Michael’s approach to thinking is extremely simple but incredibly powerful. I apply it to everything I do.
Peter, Young Australian Manufacturer of the Year 2009.
THE STUDENTS are the most important reason for the School of Thinking. The SOT Experience is their training and the value of these skills used in real life in seeking to multiply their health, wealth, productivity and security by ten!
Since 1995, a unique innovation of the online School of Thinking is that the students–as individuals and as a campus body–are also part of the faculty.
In response to the SOT daily feedback questions (DFQs) students around the world voluntarily contribute many thousands of comments on the SOT lessons and articles. Many insights, edits, suggestions, corrections and improvements result from this ongoing interactive and daily collaborative effort.
SOT students range widely from farmers, truck-drivers and retirees to young school students, teachers, parents, scholars and Nobel scientists to knowledge-workers in media, business, sport, politics and the arts, and from more than 50 countries worldwide.
As a result of all this collaborative work over the past 18 years, the SOT instruction model has evolved to become a very robust and effective training method for transferring metacognitive skills online, and at a distance.
Later, in 2001, Wikipedia launched a similar model of an online encyclopedia where the readers also become the writers. This is also an example of a voluntary and collaborative online model which has proven to be very effective.
More comments from SOT students …
Your thinking lessons are quite addictive. The most enjoyable and worthwhile use of the internet I have experienced. Neville (teacher) Michael, Your training has given me a new view on life, a constant reflection on what's going on. Have always been fairly positive and focused but this has heightened or re awakened this passion. You are never really there even when you think you are. Thanks for a sensational journey. Can't believe the impact it has had on my thought patterns. Karl (sales executive) I have enjoyed every minute that I've worked with your material, Michael, and benefited more than I can measure … Graeme (entrepreneur) I am 92 years and find my readings and study in this area is sufficient for my poor old brain to cope with at my stage of life . I wish you every success in your efforts to foster enthusiasm of a younger generation in this philosophy. Len Gamble The most important point(s) I will take away from this training is that our 'old' norms or memes influence what we think to the point where they can constrain our ability to grow. What is possible is endless and as a company we need to keep pushing the boundaries. For example we need to search for more time with the customer - without always pushing for the sale. I believe the daily training method has been very effective at reinforcing the X10 concept. I would feel comfortable recommending the course to at east 10 people!!!!!!!!!! Thanks - Kylie (business consultant) For me the "total sum" of all the lessons has provided me with a platform for growth and continuous improvement. Focus, simplicity and repetition of business tools for immediate integration. The understanding that it is possible for me to X10 my business which I would have previously thought was not even remotely achievable. Also, the daily routine becomes daily habits. Have a great week . . . .Jennelle (sales) This has really got me thinking about the business l am in. Training is a key to the success of our business yet we only have 2 days a year. They are extremely beneficial days but are rarely put into practice. I can now start prioritising daily training to try and get a better result. I can also take some of the valuable concepts that l have learnt from you and start talking with other staff members and trying to get them to look at it. The thing that l like most about this training is the fact that l work for a new company that has only been selling for 6 months. I feel l have a real opportunity to apply this now into the business as we have been told we have to have 10% of the market by the end of next year. We have 1% at the moment and 10% seems daunting. Hello Michael, I'm sorry it took me so long to send you an answer for lesson 32. As I have written to you in the past, my company is installing new software and it took more time than expected with more glitches to fix than thought of initially. Following your course and implementing your suggestions have been the greatest rewards of my life. The problem is that it seems that the path of self-transformation is also a path of loss. Let me explain. I applied your suggestions in my job and I have improved my productivity at least 20 times over. What is interesting is that I have attracted not rewards or accolades but terrible displays of jealousy from my "former" colleagues and even my immediate supervisor! I have even received a pep talk from a colleague that my newfound "zealousness" is making the others look bad and I was warned to tone it down. Imagine! Initially, my supervisor was happy with the results until her supervisor asked that I be part of a task force and not she. Since that time, my