20 Mental Models For A Good Life

Revisiting some of the most famous mental models

James Ssekamatte
5 min readJan 4


Photo by Skye Studios on Unsplash

A mental model is an explanation of someone’s thought process about how something works in the real world. Since we cannot keep all the details of the world in our brains, we use mental models to make certain practices more efficient.

Over the years, some people have developed models that can help us adopt a more positive and productive approach to life. Some of these have become very popular in the world of personal development so much so that we no longer recognize them as mental models.

But in this article, we shall be revisiting these to hopefully remind you of some of them as well as introduce to you some of those that you may not have heard about before.

This article will quickly introduce them to you with the hope that you will note down those that you think might be useful to you and go do some further research about them and hopefully find ways of applying them in your daily life.

Here are the mental models.

The Growth Mindset

This mental model involves believing that you can improve and grow through effort and learning, rather than being fixed in your abilities.

This gives you the mindset that can help you approach challenges with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn and improve.

The Power of Habit

Understanding how habits work can help you create positive routines and break negative ones. By focusing on building good habits, you can make positive changes in your life that stick.

The Pareto Principle

Also known as the 80/20 rule, this mental model suggests that roughly 80% of effects come from 20% of causes.

By identifying the most important factors in your life and focusing your efforts on them, you can achieve a disproportionate amount of success.

The Law of Diminishing Returns

This mental model states that there is a point at which the marginal benefit of an activity begins to decrease.



James Ssekamatte