When people ask me to define love, I say, "Love is like handing someone a gun, having them point it at your heart, and trusting them to never pull the trigger." (Sponge Bob)

When they ask me why I laugh at my mistakes and even write them with pride in my blogs, I say, "I'm not crazy. I just don't give a damn!" (Daffy Duck)

When one time I was conducting a group activity, a student asked what road sign I love the most, I said, "I like dead end signs. I think they're kind. They at least have the decency to let you know you're going nowhere…" (Bugs Bunny)

And when for the nth time a friend would ask me what do I get from writing, I'm not even sure if there are good old souls out there visiting my site, I just smile and say, "Kung gusto mong maging manunulat, eh di magsulat ka. Simple." (Bob Ong)

And last night when Eva said she wants to quit from her work because nobody believes in her, her boss got mad at her, she doesn't even have friends at her agency, and she's crying like hell, I said, "Either you stay to prove your worth or you quit and just show them you're a loser, you have to strive for your happiness." (MY original)

My CHOICES: I remained believing in love. I continued spicing up my mistakes and rewriting my life, accepting failure but keep on dreaming until words would fade into thin air.

Mar 18, 2008

Six Thinking Hats by Edward De Bono

I arrived late in school this morning. While in the bus, I was contemplating I could conduct a follow-up interview to complete the Student’s Individual Inventory Form. But to my dismay, in addition to my being late, I forgot that today is still an exam day and the students will only be in school in the morning. So there is really no chance for me to catch them in their sleeves and ask them how much their parents earn annually or who their single parents are dating at the moment.

And like the previous frustrating events, the only thing that can bring me back from my topsy-turvy disposition is to read a book. Lucky for me, I left my current Coelho read under my pillow, so I dashed through the school library and forced Amy (the school librarian and my bestfriend) to lend me a book even when there are strict orders that this week should be “RETURNING OF BORROWED BOOKS. NO BORROWING OF BOOKS FOR INVENTORY AND CLEARANCE.” both for students and school personnel. Anyway, I promised her to return the book this afternoon (even without her permission).

I browsed through the NEW ARRIVALS SECTION of the library and saw this intriguing title: SIX THINKING HATS by EDWARD DE BONO. It says in the subtitle: THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER that has changed the way the world’s most successful business leaders think.

My initial reaction was, “Well I’m not into business so why care to read this book.”

But after browsing through all the books, nothing caught my bookworm’s intuition of the best possible read for my present emotional condition. So I went back to the HATS stuff and picked it out of its shelf. Amy was shouting over my shoulders when she saw me leaving the Borrower’s Card on top of her desk despite her plea that I am not allowed to borrow a book.

“Oh well,” I told myself, “I’d rather run away with this book than spend the rest of my day grumbling over a messed-up schedule.”

Upon arrival in my office, the intercom was ringing like hell. Assumed that I might not answer the phone, Amy turned on the speaker phone and was yelling at me to return the book. I told her what I had in mind while running away with the book and as expected, my good friend lent me the HATS stuff but she asked me to swear to return the book before I go home this afternoon. And so I did with all my heart.

Flip-flapping through the book, just reading the summary for each color symbol, I finished the HATS stuff in 3o minutes. These are what I can share to you based from the book:

The Six Thinking Hats method capitalizes that THINKING is the ultimate human resource. But most of us, even the most successful people are left unsatisfied with their most important skill. No matter what we have achieved, it seems we can never get enough of the world. We want to be better.

And let me just quote:

Usually, the only people who are very satisfied with their thinking skill are those poor thinkers who believe that the purpose of thinking is to prove yourself right – to your own satisfaction.

The main difficulty of thinking is confusion .We try to do too much at once. Emotions, information, logic, hope and creativity all crowd in on us. It is like juggling with too many balls.

Argh! Got me on that!

Now what do the SIX HATS of different colors symbolize:


Think of paper. Think of a computer printout. The white hat is about information. When the white hat is in use, everyone focuses directly and exclusively on information. It stands for facts and figures. It is for truth and philosophers.


Think of fire. Think of warmth. Think of feelings. Using the red hat gives you an opportunity to express feelings, emotions and intuition without any need to explain or justify them.


This is the most used of all the hats. The black hat is perhaps the most important hat. The black hat is the hat of caution. It is for being careful. The black hat stops us doing things that are illegal, dangerous, unprofitable, polluting and so on. It focuses on content and process. It is the past and the future.


Think of sunshine. Think of optimism. Under the yellow hat a thinker deliberately sets out to find whatever benefit there may be in a suggestion. Under the yellow hat, the thinker tries to see how it may be possible to put the idea into practice. It also stands for speculative-positive thinking strategies. It encompasses the positive spectrum of circumstances and of ideas. The yellow hat is also supported by reason and logic. It is for constructive thinking. Thus, it is in relation to creativity.


The green hat is the energy hat. Think of vegetation. Think of growth. Think of new leaves and branches. The green hat is the ultimate creative hat. It is the lateral thinking of the brain. It focuses on movement instead of judgment. There is a need for provocation to encourage more alternatives. The green hat’s major emphasis is on personality and skill.


Think of the blue sky above. Think of “overview”. The blue hat is for thinking about thinking. (Whatever that means!) The blue hat is like the conductor of the orchestra. The conductor gets the best out of the orchestra by seeing that what should be done is done at the right time. The blue hat is like the ringmaster of a circus. The blue hat is for the management of thinking. The blue hat is for the organization of thinking. It is for process control. It gives us the focus. It provides the program design of our brain. It speaks about summaries and conclusions, control and monitoring.

After reading the summary pages, I said to myself (hope I really did), “This is a good read for my day’s drama.”

But I want to make an add to the colors of the thinking hats. May I say we also need an:


Think about crunchy autumn leaves (well, we don’t have autumn in the Philippines, but there are a good fields with dried leaves) under your bare soles while you are running out in the open with friends and other people. It replenishes the spirit. The orange hat emphasizes on play. It focuses on relaxation. When the mind is set out for thinking alone – an all work without play thing, sanity would not stand for long. The orange hat also symbolizes hope that after every fall, comes the spring.

So may I then suggest that after a long day of work, stop thinking for a while. Act on impulse. Do whatever you wish to do. Say what you have to say. Speak spontaneously. (As long as you would not be hurting yourself and others.) Like when I ran away with the book without thinking about the rules. If I didn’t do so, perhaps I would end this day without a blog entry.

What do you think?


filteany said...

Now I want to have all these types of the thinking hats- especially the red one. Thanks Jo for featuring this. I will look it up in amazon or strand right now!
You are getting better and better with your writing- galing galing. Sweet ka pa rin. Take care

PlanetMars said...

Does acting on impulse includes eating everything you crave for in just one day? Coz I just did. Anyway, it's my birthday and you forgot it. It's a good thing I am stuffed with foods that i have stayed away from for quite some time. So you are forgiven. hehe
Btw, I like the Orange hat more. Maybe because it is your own, and maybe, i am just tamad and playful. =)

SandyCarlson said...

Sounds like a fascinating book.

I'm going to take your suggestion and see how it goes!