Helping Smart People Achieve Ambitious Goals Email: Phone: 212-972-9495

Thinking Directions

Productivity, Motivation, and Communication Skills:
How do you learn them?

Are you an ambitious, tenacious self-starter? Do you seek out meaningful productivity? Do you continuously grow your skills and knowledge? Then the Thinking Lab is for you.

There is no "One-Size-Fits-All" solution
to any challenging problem

You have already implemented advice from many experts. You've already achieved what's easy to achieve. You've already improved what's easy to improve. You already know your strengths and weaknesses. Your greatest challenge is to find fresh approaches to old problems, and new motivation to tackle bigger issues. You need to go beyond the textbook advice to develop your own processes, methods, and routines -- ones uniquely suited to your unique situation, your unique preferences, and your unique purpose in life.

Join the Thinking Lab for Inspiration and Guidance in
Adapting Processes, Tools, and Advice to Your Life

Already a member? Visit the passworded members' site.

Because this is the kind of people the Thinking Lab attracts, certain recurring themes come up as goals for our members:

There are how-to books on all of these topics, and you have firsthand experience and basic skills in all these areas. The challenge is to adapt and apply what you've already learned to the next more ambitious case. You face the problem of application. You know in theory what you want and in theory how to get it. But how to do implement advice in practice? How do you make the theory work in your situation?

These are thinking challenges. No one else will figure it out for you. Only you have the detailed knowledge to solve these problems in your specific case. You need to think it through yourself.

That can be a frustrating, time-consuming, lonely process without support. In the Thinking Lab, you get the tools, inspiration, and guidance to make sure your thinking effort pays off in a timely way, without bogging down or burning out.

As a member, you get weekly articles, monthly teleclasses, monthly mastermind sessions, access to self-paced mini-courses online, access to pilot versions of new seminars, and a little or a lot of one-on-one mentoring (depending on whether you opt for the regular, deluxe, or VIP program).

Membership in the program includes these exclusive benefits:

Written Tips

Live & Recorded Classes

Individual Feedback & Support

Ready to sign up? Or Read on...

Written Tips

Weekly Articles

As a member of The Thinking Lab, you get an email update each week. Each update includes a new article by me, available only to Thinking Lab members. The article may be a tip or a comment or sometimes a writeup of a new thinking tactic.

These articles are intended to be a constant source of suggestions and encouragement, giving you a quick nudge here and there about how you can use targeted thinking in your life right now. This steady stream of suggestions will stoke your subconscious with ideas for what to do when you feel stuck. What distinguishes these articles from many tip sheets is the explanations. I consider myself primarily a psycho-epistemologist, and secondarily a teacher. I'm on a mission, not just to compile and teach thinking tactics, but to explain why they work. My goal is to join theory and practice, and in the articles I try to "peel the onion" one level deeper to explain what's going on.

"Jean's emails sometimes seem eerily prescient, as if she understands exactly what I'm dealing with. But I think they are universal because she writes so clearly and precisely, using real-life cases, so I can always see the application to my life."

—Heather Blease, Senior Database Admin, Newton, MA

A Library of Step-by-Step Instructions for Tackling Some Hard Thinking

In the library are write-ups for over 40 mental tools for coping with a specific mental challenge. General kinds of tools include:

General Tools, including: General-Purpose Question-Asking & Warming Up / Getting an Overview

Planning Tools, including: Setting Goals, Decision-Making, Project Planning, and Planned Evolution

Tools for Overcoming Mental Obstacles, including: Overload, Emotional Overload, Floundering, Blankness, and Apathy

Live and Recorded Classes

1-Hour Teleclasses

10 months a year, I hold a one-hour interactive teleclass, to which all members are invited.

Topics of teleclasses vary. Sometimes we discuss a concept from Thinking Tactics in more depth. Other times we discuss related topics, such as self-motivation or time-management.

Classes are interactive. Often we do a short individual exercise in class, and then discuss it. We always open the lines for questions and comments on how to apply the ideas to members' real-life situations.

All you need to attend these sessions live is a telephone or Skype account. Classes are held on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, and are held twice: once at 3:00 p.m. Eastern, and then repeated at 8:00 pm Eastern time.

If you can't make the live session, you listen to a recording. After class, all members receive an email with a link to an MP3 recording, which you can listen to on your computer - or offload it to your MP3 player listen to it on the go.

Most of these classes are neither available elsewhere, nor available later for download. The only way to get them, is to be a current member of the Thinking Lab.

