When people think about changing their subconscious premises, they often envision therapy. Therapy is an important tool for understanding and addressing deeply-held conflicts. A therapist can help you identify such conflicts and give you emotional and practical support in addressing them. But, in my view, therapy is not the place to start. The place to […]

There are only three basic cognitive obstacles that can stop your thinking in its tracks: blankness, overload, and conflict—or some combination of the three. Level 1 Intervention: The 3-Minute Solution When you first notice you’re stuck, try “thinking on paper” for three minutes. This is the general-purpose mental accelerator. At the end of the three […]

In the Launch Program and in my Thinking Lab courses on “Developing a Central Purpose” and “Evolving a Scheduling Infrastructure,” I advocate doing “daily thought work.” This means that you schedule 15-30 minutes every day to “think on paper” about a specific topic, and you keep it up for weeks or months. You may be wondering […]

In a previous article, I explained that your motivation to act results from the interaction between your present awareness and your value hierarchy. A value hierarchy is a psychological structure consisting of all of your values, interrelated with one another.  Some of the connections are strong, some are weak. Some are direct, some are indirect. VIewing […]

My list of “Top Ten Thinking Tactics” has evolved over time. Many years ago, I sent out a postcard that listed the top ten thinking tactics as: Think on paper in full sentences. Overloaded? Make a list. Confused? Ask yourself “What DO I know?” Stuck? Complain to yourself about why. Blank? Make a “maybe” list. […]

If you want to manage your motivation, you need to understand your own value hierarchy. A value hierarchy is not a list of your top ten values or a bucket list. It is a psychological structure consisting of all of the values you have formed in relation to one another. An emotion results from the […]

Many people get stuck prioritizing, because to say “yes” to one thing is to say “no” to another. That “no” feels like giving up something that’s important. Faced with the need to prioritize, your subconscious exclaims: “But I want them all.” Of course you do. Let’s stipulate that everything on your wish list is something […]

Here’s a common problem: you wake up at night, working through a difficult conversation you are going to have. You find yourself wide awake, in a loop where you keep trying out the conversation in different ways. Or maybe it’s not a conversation, it’s a tricky decision. You imagine making different decisions and what the […]

One of the problems of having many projects at once is that there’s a tendency to churn — to work a little on one, then a little on another, without making good progress on any. The general solution is to prioritize: to choose one project (or one chunk of a project) to work on first, […]

Now that I live in Florida, I pay a lot more attention to hurricane season than I used to. The season started early this year, which put me in mind of the lessons I learned when Superstorm Sandy hit New York City in 2012. At the time, my husband and I were living in midtown […]

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