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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

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This is a preview of a key idea from The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business by Josh Kaufman. Order your copy now...

Cognitive Scope Limitation

“One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is a statistic.” — Kurt Tucholsky, German satirist

Key Ideas:

  • The Cognitive Scope Limitation is the way we simplify the reality when it becomes too overwhelming for the mind. This is what happens when you walk on Times Square: you can’t possibly feel emotionally connected to so many strangers.
  • It’s not possible to expand the scope of information in our minds, we just can’t handle so much reality.
  • Personalizing an issue is the best way to overcome this limitation. It helps to personalize decisions by imagining they affect someone close to us.

Questions for Consideration:

  • How can you personalize the results of actions or decisions that affect people outside of your immediate circle of peers?
  • How can you remember to use the ‘newspaper rule’ and ‘grandchild rule’ before making major decisions that affect others?

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