"The Thinking Lab classes have been extremely valuable. In addition to reviewing the tactics, Jean gives examples and solicits other people's examples—then shows how to apply the tactic to them. I was surprised at how much I had forgotten from the course, and how much this is helping me apply and reinforce what I learned. For example, after the session on 'spiraling,' I found I could end procrastination and get right to work, not just that day, but the next day."

—Ginny Tabor, Artist, Catasauqua, PA

"I think the format you use in the teleclasses is excellent. First you present the concepts and then you engage us in short exercises to practice and internalize the concepts. It's just the right balance. All I can say is keep up the good work! And my goal is to increase my time and commitment to applying your techniques. ('You can't get enough of a good thing!')"

—Tim Rozycki, Chicago, IL

Semi-Annual Half-Day Pilot Workshops

Twice a calendar year, instead of running a teleclass, I run a longer, more formal workshop. These are held over the weekend, usually Saturday afternoon from 12-3 Eastern, but sometimes both Saturday and Sunday.

These workshops are more structured than the regular teleclasses, and always include detailed handouts. I use the sessions to pilot new public and corporate workshops.

Like the regular teleclasses, all members can attend the pilot workshops by teleconference, and recordings are made available to members. In addition, deluxe and VIP members are invited to attend the pilot workshops in person in Naples, Florida.

Self-Paced Online Mini-Courses

The earliest incarnation of the program started in November 2007. Earlier material is gradually being transformed into a series of self-contained mini-courses and instruction sheets. The plan is to make this available on a rotating basis in The Thinking Lab.

At present, three self-paced multi-media mini-courses are available on the website:

"While going through the exercises, I was amazed at how using thinking on paper consistently solidified my thinking. It helped me notice options—options that just weren't obvious before. Thinking on paper is now an important part of my everyday life."

—Jocelyn Miller, Google

"I'm a bit astounded at how much I've accomplished in the last 2-3 months, and I know doing these exercises regularly was part of the reason."

—Maryallene Otis, Credit Manager, Seattle, WA

Individual Feedback and Support

Ad Hoc Email Correspondence

I encourage members of the Thinking Lab to email me questions and comments on tips, teleclasses, and exercises.

I promise at least a short answer. If you did an exercise, you are guaranteed at least an attaboy or attagirl. If you ask a question, you are guaranteed at least a quick, off-the-top-of-my-head answer, or perhaps a suggestion for a book, exercise, or other resource that might help. If your question concerns an upcoming teleclass, I'll try to address it in the class.

Some members are worried about imposing with questions and comments, but it is my job to keep my responses short.

I like hearing from members. And occasionally an email from a member hits the jackpot. Someone's question or comment triggers an explosion of creative ideas from me - and articles, teleclasses, and new exercises follow. I am stimulated, and the whole lab membership benefits.

Mastermind Sessions

Ten times a year, I run a 1-hour mastermind session by teleconference. These are held at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays.

Members call in with their questions or challenges, and I coach them I guarantee that everyone who calls in on time gets a chance to ask at least one question of me. Time permitting, members can sometimes ask two questions.

Everything you have read so far is part of the regular program. You get all of this for only $35/month. Or sign up for a year in advance, only $350/year. Register here...

Individual Consults (Deluxe and VIP Only)

If you want more than my off-the-top-of-my-head answers, then this is the option for you. I put on my thinking cap to help deluxe members with their questions. I meet with Deluxe members once a month for 50 minutes, and VIP members two times a month for 50 minutes.

We may talk through a problem to a solution, or we may discuss how to apply a tactic to your issue. Or you might pick my brain or get me to brainstorm on the topic. I think of these calls as facilitated discussion.

How it works: You send me a page or two of thinking on paper on the day of our meeting. This is the topic you are thinking about, which you want help thinking through. Your thinking needs to get to me at least an hour before the call so I have time to read it and think about it. (Otherwise we will take time out of the call for that.) Then we plunge in.

Calls are recorded so that you can re-listen to them if you desire.

Bonus #1 for Deluxe & VIP Members: As a deluxe member, you also have access to the program I ran from 1998-2004 teaching analytical skills, including concretization, condensation, and definition. These include the Definitions Handbook and the Condensation Handbook. You can use the scheduled consults for working through these materials. Homework (which takes 2-3 hours) is due 24 hours before the scheduled consult. This program is not available any other way.