supervisor seems to be on a warpath to find mistakes in my work. To the point that her supervisor has noticed the harassment.... To keep questioning myself and others around me, assessing my behaviour and to never assume that best solution has been reached - there's always a better one, no matter how good the current view is. Thanks Michael, I have found this course extremely interesting and challenging. Regards, Kellie (sales manager - primary customers) I am going to change the way I start my day at work and work back to front, by changing the order of the work I do during the day. With this experiment I will see if I can fit everything in and still have time to take a minute or two out for myself. Wendy (office administrator) Since our sales are down and we are thinking about different sales campaigns l will go through our database and see who the most potential people for buying our product are and instead of just limiting the number to about 20 - l will x10 and endeavour to get about 200. Robyn (sales) I could bring some more business activity by doing 10 more checks using different means to contact my customers. This would have the added benefit of pleasing my employer equally, not that they would necessarily acknowledge this of course, but who cares I'd know. James (postal services) I think the most important thing in this training is that it teaches you the successful behaviour of increasing customer contact as an alternative to closing the sale'. This takes the pressure off the customer. At the same time, the more customer contact, the more chance of people saying YES to what I'm selling. It means putting a focus on the interaction with customers rather than stress on the decision of the customer. Just knowing this, I have done a more focused, complete job of interacting with the customer. Adrian (recruitment consultant) I would love to continue to get as much knowledge from you as I can. I also ordered your book but unfortunately have not received it yet. Your course has really changed the way I think and do things and brought me into a great turning point in my professional life. Thank you from the deep of my heart Hi Michael, The last two months have enlightened me in a way that is both amazingly practical and 'dangerously' clever. I have to admit that I do not regard myself as a business but I do know that the businesses I work for are most surprised with my increased thinking power. Not to mention my personal life which has developed radical new insights and possibilities. I understand that you choose the members of your X10 Club. Know that I chew on every word you write and that each e-mail from you is received here with great joy and considered mighty usefull and valuable. GJ Dr. Michael, your course is heaven sent but you should warn, at the very outset, that transformations do not only occur at the personal, psychological level but also at the social level. CVS to BVS... you should also include Current Social Position... to Better Social Position... When you change... you don't know how much you change. Thank you Dr. Michael for everything. Without any doubt whatsoever, CVSTOBVS combined with 10X is just about the most powerful concept I have ever come across. When I first read about this concept, it was like a very bright light switching on in my mind. I intend to make this a permanent part of my everday life. Your PTV ideas are fascinating too... Very similar to the concepts developed by Frank R. Wallace, who's work, I'm sure you are aware of. And as you say, possibly the most important part of any new training is repetition... So, I'm going to take the course again, maybe 10X times. All the best Craig J. Hawkins Michael, You definitely got me there. I have been procrastinating for ages. I have set up a web design/IT training company and I haven't even bothered to put an ad in the paper. How sad but after reading this lesson, I am going to do something about it. thanks Jean Beeko Since it is a last lesson I want to thank you Michael for this inspiring informative and extremely useful set of lectures. I also want to commend you on your high humanitarian standards which were expressed by your doing it all for free. I am convinced that it was a valuable experience for me. I am sure I will come back to your lectures in the future refreshing them in my mind. Very well may be that your personal guidance will be sought again. That is why I do not say "Farewell", I say: "Till we meet again". With gratitude Sincerely yours, Kim Kogan P.S. Stranger things happened, so if you ever in Riga, Latvia please do let me know. I could be of help in many ways around here. I'm a copywriter and forever looking for new angles on the same old stories, so I can easily see how applying CVS to BVS would be very useful. Today, I'm in the process of writing some direct mail letters for a large company offering a pretty standard service - I'll use the old CVS to BVS for that. I also used it (quite successfully) in the car today when I was just about to have a little go at my husband for something he did in the traffic - I used CVS to BVS to see that he (instead of being distracted and not seeing something coming up) is a very capable driver with very quick