Mindmapping is the act of articulating a thought pattern onto paper (or screen). Great clarity emerges from visualizing how thoughts connect. It becomes a systems diagram for thought - showing how one thought triggers another in a chain reaction. When I feel stuck on a decision, it’s often because that chain reaction creates a cyclical pattern I keep traversing.
Decision mindmaps look like a directed acyclical graph. Each node represents an Action or State, and each arrow represents a specific path of consequence (which then leads to another action or state).
In the case of decisions, a node would be something like “Work at Company X” or “Ship Feature Y”. Connector arrows lead to other states. Obviously a state can also include emotional states like ‘satisfaction’, or ‘regret’. This can both increase self awareness and decision-making quality.
Connecting them on paper gives me control - it removes me from the thought, gives me a guide to navigate it, which then results in a more sound decision. Charlie Munger’s approach to decision making is a two step process - first understand the forces at play, and then the psychological factors that might be leading you astray. A mindmap is a great way to understand both.s