Thinking About Thinking?

Damn, isn’t just plain thinking enough?

Now he sez I gotta start thinking about thinking too?!

Ted Whitmer was teaching his AI “Third Party Provider” class in Houston last week, the day before the Stats, Graphs, and Data Science1 class, for the AI Chapter’s annual 28 hour recertification week.  I was privileged to drop in for a few minutes during this class.  As always, his class causes . . . thinking.

I always close my data science “evidence-based valuation”© classes with material from a non-appraisal source.  It says that critical thinking is “thinking about thinking.”  So, I was thinking about thinking about thinking, and how it is reflected in Ted’s section II of his class, entitled “How’s Your Thinking?”

He notes that there are many aspects.  Some are negative, some positive.  He asks:  What side of the ledger are you?  He lists:

·         Defensive ·         Confident
·         Paranoid ·         Able
·         Bitter ·         Joyous
·         Suspicious ·         Fulfilled
·         Confused ·         Love learning
·         Tired of learning ·         Positive


These seem pretty pointed to me.  Yet, he makes it obvious which side is better for me.  My entire life has been a struggle to find a way to get to the right side.  It is not something I can just wish upon myself.  I have found it hard.  But doable.

One of the major secrets is embedded right in Ted’s list:  “love learning.”  Is it possible to think about learning to change my thinking?  Is this a vicious circle?  Or might it be an assuring arrow?  And how might this be applied to my work?  What do I have to do?  What do I have to think – in order to be happy, prosperous, and fulfilled?

For me the answer is simple.

It was summed up in a keynote speech given at the AI National Conference in 2016, by Jack Uldrich.  He is a futurist.  He stated three requirements for change in thinking.  His talk focused on how the profession and the Appraisal Institute might change.  But the three simple principles apply to each of us as individuals.

  • Step 1 – Accept that some customary procedures may no longer be ideal.
  • Step 2 – Be willing to believe that some revisionist methods can raise professional prominence.
  • Step 3 – Make a decision to experience a new viewpoint, free of traditional resistance.

These three steps struck me right on.  They have been the core of any real progress for me in moving from the negative to the positive side of Ted’s ledger.  These steps have motivated me in my quest to help improve the profession which has been so good to me.

I am so privileged to have found a career by which I can be financially free, have a clear sense of who I am and what I am.  Know my path of contribution.  This is what motivates me.  To give back, to give forward to the profession.  A profession which professes to serve the public good through a “high level of public trust.”

Each of us can have the peace, the fulfillment, and the prosperity.  It can start by thinking about thinking.