Stop reading at the end of this sentence and choose someone whose thinking you pay attention to, someone whose opinion you value. The person you hold in mind is a thought leader. You may well be a thought leader yourself. At the very least, you have the potential and opportunity to rival the best because thinking is a skill, or rather a set of skills, that anyone within the range of normal intelligence can develop to a much higher potential than most of us realize—boosting one to another dimension of the human thinking scale.

Shortly after Schmidt Associates opened our doors, Edward deBono was the world’s foremost authority on thinking. Multitudes were introduced to methods of thinking development from his books and workshops. (We still have a set of red, white, yellow, green, blue, and black “thinking hats” here.) The ability to break through one-track thinking, which predictably gets stuck at some point, was/is a great value in business and everywhere else.

Thinking ruts suck up a lot of energy. Without revisiting deBono’s particulars, we would remind all of its core wisdom. Excessive focus produces singular viewpoints, but creating a space to hold multiple viewing points births possibilities that would not otherwise be conceived. Loosen up and begin here: There is another way of looking at this.

“Whatever you do, you must remain nimble in your thinking. Do not become so attached to any one belief that you cannot see past it to another possibility.”

—Christopher Paolini