Beyond the Ten Commandments: Pope Francis’s top 10 secrets to happiness

Pope Francis smiles as he meets children during his June 25 general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

Pope Francis smiles as he meets children during his June 25 general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Slowing down, being generous and fighting for peace are part of Pope Francis’ secret recipe for happiness.

In an interview published in part in the Argentine weekly “Viva” July 27, the pope listed his Top 10 tips for bringing greater joy to one’s life:

1. Live and let live.

Everyone should be guided by this principle, he said, which has a similar expression in Rome with the saying, “Move forward and let others do the same.”

2. Be giving of yourself to others.

People need to be open and generous toward others, he said, because “if you withdraw into yourself, you run the risk of becoming egocentric. And stagnant water becomes putrid.”

3. Proceed calmly in life.

The pope, who used to teach high school literature, used an image from an Argentine novel by Ricardo Guiraldes, in which the protagonist – gaucho Don Segundo Sombra – looks back on how he lived his life.

“He says that in his youth he was a stream full of rocks that he carried with him; as an adult, a rushing river; and in old age, he was still moving, but slowly, like a pool” of water, the pope said. He said he likes this latter image of a pool of water – to have “the ability to move with kindness and humility, a calmness in life.”

Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime “doesn’t let you communicate” with each other.

4. A healthy sense of leisure

The pleasures of art, literature and playing together with children have been lost, he said. “Consumerism has brought us anxiety” and stress, causing people to lose a “healthy culture of leisure.” Their time is “swallowed up” so people can’t share it with anyone.

Even though many parents work long hours, they must set aside time to play with their children; work schedules make it “complicated, but you must do it,” he said.

Families must also turn off the TV when they sit down to eat because, even though television is useful for keeping up with the news, having it on during mealtime “doesn’t let you communicate” with each other, the pope said.

5. Sundays should be holidays.

Workers should have Sundays off because “Sunday is for family,” he said.

6. Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people.

“We need to be creative with young people. If they have no opportunities they will get into drugs” and be more vulnerable to suicide, he said.

“It’s not enough to give them food,” he said. “Dignity is given to you when you can bring food home” from one’s own labor.

7. Respect and take care of nature.

Environmental degradation “is one of the biggest challenges we have,” he said. “I think a question that we’re not asking ourselves is: ‘Isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature?’”

8. Stop being negative.

“Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem. That means, ‘I feel so low that instead of picking myself up I have to cut others down,’” the pope said. “Letting go of negative things quickly is healthy.”

Pope Francis kisses a child during his June 25 general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Alessandro Bianchi, Reuters)

9. Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs.

“We can inspire others through witness so that one grows together in communicating. But the worst thing of all is religious proselytism, which paralyzes: ‘I am talking with you in order to persuade you,’ No. Each person dialogues, starting with his and her own identity. The church grows by attraction, not proselytizing,” the pope said.

10. Work for peace.

“We are living in a time of many wars,” he said, and “the call for peace must be shouted. Peace sometimes gives the impression of being quiet, but it is never quiet, peace is always proactive” and dynamic.

Pope Francis also talked about the importance of helping immigrants, praising Sweden’s generosity in opening its doors to so many people, while noting anti-immigration policies show the rest of Europe “is afraid.”

He also fondly recalled the woman who helped his mother with the housework when he was growing up in Buenos Aires.

Concepcion Maria Minuto was a Sicilian immigrant, a widow and mother of two boys, who went three times a week to help the pope’s mother do laundry, since in those days it was all done by hand.

He said this hard-working, dignified woman made a big impression on the 10-year-old future pope, as she would talk to him about World War II in Italy and how they farmed in Sicily.

“She was as clever as a fox, she had every penny accounted for, she wouldn’t be cheated. She had many great qualities,” he said.

Even though his family lost touch with her when they moved, the then-Jesuit Father Jorge Bergoglio later sought her out and visited her for the last 10 years of her life.

“A few days before she died, she took this small medal out of her pocket, gave it to me and said: ‘I want you to have it!’ So every night, when I take it off and kiss it, and every morning when I put it back on, this woman comes to my mind.”

