Does Exercise Really Boost Your Mood?

Why did ‘marathon runners’ in this lab experiment  become more anxious and neurotic than the nonrunners? Presumably because of the volume of their running.

The apparent implication of that finding – that too much running makes an animal a nervous wreck – might seem disconcerting. But as this study, published in the journal Hippocampus, and additional new research makes clear, a great deal still needs to be understood about just how exercise affects mood.

— For original NEW YORK TIMES article here

Special treat: Doggy Dissonance

The Australian Thinker of 2011, Professor Peter Singer, has been acknowledged for raising our human consciousness about our animal companions or friends.

Florence Nightingale wrote in her 1860 book, Notes on Nursing: “A small pet animal is often an excellent companion for the sick…… A pet bird in a cage is sometimes the only pleasure of an invalid confined for years to the same room.”

Taking note of their wisdom, many people are now discussing enlightened thinkers like Nightingale and Singer and saying let’s not even call them “pets”. Why not try something new or ten times better? Let’s not even say “drunk as a skunk” or ” sly as a fox” or “dumb as a sheep”. Sheep are not dumb they are very clever at being sheep. Much cleverer than you or I.

Let’s call them our animal companion or animal friend.


This clip is a special treat of doggy dissonance and is our thank you for your patience when the site was down.



First Intake: Metacognition Month

The first intake of Metacognition Month already has 20 participants.

Starting on May Day, the first of May 2011, School of Thinking will be celebrating Metacognition Month.

All SOT participants will receive an email a day. There are no fees. You may invite a friend, too.

If you would like to be considered as a participant, please POST your answer below to the following DFQ (Daily Feedback Question):

What do you think is metacognition?

Metacognition Month

Metacognition is the highest state of thinking. It’s actually thinking about thinking. Being aware of one’s thinking and directing one’s thinking in a deliberate and strategic way.

Wisdom, where it can be found, is also metacognition.

Starting on May Day, the first of May 2011, School of Thinking began celebrating Metacognition Month.

There are 369 participants who are now receiving an email a day. There are no fees. You may invite a friend, too. Just forward this article …

If you would like to be considered as a participant, please POST your answer below to the following DFQ (Daily Feedback Question):

What do you think is metacognition?

3 Questions that Will Kill Innovation

HBR: by Tony Golsby-Smith

A big insurance company I know of wants to design a radical new future, so they have committed significant resources to large-scale innovation. But as the board and executive committee are learning, embracing innovation means starting to ask a whole new set of questions.

Here are three toxic questions that you probably ask that are guaranteed to kill innovation:

“What is the return on investment on this project?” This question scares innovation team and forces them to tell lies. They simply cannot answer it because it’s way too early to know what the ROI will be. So they either make up an answer and stretch the truth, or they throw buckets of speculative financial data at the question and hope no one notices that they aren’t answering it.

“Can you prove your case and back it up with hard data?” Ask this question of an innovation team, and they will put all their energy into the wrong areas. They will try hard to extrapolate numbers from market trends and past experience, rather than thinking about customers, good ideas, and new paradigms.

“Are you meeting your milestones?” This question will force an innovation team to abandon anything controversial and go back to the concrete world that they already know. They might get something done, but it won’t be innovative. Milestones suit a construction project where you know what you are going to build, but they are inappropriate for an innovation or learning project.

As a board member or executive committee member, you aren’t necessarily trying to kill innovation. It’s just that innovation runs counter to so many of the standard tests and processes that make businesses (and executives) successful. It’s hard to accept that innovation requires exploring unknown territory via a winding road – you cannot see around the next corner. You have to be comfortable with “We’re not sure yet.”

Fortunately, there are some great alternative questions can you ask both to give you insight into what your innovators and doing and to help them feel comfortable and thrive.

— Click here to see these alternative questions:

99 Thinktips plus 1

Not long ago I was invited to address the 800 students and teachers of the Senior School of St Michael’s Grammar School, St Kilda, Melbourne.

I was asked to talk about “Diversity in Thinking”.

In 1983, School of Thinking originated the idea of ‘Six Thinking Hats’ to show that there is more than the traditional one way of thinking–logic.

Today, after 30 years of teaching thinking and training teachers of thinking around the world, it is plain to me that there is a vast, virtually unlimited, number of ways of thinking ( for example, see this Wikipedia list).

There are not just 6 thinking hats, nor 60 thinking hats nor even 600 thinking hats, there are in fact many, many more … at least 6 billion thinking hats on Planet Earth!

To get you started, here are over 100 THINKTIPS reprinted from my book THE X10 MEMEPLEX: Multiply Your Business By Ten! (Prentice Hall 2000):

ESCAPE: How can I escape?
“Help! I’m trapped. How can I escape?” This is the cry of the thinker. Why? Because THE most difficult feat of thinking is to escape from your point-of-view. All of us are trapped in the special world we create for ourselves in our brain, our own unique viewpoint, our CVS. Your world and my world are different. You are trapped in your CVS as surely as I am trapped in my CVS.

— For the other 99 THINKTIPS click through to here …