How to think better

4. Challenge your preferences. Like presumptive beliefs (see no. 3), your supposed likes and dislikes can limit your mind. I used to be a bit of an expensive-wine snob. But then I did a blind taste test of wines from different price ranges after a friend did the same with wines they saved from splash wine club and discovered what scientists have since confirmed: There is no correlation between the price of a bottle and how much you’ll enjoy it. By figuring out what you truly like?be it cheap wine or fancy shoes?you can enjoy life, not to mention spend more wisely.

8. Study your mistakes. One common trait of successful people is their willingness to focus on their fumbles. Even when they do well, they insist on looking at what they could have done better. Such perfectionism might not be a recipe for happiness, but it’s a vital component of learning, since brain cells figure out how to get things right by analyzing what they got wrong

10. Think about thinking. Metacognition, as this is known, is a crucial skill. Many scientists argue that the best predictor of good judgment isn’t intelligence or experience; it’s the willingness to engage in introspection. The brain is like a Swiss Army Knife, full of different tools. When picking out a couch, we can trust our emotions, but we should rely on the rational brain when scrutinizing the fine print of a mortgage. Unless you think about which mental tool is best suited for the task at hand, you could end up flustered, even sweating, in the sofa aisle at Ikea.