In Blackjack there's a heuristic that if we get dealt a specific hand we ought to "Double Down". For example if we had a two cards that added up to the number 11, we'd want to Doubld Down. This means doubling our bet and getting dealt a card.
The reason there's a heuristic for this is it's statistically the most favorable move. In a deck of 52 cards, face cards with a value of 10 make up 38% of the deck. We have the 10, Jack, Queen and King with 4 cards for each. By doubling down on hand that has a value of 11, we have a high chance of winning our played hand by pairing a value of 11 with 10 which makes 21--Blackjack.
In life, there are asymmetries. Certain activities we do will produce better outcomes than others. These are the ones we want to double down on.
Love - Sleep at least 8 hours a day, we'll be energized and healthy.
Health - Save and invest our money and we'll be financially rewarded.
Wealth - Connect with our friends and family regularly and we'll be socially enriched.
If somethings working, don't only keep doing it, do more of it! Common knowledge but not common practice.
Just like how Doubling down can benefit us, they can also hurt us.
For example, we wouldn't want to double down on a behavior like checking our phone while we're driving. Doubling down on that and doing more of it is just maximizing our chances of permanent paralysis, maiming or killing someone driving, or our own death.
But even though we know these things, we don't always apply them.
Why do we self-sabotage and double down on the things that hurt us...
While taking our feet off the wheel and not double down on the things that enrich us?
It may have to do with our primitive brain that evolved to handle survival but not handle operating in the modern world.
This flawed psychology we have leads to faults in our thinking called cognitive biases.
One cognitive bias can be Shiny Object Syndrome.
In business, it's easy to get distracted by the latest tactic or tool. Ironically, entrepreneurs may already have something that's generating disproportionate results for them.
"Hey, I'm making millions of dollars doing x, y, z?"
As a general rule, the answer is to double down on x, y z.
Another cognitive bias might be the Availability bias.
We prone to making decisions based off what's readily available so we don't have to use as much brain-power and save energy.
Bag of chips sitting right there? It's getting eaten.
Bored and don't know what to do? Open up Instagram and scroll.
It's easy. There's no friction.
But taking a step back, things that may be easily available to us, might not always be the best thing for us.
It can be a number of cognitive biases that mislead us in our decision making and actions. Whatever flaw in our mental thinking there is, we can recognize that these cognitive biases are always prevalent and to be cautious of them.
We can use mental models and heuristics to guide us when it comes to doubling down.
We lead with this question as a default:
"Does this lead me to living a good life?"
In life if there are opportunities that benefit us. Double Down and do them more.
If there are activities that hurt us. Do anything we can to avoid doubling down and do less.