How to escape?

This is the most difficult feat in thinking–how to escape from your CVS (Current View of the Situation).

SOT’s First Ten Lessons are designed to help you to ESCAPE with the help of the virtual SOT Escape Committee.

The SOT Escape Committee consists of myself and the following teachers:

Leonardo Da Vinci
Albert Einstein
Elizabeth Spelke
Douglas Adams
Irshad Manji
Maria Spiropulu
Richard Hoggart
Edward de Bono and
Sir Ken Robinson.

Click through here to enrol and start your training today!


In a recent masterclass I was asked the following excellent question: “If you could only ever teach just one thing about ‘thinking’ what would it be?”

Based on my experience, I’m quite clear on that question and my answer was one word, “Escape!”

When I first put forward the idea of designing a selection of ‘thinking caps’ to teach thinking the idea behind the strategy was this: in order to use, say, Cap #2 the thinker first had to remove (or escape from) Cap#1.

This is one of the most difficult skills in thinking and is indeed what defines a skilled thinker: someone who can escape from their current point-of-view.

Escape! Escape! Escape!

I was once asked to teach a class at Brighton Grammar how to use the Thinking Hats so I selected two hats–the black and the green hats–and drilled the students in the skill of removing the black hat first. Once you are able to remove the hat you are wearing (usually the black hat) then you are free to select any of the other hats. But, if you cannot escape from your current hat then you are not free to use a different one.

The same idea lies behind the strategy of the Universal Brain Software–CVS to BVS. If you cannot escape from your CVS then you cannot move to a BVS.

Yes, thinking skill is all about ESCAPE.


I was discussing with Professor Marty Seligman, who is visiting Melbourne on a project with Geelong Grammar, the link between positive/creative thinking and altruism.

seligman.jpg Professor Seligman’s research has shown there is a direct link. In other words, that positive, optimistic thinkers are more inclined to help others and be altruistic than pessimistic thinkers.

I suggested the parable of the Good Samaritan would be better called The Happy Samaritan. ‘Good’ is merely a judgement while ‘happy’ is an insight. Marty said, “Why don’t you write that up?”. So, I did.

Visit his site and take his Signature Strengths Test–it’s excellent.

Consequences can be very difficult to forsee. Some conseqences are beneficial, some are detrimental. But, they ARE coming! We cannot escape the consequences.

Even experienced executives, scientists and statespeople have difficulty is seeing past the short term consequences of their decisions.

Especially when teaching children to think, who have no long term perspective, it is very difficult to teach them to consider the 5, 10, 15 and 20 year consequences of their thinking, decisions and actions.

Are you aware of the Law of Unintended Consequences?

ist2_1473399_consequences.jpg Wikipedia says, “Unintended consequences are situations where an action results in an outcome that is not (or not only) what is intended. The unintended results may be foreseen or unforeseen, but they should be the logical or likely results of the action. For example, it is often conjectured that if the Treaty of Versailles had not imposed such harsh conditions on Germany, World War II would not have occurred. As such, war was an unintended consequence of the Treaty of Versailles … “

Go to Wikipedia for more on this topic …