Charles Munger: How To Invert Your Thinking

Johnny HopkinsCharles MungerLeave a Comment

Earlier this year at The Redlands Forum, Charles Munger discussed examples of how to invert your thinking. H/T to 10-K Diver for highlighting the video. Here’s an excerpt from the forum:

Munger: There are all kinds of tricks that I just got into by accident in life.

One I invert all the time. I was a weather forecaster when I was in the Air Corps, and how did I handle my new assignment? Being a weather forecaster in the Air Corps is a lot like being a doctor that reads x-rays. It’s a pretty solitary… you’re in the hangar in the middle of the night and drawing weather maps and …. pilots, but you’re not interfacing with a bunch of your fellow men very much. So I figured out the men I was actually making weather forecasts were real pilots.

I said how can I kill these pilots?

That’s not the question that most people would ask, but I want to know what’s the easiest way to kill them would be so I could avoid it.

And so I thought it through in reverse that way and figured out… I said there are only two ways I’m ever gonna kill… I was in the ferry command, two ways I’m gonna kill pilots.

I’m gonna get him into icing his plane can’t handle and that will kill him, or I’m gonna get him someplace where he’s gonna run out of gas before he can land because all the airports are sunked in.

Again, and I just was fanatic about avoiding those two hazards, and if Kobe Bryant had somebody like me he’ll be with us. It was so stupid to kill yourself that way, but just that basic.

I may have learned that from my grandfather. My grandfather would say when I’m swimming he’d say, “swim as long as you want but stay near the shore”,  well you can laugh but he was a very wise man.

You can watch the entire interview here:

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