which opened me up to this ‘removing the bad’ mental model. Once this worldview was activated, I started to realise many others from Warren Buffett to Bruce Lee have been emphasising it all along.

Good writing is about removing clutter

(Excerpt from Writing Well by William Zinsser) Writing improves in direct ratio to the number of things we can keep out of it that shouldn’t be there. “Up” in “free up” shouldn’t be there. Examine every word...

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Business and Life are full of temptations

(Excerpt from Invested by Charles Schwab) The world of business, like the rest of life, is full of wonderful temptations, and making a choice about where you are going to devote your energy is often as much about...

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A good decision may be about avoiding the need to solve problems later

(Excerpt from The Great Mental Models Volume 1: General Thinking Concepts by Shane Parrish) Peter Bevelin, put it best: “I don’t want to be a great problem solver. I want to avoid problems—prevent them...

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Minimise our dumb tax to become richer

(Excerpt from The Road Less Stupid by Keith Cunningham) How much money would you have right now if I gave you the ability to unwind any three financial decisions you have ever made? Write that number down . . ....

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You win by focusing on making fewer mistakes

(Excerpt from Extraordinary Tennis Ordinary Players by Simon Ramo) In expert tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are won; in amateur tennis, about 80 per cent of the points are lost. In other words, professional...

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You win by losing less

(Excerpt from University of Berkshire Hathaway by Daniel Pecaut and Corey Wrenn) He Charlie Munger claimed that his best ideas haven’t done better than others’ best ideas, but he’s lost less on his worst...

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Subtracting benefits as a market position

(Excerpt from The Star Principle by Richard Koch) Subtracting benefits is important because it usually enables the new category to lower costs, and/or to substitute the new benefits without charging more, because of...

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Wisdom via negativa

To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day. Lao Tzu...

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Which business idea should you pursue – is it a star venture.

(Excerpt from The Star Principle by Richard Koch) you can forget about more than 95 per cent of the ideas you may have. For every 20 ideas you have, you can junk 19 of them, confidently and securely, without doing any...

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True wealth is to do less of a lot of undesirable things

(Excerpt from Antifragile by Nassim Taleb) If true wealth consists in worriless sleeping, clear conscience, reciprocal gratitude, absence of envy, good appetite, muscle strength, physical energy, frequent laughs, no...

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