The Thinking Lab
Three Levels of Mind Mastery

The Thinking Lab offers an interconnected set of courses on all three levels of Mind Mastery.

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Level 1: Understanding Your Mental Needs

Before you can use your mind effectively, you need to understand it. In the Level 1 classes, you learn the theoretical foundations for everything in the Thinking Lab, plus the core skills that you will use in everyday situations, and build upon in the advanced classes.

In Level 1 classes you will learn:

  • How to overcome predictable mental obstacles that arise in solving complex problems
  • How to understand and deal with confusing emotional issues
  • The relationship between emotions and values
  • How anti-values you may have acquired over the years stop you from achieving your goals
  • Techniques for making these new skills second nature

Level 1 classes are the foundation for all of the other self-study materials in the Thinking Lab.

Click on the links below to explore Level 1: Understanding Your Mental Needs.

Level 2: Guiding Action with Thought

The benefit of learning to use your mind is that you can use your thoughts to guide your action. In the Level 2 classes, you learn how to guide action in three critical life areas: Productivity, Goal-Setting, and Communication.


In the Productivity classes, you will learn:

  • How to create and sustain motivation by aligning your conscious priorities with your subconscious value-hierarchy
  • How to build your own infrastructure to support making daily decisions about priorities, quickly and effectively
  • How to manage the mix of long-term projects, hot issues, and routine work so you manage all three
  • How to integrate your goals into a happy life by understanding daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and longer priorities.

Click on the links below to explore Level 2: Productivity.

Goal Setting

In the Goal-Setting classes, you will learn:

  • The three kinds of goals and how you overcome obstacles on each time scale
  • How to re-conceive long-term goals so that you achieve both real short-term results and progress toward the long-term vision.
  • How to develop a central purpose that gives meaning to all of your work and ensures your actions add up to a significant achievement
  • Tactics for validating objectives and making challenging goals doable.

Click on the links below to explore Level 2: Goal Setting.


In the communication classes, you will learn how to clarify your message before you communicate. You will learn:

  • How to eliminate defensiveness on both sides of a conversation
  • How to understand the other person’s perspective
  • Strategies for dealing with disagreement
  • How to organize your thoughts for writing
  • Tests for whether you understand your ideas clearly enough to communicate them

Click on the links below to explore Level 2: Communication.

Level 3: Gaining Mental Precision

The effectiveness of your thinking ultimately comes down to its clarity and precision. In Level 3 classes, you go deep into mastering conceptual clarity.

In the classes on Gaining Mental Precision, you will learn:

  • How to take an abstract idea that “floats” and connect it to emotionally real examples
  • How to analyze any written piece to see the structure of the argument and whether it validates the point
  • How to express a thought clearly
  • How to take an idea that you “kinda understand” and use your own knowledge and experience to make that idea crisp and clear

Click on the links below to explore Level 3: Gaining Mental Precision.

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Next Class

How Going to the “Meta Level” Keeps You Moving Forward
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Eastern plus 15 minute Q&A
(5:00 p.m. Pacific, 6:00 p.m. Mountain, 7:00 p.m. Central)

When you “go to the ‘meta level,'” you stop doing whatever you were doing in order to observe your mental operations, with the goal of making those mental operations more effective.

Instead of running around with your head cut off, you pause to notice you are overloaded or triggered or tense. Instead of complaining to everyone who will listen, you pause to notice that you are feeling guilty or angry or afraid. Instead of try, try, trying again to do something the way it “should” work, you pause to notice that you are not being careful enough or you have tunnel vision or you don’t know really what you’re doing.

Going to the “meta level” is a critical skill of self-direction. In order to manage your mind, you need to observe it. You need to be able to assess how it’s operating and what you need to do to keep it operating. In this class we will discuss:

  • The signs you need to go to the “meta level”
  • Your only goal once you get there
  • How to set your purpose for re-entry to normal operations, especially if you seem to be in a dysfunctional state
  • How to avoid turning “going to the ‘meta level'” into an orgy of self-criticism
  • Why “meta level” thinking is essential to maintaining forward progress when you are doing something new, non-routine, or at the next level of difficulty

Thinking Lab members receive call-in information for these classes.  Click here to join the Thinking Lab.

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