Mental Models – Making friends with the eminent dead

What is the title of this article? Making friends with the dead? What does this have to do with career information, learning or college? Let me explain… 

A few weeks ago, we posted an article referencing and describing mental models. I would suggest that you refer to that or do some research if you are unfamiliar, it will help everything make more sense! You can find a link to that article here. So, this is just one mental model, and the title is “Making friends with the eminent dead”. 

Now before we focus on how the title ties into a career thought…I want to ask you readers a question…who is someone that you look up to?  

Think about that for a second… 

Got an answer? 

Who did you think of? Your mom? Dad? Boss? Spouse? Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? 

There is a common perception that when you think of a role model, you naturally look to those who are with you most likely on a day-to-day basis, usually with family. What I would like to point out is that is a mental model, a thought framework that your brain naturally turned to. 

As odd as it sounds, just because someone has passed, doesn’t mean that their actions, lessons, etc. can’t be learned from! 

Charlie Munger, a very thoughtful and successful businessman always talks about making those people your friends. It is quite odd right? But you notice and understand the actions and reasoning behind some of the things your friends do on a day-to-day basis…Charlie just says if you know the same about your role model then you truly understand them. 

Why would you want to understand someone like this? This is again, just to help you understand the things that others have figured out before you so that you don’t make the same mistakes as they did. You can do this by reading books, listening to podcasts, or YouTube videos. 

Regardless, I would like you to think about some takeaways from this article. When you think about who you look up to, can learn from, etc. that you consider other options like someone who may be a genius but has just passed on. They may be able to teach you lessons that will help you through college, your job, how you converse with someone, etc. 

That is the mental model, “Making friends with the eminent dead”, we’ll be back with another next week! 

Here are some other readings on the topic:  

By Jon Spahn
Jon Spahn Career Mentor