Monday, January 30, 2012

Making Success Your Default Option Using the Green Hat

Practitioners of Six Hats Thinking (www.debonogroup.com/six_thinking_hats.php) know that the green hat deals with creativity and alternatives. In my last post, I suggested that if you can create an environment in which the activities that lead to your success are your default option, you will have a much better chance to achieve your goal. I want to expand on this in this post using the green hat.

One of the things I want to accomplish in 2012 is reading Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual (www.amazon.com/Dvoretskys-Endgame-Manual-Mark-Dvoretsky/dp/1888690194). Most of my readers know I am a tournament chess player. Mark Dvoretsky, who writes the most challenging chess books of any author, has won rave reviews from many top Grandmasters for his book on the endgame, perhaps his most difficult book on the subject of chess. Many players below the Grandmaster level buy this book, but very few read much of it  because it is so very difficult.

To give myself the best chance at being successful, I started to think creatively (green hat) about how I could make reading this book the default option. Like a lot of people, I tend to read more than one book at time. I decided to remove all of the books from my study except this one so it left me with only one reading material option: the Dvoresky book.

Next, I bought an extra copy of the book to keep in my car. This way there would be no chance that I would be away from home and forget to bring my copy.

Finally, I took one of the calendars I was given this year and hung it up in my bedroom with goals for what page I should be on so that I can finish the book by the end of the year. (Remember this is not a book that you read like a novel. It is filled with exercises and it would not be unusual to spend thirty minutes of more on a single page).

Now I could have made my goal to become a better chess player. By focusing on the process instead of the result and creatively thinking about how I can make achieving the goal easier, I believe I am making the likelihood of actually achieving the goal much greater.
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posted by Bob Fischer at

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