Bonus #2 for Deluxe and VIP Members: I make available old material from the Thinking Lab whenever it is relevant to the issues you bring up in consults or by email. There are over 50 teleclasses and hundreds of tips that are not available any other way.

"Enrolling in the deluxe version of the Thinking Lab was one of the best things I did last year. Doing the exercises led me to figure out how to deal with situations and make changes in myself. Thank you so much."

—Elizabeth Villarroel, Engineer, Houston, Texas

Scheduling: I am available for phone sessions weekday afternoons and evenings (Eastern time). I am generally very flexible, but it is up to the member to schedule the meetings sufficiently in advance. If you have not contacted me to schedule before the 15th of the month, I do not guarantee space in my calendar later that month.

Unused meetings cannot be rolled over to the next month or quarter. Use it or lose it!

To encourage everyone to schedule early, I prompt all deluxe and VIP members to set meetings for the upcoming six months in December and June. This guarantees space in my calendar in each of those months. (I will not prompt on a monthly basis, as there are too many people to keep track of.)

Dates can be rescheduled any time up to one week in advance. After that, a call can be rescheduled once, with a minimum 24 hours notice. (If I have to reschedule at the last minute, we will suspend the rules to accommodate your schedule.)

As a deluxe member, you get all of the benefits of the regular member, plus the monthly consults, plus access to more material, for only $100/month. Sign up for a full year and get two months free: only $1000/year. Sign up here.

As a VIP member, you get all of the benefits of a deluxe member, but you get two consults a month, for only $175/month. Sign up for a full year and get two months free: only $1750/year. Sign up here.

Note: Because of my limited time, I reserve the right to limit participation in the deluxe and VIP programs.

Not sure? Need more information? Email me with questions. I'm at:


"The Thinking Lab program is simply outstanding. I just downloaded the teleclass on "Using Targeted Thinking to Get What You Want," and as usual, I found it very helpful and illuminating."

—Rohit Gupta, PhD, Santa Clara, CA

How do you know the Thinking Lab is right for you?

This program is primarily for people who have taken my classes. If you have read the material on my website, or attended one of my workshops, or listened to Tap Your Own Brilliance, you know my philosophy, and my approach to solving problems. If you like that approach, and you want support as you execute on your goals, this program is for you.

The only way get all the tips and hear all the teleclasses from The Thinking Lab is to join the program and stay in it. Newsletters, teleclasses, and the library are not available to non-members. And archived material is not even available to regular members, except on a rotating basis.

Payment Options for the The Thinking Lab

If you have purchased Tap Your Own Brilliance or attended one of my all-day workshops, you have had a free trial in the Thinking Lab, or are owed one. (Email me for details and to get started.)

If you haven't done either of the above, you can still join the Thinking Lab, but you need to commit to staying in for six months. Rather than that, I recommend that you purchase Tap Your Own Brilliance, which comes with a money-back guarantee. You can use your free trial to get started in the Thinking Lab.

Payment Options for the Regular Program: $35 per month or $350/year (a 16% discount)

To pay by credit card online, just click on the links below:

Option 1: One-time payment for one year of $350.

Option 2: Recurring monthly payments of $35 (until you stop - just email me to stop payments).

Cost for the deluxe program: $100 per month or $1000 for a full year (a 16% discount)

To pay by credit card online, just click on the links below:

Option 1: One-time payment for one year of $1000.

Option 2: Recurring monthly payments of $100 (until you stop - just email me to stop payments).

Cost for the VIP program: $175 per month or $1750 for a full year (a 16% discount)

To pay by credit card online, just click on the links below:

Option 1: One-time payment for one year of $1750.

Option 2: Recurring monthly payments of $175 (until you stop - just email me to stop payments).

Check Payment Information (six-month or one-year subscriptions only)

The cost for six months is $210 (regular) or $600 (deluxe) or $1050 (VIP).

The cost per year is $350 (regular) or $1000 (deluxe) or $1750 (VIP).

Please make checks payable to Thinking Directions and mail to:

Thinking Directions
7935 Airport Pulling Rd N
Naples FL 34109

If you are paying by check, send me an email. We can get you started in the program right away. Email:

Refund policy: If you cancel from the program, you can have a refund of the unused portion of your membership. (Used portion is calculated at the monthly rate.)

(Exception: if you join the Thinking Lab without having purchased an all-day workshop or Tap Your Own Brilliance, you are committing to at least 6 months in the program at the regular level. We will discuss this when you start.)