reactions - able to get himself out of sticky situations! Inge Well, good friends.... I see you as a highly intelligent person with his heart at the right place. The method you have developed is an excellent way of empowerment, it cuts the crap from the real issues and is a perfect way of leading ones life now and in coming years. A very honourable brainfuck (in the good sense of the word). Indeed, the feedback replies are those things that keep one on track. As speaking for myself, I didn't experience the feedback replies as 'a pain in the arse' for me it was more a delight and I was somewhat disturbed by your halt on the lessons in the week of the Bali-bombing. Yes, it was a horrible act of terrorism and needed to be cared for in terms of overthinking and mourning but for me, being on the other side of the world, it wasn't such fortitude as it was for you so a few more explaining words for your international students on the subject would have been useful. Then again, I can fully understand your reaction to the happening and that it was important to you, as my mentor, to stop and continue one week later (very honourable time of mourning.) Respect. I shall be frank and forward with you. Although I ate your lessons with great enthousiasm and feel that already now I pick the fruits of this seven week labour, I find it hard to find anyone else to try this course as well. My little research shows that although people are always looking for easier ways of obtaining their goal, they are also very afraid of setting their brainfunctions in a different order, even, or especially when they are given the tools to do it themselves. So, good friend, you are probably laughing out loud for me taking this so serious, and you may, I found the last weeks an enjoyment and I will stick around. Whenever you need help, I am great in serving coffee, send me an e-mail. I feel honoured to have met you. Wish you lots of succes with this trainingprogram (Of which I will tell people I think they would be interested and good students.) Have a mighty great day! Thank you Sir, GJ Here are some of my results: 1) A stronger measurement of productivity at work. My email and phone statistics have increased. 2) I am more accepting of other people's opinions. I allow others to have opinions that differ from my own. I am much less argumentative and it is difficult for others to bait me into an argument. 3) I have become much more participatory in Toastmasters. Through my repetition of participation, I am improving my public speaking skills. 4) I don't get stuck in my CVS nearly as often as I used to. I have been transforming my CVS to a BVS with effectiveness. 5) I have a better understanding of why people are the way they are; i.e. PTV. Hence I am much more accepting of other peoples traits. Michael: This is just damn fine writing! No wonder Dr de Bono is pissed off! This is playful, fun, imaginative, compelling, current, and in the lingo of our times. It runs circles around him in three dimensions. Bravo! It is like good journalism, perceptive cultural anthropology. I am dazzled. Hot stuff! It has "Wild Success" written all over it. Have a nice day, Y'All... AJN Michael, My name is Jet Tribolet. I’m 16 years old and live in Simpsonville, South Carolina. I’m currently a student at Greenville Technical College with plans to transfer next fall to UNC-CH to get a PhD in computer science. My general interests include increasing my abilities and intelligence, altered states of consciousness, martial arts, and computers. The School of Thought sounds very interesting and seems promising. I look forward to the coming lessons. - Jet Tribolet It has provided me of something to look forward to. Like a bonus in my life at first but then gradually going into a steady routine of arranging my thoughts. CVSTOBVS is now controlling my mind as a beautiful brainwash. Life is looking simple and I feel clever. Things that seem unrealistic at first came closer like being relaxed about CVS and knowing that BVS is only one step ahead. I don't know where it all will end but heck, I will succeed. GJ Just learning about CVSTOBVS has been incredibly empowering... To me this is a genius formula, because whatever level I am at (CVS), I can always move toward a BVS, this is incredibly exiting, particularly when combined with the 10x formula. A particular area where I am now doing more is my advertising, when you are focused on BVS you are always focused on doing more, but not just more, but more importantly of better quality too, I get more ads out and get more results. I am overwhelmed with the structure of the thinking in this lesson and it's outcome. The beauty of its practicality. Your lessons are superb. The speed is going up and so is my feeling about life in general. Ceevee-es to beevee-es is trying to feel comfy in my brain (singing helps) and I hope the QRH styleware will settle with the same force. Your lessons are opening my eyes in a way I didn't expect so far. I am looking forward to the next. Chapeau! GJ Cognetics seems to me to be like one of the elegant ratios or fundamentals found in physics like the square of..a pressure applied to a liquid in a closed vessel is transmitted undiminished throughout