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Do you ever wonder why cars aren’t called “horseless carriages” anymore? Today’s cars are just as horseless as they were a century ago. Horselessness is standard equipment on most new and late models, both foreign and domestic.

Framing the question this way may seem a bit absurd; yet, it’s a playful reminder that innovation does not emerge out of nothing. New innovations evolve from historical, iterative processes. The automobile developed out of, and in opposition to, concepts associated with the horse and carriage.

A creative, innovative mind also seeks to move beyond the given categories of thought established by binary frameworks.

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Lateral thinking, the ability to move horizontally across different categories of thought.

6a00e008d957708834019affc61a30970b-300x187The creative process is just that: a process.

We need to break out of thinking that is solely based on what we know, what we assume, and what we’ve experienced. Many of us are so entrenched in our industries that we don’t know how to think laterally or horizontally. We usually go a mile deep but only an inch wide. We haven’t given our people and ourselves the time and opportunities to explore other industries, cultures designs, ways of being and doing, and other “adjacent possibilities.”

If you want to take your “car” far beyond horses, even to the moon perhaps, you and your team need to understand how you got to where you are, and look outside of that familiar world to see where you can go.

Love is complicated, scientifically speaking. There’s no single, specific “love chemical” that surges through our bodies when we see our beloved, and we can’t point to a specific corner of the brain where love resides.

Still, scientists have measured real changes in our bodies when we fall in love: an ebb and flow of signaling molecules. In that early lustful phase, sex hormones like testosterone fuel the libido (in both men and women). The dopamine highs of new attraction have been compared by some scientists to the effects of cocaine use.

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Prime Minister Bob Hawke at SOT launch in Canberra, 1988, with SOT Principal Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson

On 30 May 1988 in Canberra the School of Thinking was officially launched in Australia by Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson in the presence of the then Governor General of Australia, His Excellency Sir Ninian Stephan AK GCMB GCVO KBE, at the Bi-Centennial Convention of 600 of Australia’s commonwealth, state and municipal statespeople.

After his foundation address, in which Dr Hewitt-Gleeson challenged that “thinking” as a school subject should be put on the curriculum for every school in Australia, Sir Ninian stood and said to Dr Hewitt-Gleeson, “You have just given the best keynote address I have ever heard!”

Sir Ninian was then presented with a Clever Brainusers Software Kit by Dr Hewitt-Gleeson.

Next to speak was the Prime Minister of Australia at the time and Rhodes scholar, The Honourable Robert J Hawke AC, GCL who commended Dr Hewitt-Gleeson for this initiative and agreeing,

No longer content to be just the lucky country, Australia must now become the clever country!

Prime Minister Hawke was then presented with a School of Thinking certificate by Dr Hewitt-Gleeson proclaiming him to be “Australia’s Number One Clever Brainuser” and to symbolise the vast potential of the power of Australia’s 16 million brains.

The historic event was reported in Australia’s largest circulation newspaper, The Sun – (Melbourne, Australia, Fri May 27, 1988): “The education for 600 of Australia’s notable statesmen will begin on Monday (30 May 1988) when Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson delivers the keynote address at the Bicentennial National Congress in Canberra.”

“The Clever Country” mission of the School of Thinking has been to get thinking taught on the Australian school curriculum as a core subject. “If Dr Hewitt-Gleeson has his way, Australian schoolchildren will, by 1992, have the study (of thinking) as much a part of their curriculum as the traditional subjects of maths and English,” recorded Australian author, Peter Fitzimons, in the Sydney Morning Herald (Wednesday September 5, 1990).

In his book, Clever (1993), Dr Hewitt-Gleeson wrote,

If we are to become a clever country and ensure our economic future and our stability as a nation, we may have to focus more on the productivity and potential of Australians as individual thinkers. As a national service, to provide training in thinking to every Australian would be less than the cost of one army tank!

The motto of the School of Thinking is

Nemo Nascitur Sapiens Artifex

“No-one is ever born a skilled thinker”

From the article originally published on JamesClear.com.

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Research has shown that you are 2x to 3x more likely to stick with your habits if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you will perform the behavior.

Psychologists call these specific plans “implementation intentions” because they state when, where, and how you intend to implement a particular behavior.

However research has also discovered implementation intentions only work when you focus on one goal at a time.

In fact, researchers found that people who tried to accomplish multiple goals were less committed and less likely to succeed than those who focused on a single goal.

This is important: developing a specific plan for when, where, and how you will stick to a new habit will dramatically increase the odds that you will actually follow through, but only if you focus on a single goal.

What Happens When You Focus on One Thing

Here is another science-based reason to focus on one habit at a time:

When you begin practicing a new habit it requires a lot of conscious effort to remember to do it. After awhile, however, the pattern of behavior becomes easier. Eventually, your new habit becomes a normal routine and the process is more or less mindless and automatic.

Researchers have a fancy term for this process called “automaticity.” Automaticity is the ability to perform a behavior without thinking about each step, which allows the pattern to become automatic and habitual.

But here’s the thing:

automaticity only occurs as the result of lots of repetition and practice. The more reps you put in, the more automatic a behavior becomes.

For example, this chart shows how long it takes for people to make a habit out of taking a 10-minute walk after breakfast.

In the beginning, the degree of automaticity is very low. After 30 days, the habit is becoming fairly routine. After 60 days, the process is about as automatic as it can become.

The most important thing to note is that there is some “tipping point” at which new habits become more or less automatic.

That said, the study cited above found the average habit takes about 66 days to become automatic. (Don’t put too much stock in that number. The range in the study was very wide and the only reasonable conclusion you should make is that it will take months for new habits to become sticky.)

Change Your Life Without Changing Your Entire Life

  1. You are 2x to 3x more likely to follow through with a habit if you make a specific plan for when, where, and how you are going to implement it.

  2. You should focus entirely on one habit. Research has found that implementation intentions do not work if you try to improve multiple habits at the same time.

  3. Research has shown that any given habit becomes more automatic with more practice. On average, it takes at least two months for new habits to become automatic behaviors.

This brings us to the punchline of this article…

The counterintuitive insight from all of this research is that the best way to change your entire life is by not changing your entire life. Instead, it is best to focus on one specific habit, work on it until you master it, and make it an automatic part of your daily life. Then, repeat the process for the next habit.

The way to master more things in the long-run is to simply focus on one thing right now.

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In the School of Thinking, the number one habit

to attain mastery of lateral thinking is the DFQ.

SOT #1 Habit …

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ

DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ DFQ