“She died happy, with a smile on her face and with the dignity of someone who worked. For that reason I am very sympathetic toward housecleaners and domestic workers, whose rights, all of them, should be recognized” and protected, he said. “They must never be exploited or mistreated.”

Pope Francis’ concern was underlined in his @Pontifex Twitter feed just a few days later, July 29, with the message: “May we be always more grateful for the help of domestic workers and caregivers; theirs is a precious service.”

– By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service.

What is a thinker?

A thinker is a sovereign individual who consciously values the natural rights of thinkers.The School of Thinking supports the natural rights of thinkers. Here are ten thinkers rights which are supported by the School of Thinking.

A Universal Declaration of Thinkers Rights


1. As thinkers, we have the right to use thinking in a quiet and confident manner.

2. As thinkers, we have the right to have pride in our thinking skill.

3. As thinkers, we have the right to use that skill and to consider a “thinking reaction” rather than a reaction based on emotion or experience alone. The thinking might make use of experience and emotion, but these would be part of the thinking instead of controlling it.

4. A thinker has the right to escape from current views of situations and to search for much better views of situations.

5. A thinker has the universal right to be wrong.

6. A thinker does not have to defend a point of view at all costs. There is the right to see other points of view and the right to design a much better decision.

7. A thinker has the right to acquire wisdom or to seek it out wherever it may be found. Wisdom is quite distinct from the sort of cleverness that is taught in school. Cleverness may be useful for dealing with set puzzles or defending local truths but wisdom is required for designing a safer future.

8. A thinker has the right to get on with his or her own work and to get along with other thinkers and if things go wrong a thinker has the right to think things through and to fix them without creating a fuss.

9. A thinker has the right to spell out the factors involved in a situation and also the reasons behind a decision.

10. Above all, a thinker has the right to be asked to think about something, to focus thinking in a deliberate manner upon any subject. Thinking can be used as a tool by the thinker at will. The use of this tool can be enjoyable whatever the outcome. This applied thinking is practical—the sort of thinking that is required to get things done.

– Adapted from the Learn-To-Think Coursebook and Instructors Manual 
© 1982  Michael Hewitt-Gleeson and Edward de Bono, Capra New USA.

“Productivity + Innovation = Return On Payroll”

Video – 6 minutes.

PRODUCTIVITY IS MEASURED BY GOVERNMENTS and companies, but it is only part of the picture. A return on payroll, or ROP, is what leaders should be delivering to their constituents and shareholders, respectively.

So says Dr. Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, founder of the ‘School of Thinking‘ and prolific author on creative and lateral thinking. In this Insight, Michael discusses how X10 Thinking can assist in growing value, by improving the capability of the existing workforce to make the right management decisions more often.



NewSell is the killer app for selling. For an immediate surge in an individual’s sales results. For a much better return on your enterprise marketing budget. For the quickest way to multiply your customers by ten!

Newsell is based on the selling switch: uncheck2check.

uncheck2check was researched and developed by Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson as part of his PhD in customer science, under the mentorship of Dr George Gallup, founder of The Gallup Poll. Dr Gallup said, “Newsell is the first new strategy for selling in 50 years!”

uncheck2check is written up in his three best-selling books on the theory and practise of customer science. They are:

The XIO Memeplex: Multiply Your Busines By Ten!
WOMBAT Selling: How to sell by Word of Mouth.


Click here to request your own copy of the ebook: “WOMBAT Selling: How to sell by Word of Mouth”


Feedback and Comments: Unedited, July 2014

Your thinking lessons are quite addictive. The most enjoyable and worthwhile use of the internet I have experienced.
 Neville (teacher)
 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 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.
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
 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