every portion of the containing vessel or the acceleration rate until terminal speed is reached when a bird dies at 5000m over Colo Putty Road the co-efficient of drag...and so on.. A fundamental with universal application Now I can do 10 extra tasks...make that the BVS rather than the CVS which was 1 extra task. I used to feel satisfied with 1 extra and proud, smug, superior and or a winner if I did 2 extra. Thanks. The confidence that it is possible to X10, and the BVS, and the 24/7/52/365 meme, and that if you constantly use it with the 'I will achieve attitude' you will do as good as is humanly possible! From now on, that's my bottom line! I am very grateful for your support. I will live this to my last day, happy in the knowledge that through you, I am better able to help others in a worthwhile way! Thank you Michael Gordon Rogers I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I am employed with dual responsibility as the Assistant Controller and IS Manager for our company Head Office. I am looking forward to this course as my friend has just completed the training and cannot say enough good things about it. Sincerely, Kerri Mattice Decarie Hello Michael I'd be delighted to be enlisted in your X10 Club - I'm intrigued by the simplicity of your X10 concept, while attracted by its potential in many aspects of life. It's to your credit that you have identified this multiplier approach- your book makes fascinating reading. One advantage is the mindset that the formula creates and the actions that seem to flow from that mindset. Please count me in. Regards Fergus Thomson The most staggering realisation I've received in this lesson is (to quote): "If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." To me, this is an absolutely (with apologies for this word!) mind-blowing concept, because it makes me realise that nothing is sacred. Knowing anything is really just a matter of time. Its no wonder that people are now writing books with ambitious titles like "The Mind of God"! Science is uncertain. It is this very uncertainty that has eclipsed the "Absolute Truth" way of knowing, and made possible the tremendous progress the human race has made. I love this! Its such a powerful and exciting new concept for me. You know, I'm a science (marine biology) student myself, but I've never really thought of science in this way. I've always known that science is not based on absolute truth, and there is no such animal. I've always known that there are truths in science, but there's no absolute truth. And I've always known that nothing can be proved in science. But I've never quite seen science in the way you've expressed it. Why is this so exciting for me? Well, when I look around, I see just how most of us, even in the sciences, never really think the way we should. Professors who don't want to teach, much less learn. Students who don't ask questions and just copy each other. We all want to just "survive", just float our way through what we have to do, and get it over with. We all want to look for the "safe" topics to investigate, the ones we know we'll get funding for, the ones we know we can get data for easily, and the ones that will allow us to publish our papers (maybe 2 or 3 papers each year), so our peers can respect us. But do we respect ourselves in the end? I think not. I KNOW I WON'T, no matter how many papers I eventually publish, if all I do is "me too" work. Because why crawl when you can walk? Why walk when you can run? Why run when you can ride? And why ride when you can fly? We often let ourselves down. We lament that standards have fallen. (And they have, because we've let them fall). We lament that people like Einstein, Watson and Crick, Schrodinger, Darwin, etc are rarities. But if we all applied ourselves as diligently as they did, what we could achieve would probably make the concept of "genius" redundant. It is not just in the sciences where many people play it safe (though this is probably the saddest area of all). But in much of our everyday life we abdicate our claim to intelligence. We believe everything we read in Time magazine. Accept all we see on CNN. Agree completely with Larry King's or Oprah Winfrey's opinions. We have outrageous opinions foisted on us by manipulative people through the media, and we enthusiastically swallow them. The absurdity of it never hits home. Thats how most us live. We let our own biases and the biases of those we like or we allow to manipulate us get in the way of finding a better truth. So much so that when we're confronted with one, we cannot even recognise it! Thank you, Michael. Its people like you who remind us we could be so much more than we are now. I will consider it my duty and responsibilty to be informed. I will make it my duty to read a lot. Read not just the news or my own speciality, but whatever I find of interest and importance - politics, history, science, literature, biographies, etc. In addition I will use resources such the internet to learn. Only someone armed with knowledge can counter challenges. Second, I will learn to stand up for myself and question authority (defined as any other person or group's attempts to control me). I will not abdicate my right to think. I