The OODA Loop, Identity to Actions, & More
Today at a Glance
- Question: Saying No by saying Yes.
- Quote: Actions and identity.
- Framework: The OODA Loop.
- Tweet: Believe in something.
- Article: Cognitive biases kill your finances.
What’s a Rich Text element?
The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.
Static and dynamic content editing
A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. !
How to customize formatting for each rich text
Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.
What am I saying "No" to by saying "Yes" to this?
The transition from infinite optimism to finite realism is an important one.
When you're young, you feel like your time and energy are infinite. You have so many years ahead of you, and with your 20s energy, you can fill those years with endless hustle and fervor.
When you get a bit older (read: 30+), you realize that your time and energy are finite, and slowly dwindling. You hopefully do have many years ahead of you, but your energy is limited and you have more arenas of life to consider (family, children, work, health, etc.).
In a finite world, everything you say "Yes" to is an implicit "No" to everything else you could have done with that time.
A few examples I've personally encountered and wrestled with:
- Saying "Yes" to that new professional opportunity means saying "No" to morning walks with my 11-month-old son.
- Saying "Yes" to that networking dinner means saying "No" to a quiet evening glass of wine with my wife.
- Saying "Yes" to that trip means saying "No" to a weekend with my parents.
- Saying "Yes" to that second glass of whiskey means saying "No" to my next day morning workout.
To be clear, the point is not to remove all of the professional opportunities, networking dinners, trips, and whiskey-induced fun from your life—the point is to be considerate in what tradeoffs you are willing and unwilling to make along the way.
It's easy to say "Yes" and lose control of your time and energy. But in a world where it is becoming increasingly finite, are you willing to lose that control?
"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." - Epictetus
The Flywheel of Life: Actions create identity, then identity creates actions.
The OODA Loop
The Observe-Orient-Decide-Act ("OODA") Loop was developed by Colonel John Boyd, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot and military strategist, as a decision-making tool for use in complex and high-stress situations.
Colonel Boyd knew that fighter pilots were constantly encountering high-stakes situations with life or death consequences. They needed a system for decision-making that would withstand the pressure and allow for continuous, context-driven improvements.
The OODA loop is an iterative process of four key steps:
- Observe: Observe the environment and gather information about the situation. Actively seek out information from various sources, such as data, reports, and feedback from stakeholders. It is essential to collect as much information as possible to gain a comprehensive understanding of the situation.
- Orient: Orient oneself to the situation. Analyze the information gathered in the observation phase and assess how it relates to the current situation. Consider previous experiences, biases, and mental models to help understand the context of the situation. The orient phase allows for a deeper understanding of the situation and helps to identify patterns or trends.
- Decide: Decide on a course of action based on the information gathered and the analysis conducted in the previous two steps. This decision-making process should take into account the potential risks, consequences, and outcomes of each option. It is important to consider different scenarios and their potential outcomes to select the most appropriate course of action.
- Act: Act on the decision made in the previous step. This involves executing the chosen course of action and monitoring its progress. It's crucial to remain flexible and adaptable during this phase, as unforeseen challenges often arise, requiring a reassessment of the situation and a potential adjustment of the course of action.
The OODA loop is intended to be iterative, meaning that the results of each step feed back into the beginning of the loop, informing subsequent iterations. For example, new information gathered during the ACT phase may require a return to the OBSERVE phase to gather additional data.
The iterative approach enables continuous improvement and refinement of the decision-making process.
While initially created for military use, the OODA Loop has become a popular business decision-making tool, with companies such as Amazon, Toyota, and Apple known to incorporate the OODA Loop into the decision-making toolkits of their senior employees.
The formal process laid out above can feel slow and intimidating, but once internalized, the OODA Loop is a tool for speed:
- Observe the situation and mentally note any key data points.
- Place data in the context of existing knowledge and mental maps to create a picture of the current situation.
- Make a decision on how to act in light of that situation.
- Act and assess for any necessary adjustments.
As a rule of thumb, if you walk through it methodically 3-5 times, you'll add it to your toolkit and be able to do it naturally in the future.
Interesting (and scary) charts. Reminded me of some of the lessons from The Second Mountain, which talked about the need to focus on something bigger than yourself in order to foster durable happiness and fulfillment.
Very good read on the common cognitive biases that negatively impact your financial decisions.
Admittedly, it was a bit jarring to read through and create some awareness of how many of these mistakes I've made personally, but hopefully it helps me never make them again.