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!
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. 
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,
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.
 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…
 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.
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.
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.
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.
 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.
 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.
That's 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 !!
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.
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
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…..
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
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)
 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I am stuck in this CVS at the moment because it is a role I am employed to perform, it is not a positive or good place to be but I am well aware that when I do get through it, and am able to move onto another role I will be better for having had the experience. This level of awareness of my CVS and future BVS is what has me extremely focused on learning as much as I can while here, and ensuring my personal development is progressing even if this ‘job’ isn’t.
Negative thoughts — I used to have one negative thought and it would grow and grow! These thoughts coloured other areas of life and work. I had to make a concience choice to change this pattern of thinking. Now I can examine the negatives and spin it around to find positives — all negatives have a up side but sometimes it takes effort and time for it to be revealed
I have been asking myself that question for some time and have never settled on an answer. The way I see it, the most important thing is to keep asking myself the question.
Embracing the Challenger Sale model
To borrow from a famous Einstein quote; The definition of insanity is thinking the same way over and over and expecting a different result
That there is a set way of working — a set kind of employment situation, or employer, that will define my career. My bvs is that I can work in any way, for any one (including myself) I like. It can be paid or unpaid… there are many ways to work and expand my career, and limiting it in the traditional sense is just that — limiting.
I can organise my day betetr to enable a more efficient use of my time
“Knowingly” and “Actively” thinking so not to get “bogged down” by the group think of “this is the way it has always” been done.
Try to see the bigger picture and not getting bogged down in the minor details.
This is a bit like stepping outside your ‘comfort zone”. I think agreeing to do this ‘thinking course’ was my most recent idea I have risen above. Perhaps normally I would not worry about such a course, but to take this on, is a small step forward here.
I have a long held view for a particular change that is starting to materialise, with that materialisation, I am challenging that “long held view” to ensure that the cvs2bvs is indeed true.
Never lose sight of the fact we can always improve ourselves and can learn something new everyday even though we may think we know it all.
i will think of deleting Clash of clans … so far i have enjoyed playing that game … now thinking about deleting is a big ‘something else’ for me as it will destroy the empire i have established but on the other hand it will save me a huge heap of time to do something more meaningful going forward
sometimes its hard to go outside your comfort zone and try new things…….will work on rectifying this!
I was thinking to apply my managerial skills to my personel finances. The core idea I have risen above is you are destined to be doomed. I have escaped from the box of Always expecting the worse to happen. My cvs to bvs is realisation that, Look at the bvs and work towards that from cvs.
Looking at all of the possible answers before deciding on a particular course of action. Considering other alternatives.
Rehearse my thinking skills and see where I can improve them
great optimistic view. The future can be brighter or better depending on our view or what we want the future to be. To be optimistic, the future ‘is’ better than the current.
Too busy during my working day for mind games.
To make a difference….even if that means making a difference to just one other fellow human being or one other living creature!
Skilled thinking can be taught — There is always room for improvement, even within ourselves
Changing the way I think , moving from not so much negative to positive -more of a different approach. Being more mindful in my everyday view of life.
Get to know your staff, develop your staff, and counsel and coach your staff
“Brainpower” is an interesting term. I get the thinking with these question, however the scoring is so flawed that it has no meaning. I guess it is an attempt to place a stick in the sand to gauge improvement. Even though I scored myself high the reality may be that the capacity in my thinking is no different than someone that assessed themselves with a lower score. An extemely subjective exercise.
Thinking is a skill you develop over time. Thinking outside the box is the hardest skill
Allow and empower people to make decisions. Celebrate the successful decisions, and allow people to learn from the unsuccessful ones.
Rising above the current view of focussing on what I am not achieving to a bvs of what I am achieving and doing well. bvs = Celebrating our daily wins.
Having lived life so far taking very safe calculated risks I have recently embraced the need to follow my heart more and take a chance with big decisions in life as the regret of not doing so is far worse than a potential failure.
dont believe/assume current situation or what you are told. Think for yourself about a better way to do it, continuous improvement.


Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson
School of Thinking



On x10 thinking


Jack Welch (1985)

“Michael, you are a friend of the company. I wish I had a management team that really understood the x10 equation. It’s the value-added role in the management process. It’s the simplest idea in the world!”


Larry Page (2013)

“I live by the gospel of x10.  Most companies would be happy to improve a product by 10 percent. Not me. I expect my employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition. I’m not satisfied with discovering a couple of hidden efficiencies or tweaking code to achieve modest gains.

1,000% improvement requires rethinking problems entirely, exploring the edges of what’s technically possible, and having a lot more fun in the process. I also call it moonshot thinking“.