will not just acquiesce to the Boss because I need a job, or succumb to the intimidations of a Government officer because of threats, or accept the opinions of a professor simply because he has written 2 dozen books and 50 papers. My opinion is as worthy as anyone else's. And authority figures are as human as I am. If Martin Luther could stand up to the Pope (an unthinkable thing back then), I can surely learn to think for myself. Third, everywhere, and in all cases, I will learn to think for myself. Go Mohammed!! Dear Michael, For me, the most important thing is that the course has expanded the context of my thinking......it has given me the tools to reach for my goals with a expanded horizon and act on my fears and worries.....see you in a few years'time !! Jacques Hi Michael Thanks for the invitation. I always thought something was missing, something that could propel me into a more meaningful future, but I never new what it was until your daily breadmails came along. I have tended to under achieve in the past but I am trying to change that now, what would be great is to continue growing and expanding on what I already learnt from you by continuing these daily mails from the X10 club. Maybe it's to late for this old dog to learn all the new tricks but I really want to make a difference to my kids, I want them to learn how to think by using your brain software, hopefully with the doctor close by we can keep the Plato virus at bay. Richard ;) I enjoy the challenges you present; moreover, your way of thinking expands my own approach and gives me the sense I'm not alone out here. Thanks. Suzy Saul That the course increased my confidence in my ability to deal with business and life issues I face. thanks Michael Ian Hi Michael, Would indeed like to be considered for membership in your X10 Club - Why? Because life is short. and since i've started corresponding with you - my thinking has been put into practice/application fantastically successfully...I want more !!! Thanks A Million By The Way..... For Sharing..... Suni Dear Michael Thank you for the internet course in speed thinking. Though I am probably one of those who hardly ever provided feedback, I enjoyed reading your material, particularly as it covered a wide range of topics. Since commencing the course, I have recommended it to several people, some of which already knew about the school of thinking. As long, as this "awareness virus" spreads, there is hope for a future change in thinking... Kindest regards Constanze Dear Michael, This exercise comes at a good time, because I am seeking ways to raise income(either by employment or a business) and I need to enhance typical methods of search. During the next ten days I will: 1. Develop 10 different cover letters and send out to various types of businesses. 2. Talk with 10 different people about employment opportunities in this area for a person with my background. 3. Look at 10 career choices that I could make outside my field of experience. 4. Line up 10 interviews. 5. Compile a list of 10 businesses I could start on my own. 6. Work 10 hours a day on these various searches and contacts. 7. Look at 10 different ways to fund my own construction project. 8. Contact 10 employment agencies to find work here or abroad. 9. Narrow my list of possibilities to 10 of the strongest. 10.Develop my next list of using 10 for the next 10 days. Thank you, David Holst To keep questioning myself and others around me, assessing my behaviour and to never assume that best solution has been reached - there's always a better one, no matter how good the current view is. Thanks Michael, I have found this course extremely interesting and challenging. Regards, Kellie (sales manager - primary customers) PTV has a huge influence on our behaviour and most of the time unnoticed by us. We learn from the childhood onwards how to sort and classify things and how to put them into their appropriate boxes. We even try to classify human beings (including ourselves) to put them into categories (star signs, psychological tests like MBT) and we believe them and unconsciously use the syllogism. It suits our nature to have everything in order not to allow any fuzziness and chaos, because order gives us security. Reading this lesson it came clear to me how much I myself tend to think in this "box-pattern" without noticing it and how often this leads to the judgement of something that might have been different otherwise and that is an insight! Steph (businesswoman) Michael, this is so interesting, I like the way you put your teaching into stories with a slight touch of humour!! Regards, Luana (young knowledge worker) The most important insight for me is the history/reason why most of us think and act the way they do. I had never really considered the impact of Plato and the others in any detail before. It has opened my eyes. Kind Regards, Bruce (businessman) Thank you for your wonderful book! My life has already changed from the course I did with you. My interaction with you this year has been one of my highlights. All the best, George (home appliances) Michael, I have already been rewarded by gaining valuable insights into the way in which I think, and now have a sound framework for considering