Whatcha Thinkin'?

A couple years ago, we found it humorous when a friend of our son Kevin called him up and asked, "Whatcha thinkin'?" We still giggle over it.

It's not a bad question, however.

At Don Blohowiak's blog, he has an entry about changing your life by changing the questions you ask yourself. That sounds right to me. It reminds me of a couple of things...

1. As an undergraduate at Rutgers, I read a book called Living With Change by the late Wendell Johnson where he advocated the use of three questions to achieve and maintain healthy relationships:

What do you mean? - This question helps clarify meaning and achieve understanding.

How do you know? - This question helps uncover assumptions, reveal facts, and discover evidence.

What then? - This question (like its twin "So What?") helps make connections, draw conclusions, and prompt actions.

2. A few years ago, I learned about an OD concept called the Engine of Success. I believe it may have originated with Peter Senge or another Systems Thinking guru?

At any rate, the Engine of Success says that our thinking is part of a larger cycle that includes relationships, actions, and results:

The Quality of Our Relationships has an impact on our thinking...

The Quality of Our Thinking affects our choices...

The Quality of Our Actions determines the outcomes we get...

The Quality of Our Results affects our relationships...and the cycle continues.

As Ken Modesitt says: As the quality of relationships rises, the quality of thinking improves, leading to an increase in the quality of actions and results. Achieving high quality results has a positive effect on the quality of relationships, creating a reinforcing engine of success.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 08/30/06


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