Choices. Thinking about my choices. When to call them good or bad? They were reasonable. They were. But reasonable and satisfying are not buddies. Leaves me wondering… yes it does.
In 2006, Daniel Gilbert published the book Stumbling on Happiness. He told the story. Study after study showed the difficulty of making choices. How choices work out and how we’d feel — the next day, next week, or next year.
When they (you) imagine the future, there is a whole lot missing, and the things that are missing matter. — Daniel Gilbert
He goes on.
I’ve described how imagination fails to provide us with accurate previews of our emotional futures. I’ve claimed when we imagine our futures we fill in, leave out, and take little account of how we will think about the future once we get there.
Add unforeseen events, plunging investment, illness, job loss…. makes the right choice a challenge. Chance meetings, windfalls, lessons learned and applied complicate predictions.
In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. — Dwight D. Eisenhower
By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. ― Benjamin Franklin
All-encompassing plans daunt me. My default, do the best I can.
Hey Wait! Think, See, So
Four-step problem solving and one gate to accurate prediction. The first step boosts accurate prediction. It grounds us. The second step gets us thinking about solutions, the range of solutions. Next, try one of our solutions. … did it work? Nope! Repeat cycle. Yes! Yea, that is great.
Hey Wait! — Recognition
- Assess urgency time danger1
- Circle around… look from varied vantage points
- Think about the problem — recognize the problem
- Gather information
- Look at the present condition
- Check with others that have been there
- Give the process time
- Don’t get hung up on right or wrong — stick to the 4 steps
- Use not only one, two, three logic but engage different modes of thinking
- Visualize it
- Dance it
- Apply numbers — put it on a spread sheet
- Mind map
- See what others have done
- Gather the circle and see what they comes up with
- Try it out
So — Assess
- Did it work
- How well
- Repeat as needed
END OF STORY
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Sources & Interesting Quote
Long time ago and far, far away… An elementary school teacher (4, 5, 6th grades) built a thinking skills program. He used material based on Brown’s work.
Putting it All Together Several mnemonics have been suggested thus far as good ways of intervening in various aspects of problem solving and as “thinking” tools to be used. We would like to add one more that serves to sum up the problem solving process for a child. This is the “Hey Wait-Think-See-So” mnemonic (Brown 1983) which translates into: Hey, wait! (recognize and understand the problem); Think! (consider possible solutions and pick the best); See! (see how well the solution works); So! (decide what to do next, e.g,. try another solution). Brown (1983) tells of a teacher who went to settle a dispute that four girls were having over the rules of a game. When the teacher arrived, the girls announced that they were already on “See” in solving their problem
References Brown, A.L. 1983. On teaching thinking skills in the elementary and middle school. Phi Delta Kappan 64: pp. 709-714.
DEVELOPING PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS Ruth E. Cook Brent D. Slife
- To be a good fighter pilot, there is one prime requisite — think fast, and act faster.— Major John T. Godfrey, USAAF ↩