and practicing things in the future. The information and insights in your daily breadmail lessons have been my greatest reward, and I really do appreciate your sharing this with anyone who is interested in improving their thinking. Thank you Michael. I also intend to go out to dinner with my wife and recap the important lessons I have learned (something we did together throughout this course...so she has also picked up quite a bit of the valuable insights). Kindest Regards, David (government officer) I have re-learned the art (and practise) of thinking through and questioning things that are part of normal life but that I accept as being CVS. I have also rekindled the PRR habit, which is very different from just thinking that I am doing it! Thanks very much for the course I enjoyed it and found it a big help. The PTV idea was challenging but also an eye opener... Will certainly pass it onto others to complete....keep up the good work... Bev Durston Portfolio Manager 1. what I lacked ( I now perceive ) was system , the training provided has empowered me to achieve my objectives professionally and personally. By utilising tools and disciplines which are a lot more powerful , a lot more fun and less onerous than the head butting defence of my perceived truths I have made more gains in the last months than I have for a very long time. This assistance has been a revelation , now by applying it in a habitual manner I look forward to a lot more revelations becoming evident - many thanks. Don. Good luck :) The one thing from these lessons that sticks in my mind is CVSTOBVS, there is always another way to look at a situation or perform a task. I know now if I find myself seemingly at a dead end, I have running around my head all the time now CVSTOBVS, is there another way or something I have not tried yet, keep looking for alternatives. I was looking through some old CD's I have and came across an electronic library, it included a lot of works from Plato and other writers you mentioned over the last 7 weeks, I thought I know that name, where as before I would have skipped over it, maybe I might get a chance to read some of them for myself one day. Thanks for the last 7 weeks daily mails, I have really looked forward to getting them each day and found them very interesting to read. I have been looking for a key to turn my head into something more useful, I think I have just found it with your brain software. Cheers Richard I know look at things closer, looking for alternatives, ramifications to both myself and those around me. I feel that I have made better, clearer decisions over the past couple of weeks, and don't rush at life like a bull at a gate as much as I did. I am stopping to smell the roses and enjoy the small steps along the way, to achieve my longer term goals. Thanks again Michael. Janette Thinking is not an automatic thing. I takes deliberate effort. The most valuable concept for me was the ongoing mindset of taking the current view situation(CVS) and continually moving to a better view situation(BVS), and doing this in a never ending cycle. It's simple yet elegant. Thanks again and good luck. A new and fresh way to see everything. The new perspective you have provided me is invaluable. And your lessons -- contents, tone, mood, writing -- are extremely interesting. I'm sorry the course has come to an end. My next step is to buy your books. Thanks for everything. Have a happy life. Thanks you so much!! It was very kind of you to take the time and effort to give us a free course. It was very worthwhile and I have saved many of the emails for future reference. I hope you keep us on your email list and let us know of any international touring you do, ie, if you are ever presenting in the Washington, DC area I would love to attend. Thanks again, Michelle James Dear Michael, I now have much more enjoyable arguments with people because I am not trying to defend my own point of view as much. I can also annoy my girlfriend by suggesting that she try doing a CVS to BVS. Regards, Nigel I think that the most important thing that I have taken from the training is the use of cvstobvs. I see that there is much to be gained when one makes the decision to search for a bvs I try to use it regularly and as I said earlier I do the repetitions cvstobvs when I am doing my morning jog. Regards, Ken I thank you for the opportunity to do this course. It reinforced for me many of the memes developed in your Newsell book and Software For The Brain. Each day I find myself using CVSTOBVS with results that have been noticed by others around me. Health, work and family life have all benefited. My efforts also to X10 my work practises have been paying off (whilst no X10 yet, things are on the way). Thank you again. Hope you enjoy the Christmas Season and have a good New Year! Tony (IT sales) The most important thing for me is that I will never become afflicted with PTV as long as I live. And amazingly it cost me nothing to become "virus free"!! Michael I have enjoyed your lessons and our conversations and hope that we will meet in the future. Your contribution to your students and to learning cannot be overstated and will certainly change our lives. Best Regards Tony Chew