Notes To Self 

Cost-Benefit Analysis

You are considering investing time and effort into learning a new skill, say coding, to enhance your career opportunities and personal growth.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Time: The hours you'll need to dedicate to learning.

Effort: The mental energy required to grasp coding concepts.

Opportunity Cost: The potential benefits you might forgo by not using that time for other activities.

Decision: If the benefits align with your personal development objectives and the opportunity cost is acceptable, taking on the leadership role could be a positive step for your growth.

- Carlos Vettorazzi

May 2 2010 Mental Models

Opportunity Cost

You have the option to either spend your evenings learning a new language or engaging in a fitness program.

Language Learning:

The cognitive benefits of acquiring a new language, potential career opportunities.

Fitness Program:

Improved health, mental well-being, and increased energy.


Language Learning:

Consider the cognitive benefits, potential job prospects, and personal fulfillment associated with acquiring a new language.

Fitness Program:

Reflect on the health benefits, improved mood, and increased energy that come with regular exercise.


Assess your personal priorities, goals, and current needs.

If health and well-being are top priorities, the opportunity cost may lean toward the fitness program, while if career advancement is a primary goal, the language learning opportunity may be more valuable.

- Carlos Vettorazzi

June 10 2010 Mental Models

Decision Tree Analysis

You are contemplating a career change and need to decide between pursuing further education or gaining practical experience.

Decision Tree

Option 1: Further Education

Possible Outcomes:

Expanded knowledge, potential career opportunities. Probabilities: Evaluate the likelihood of success based on the chosen field of study.

Option 2: Practical Experience

Possible Outcomes:

Immediate job placement, hands-on skills. Probabilities: Assess the likelihood of securing a position without additional education.


Further Education:

Weigh the potential benefits of acquiring additional qualifications against the time and financial investment.

Practical Experience:

Consider the immediate benefits of gaining hands-on experience and the potential for career progression.


Based on your current situation, preferences, and goals, choose the option that aligns more closely with your desired outcomes for personal and professional growth.

- Carlos Vettorazzi

August 9 2010 Mental Models

Sunk Cost Fallacy


Evaluating the continuation of a project related to personal growth.

Assess past investments:

Recognize the time, effort, and resources already invested.

Evaluate Current Situation:
Consider whether continuing the project aligns with present goals and potential future benefits.

Avoid Emotional Attachment:

Separate emotional attachment to past investments from objective analysis.


If the project no longer aligns with current personal development goals or has limited future benefits, it may be wise to let go of the sunk costs and redirect efforts toward more promising avenues.

- Carlos Vettorazzi

September 14 2010 Mental Models

Pareto Principle (80/20 Rule)


Evaluating how to improve time management for increased productivity.

Identify Tasks:

List activities contributing to personal and professional development.

Evaluate Impact:

Determine which 20% of tasks contribute to 80% of your growth.

Focus Efforts:

Direct attention and energy towards these high-impact activities.


Identify High-Impact Tasks:

Reflect on activities that have consistently led to personal development.

Assess Time Allocation:

Analyze how time is currently distributed among various activities.

Optimize Focus:

Prioritize the most impactful tasks to maximize personal growth.


By applying the Pareto Principle, you can streamline your efforts, concentrating on the activities that yield the greatest returns for personal development.

- Carlos Vettorazzi

October 7 2010 Mental Models

First Principles Thinking


Considering a major career change to pursue a passion.

First Principles Analysis

Identify fundamental truths, break down the decision into its basic elements.

Question Assumptions:

Challenge preconceived notions about career paths and success.

Build from the Ground Up:

Reconstruct your understanding of what a fulfilling career means.

Identify Core Desires:

Determine the fundamental aspects that make a career fulfilling for you.

Question Societal Norms:

Challenge conventional wisdom about success and happiness.

Design a Personalized Path:

Construct a career plan based on your own principles and desires.


Applying first principles thinking can lead to a more authentic and personally meaningful career path aligned with your true aspirations.

- Carlos Vettorazzi

October 23 2010 Mental Models

Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)


Choosing a learning activity to enhance personal growth.

ZPD Analysis

Current Skill Level:

Assess your current proficiency in the subject.

Potential for Growth:

Identify activities slightly beyond your current ability.

Balancing Challenge and Skill:

Choose an activity within your Zone of Proximal Development.


Evaluate Current Skills:

Understand your current knowledge and abilities in the subject.

Explore Growth Opportunities:

Identify learning activities that challenge you without being overwhelming.

Ensure Engagement:

Select an activity that keeps you engaged and motivated by offering a suitable level of challenge.


Opting for activities within your Zone of Proximal Development ensures a balance between challenging yourself for growth and avoiding frustration, leading to continuous and sustainable personal development.

- Carlos Vettorazzi

November 10 2010 Mental Models

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