Thinking Tools
Clarify Your Meaningful Goals by Writing Your Own Eulogies

Clarify Your Meaningful Goals by Writing Your Own Eulogies

If you are in a major transition in your life­­ ­— a career transition, or a change of phase, or an adjustment of your direction — you need objectivity about your deepest, most meaningful goals. You might want to consider writing your own eulogy to help clarify your...

The Basic Solution for Blankness

The Basic Solution for Blankness

In Tap Your Own Brilliance, I teach in-depth tactics for dealing with the three most common thinking obstacles: overload, blankness, and floundering. But sometimes you need only the basic solution. The basic solution for overload is to get ideas out of your head onto...

Color Your Thoughts

Color Your Thoughts

In my (free) Thinking Directions Starter Kit, I teach a foundational tactic called "Thinking on Paper." Whenever you need leverage to deal with any mental issue — cognitive, emotional, or behavioral — "thinking on paper" helps. The process of purposefully writing out...

Concentrate with Love

Concentrate with Love

I recently re-read The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey, a classic book on mind management from 1974. I was struck by this passage:   As silly as it may sound, one of the most practical ways to increase concentration on the ball is to learn to love it! Get...

FAQ: How Do You Save Your Mental State?

FAQ: How Do You Save Your Mental State?

A while ago, one of the Launchers came to a coaching call with a problem. He had done fabulously creative work in analyzing some financial trends — by working through the night until 5:00 a.m. In one respect, this was progress. He had come to an earlier coaching call...

Top Ten Thinking Tactics

Top Ten Thinking Tactics

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...

How to Dream Bigger

How to Dream Bigger

Tactic: How to Dream Bigger Thinking Tactic Overview What: This is a process to help you open up your imagination as you contemplate your future. When: Use this tactic as a first step when your life seems stuck in a rut or directionless or you have no major goals....

FAQ: How do you remember to notice something you can’t predict?

FAQ: How do you remember to notice something you can’t predict?

People often ask me how to remember to do something in the future. The answer usually is, make a plan. Then remember to check the plan. But some kinds of actions cannot be planned.  For example, I started a humor notebook at the recommendation of comedian Judy Carter....

Start the Day with a Thought Download

Start the Day with a Thought Download

I recommend "thinking on paper" * every day, on whatever issue seems important. But what do you do if you aren't sure what to think about? Start with a "thought download." ** A "thought download" is a page of thoughts--your thoughts. The page could be filled with...

What to Do When You’re Waffling

What to Do When You’re Waffling

Way back in 1998, when I wrote my first article on what to do when you get stuck on a difficult thinking problem, I offered one general piece of advice: Identify the problem. As Louis Sullivan said, "the problem contains and suggests its own solution." Although I now...

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