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Driving Skills for better thinking

James Anderson's picture

Edward de Bono's Think Before It's Too Late Edward de Bono, respected author and thinker, has a wonderful analogy I like to use when explaining the skills needed to take the path to success.

De Bono recognises and appreciates that we are all born different. We have qualities that make us different from each other, and may even give us a bit of a head start in some areas of life. De Bono likens this to the car we drive. Some of us are born with Ferraris, some with four wheel drives and some of us with minis.

However, de Bono’s assertion is that your success is not so much related to the car you’re born with – your innate abilities – but rather to how well you learn to drive that car – the skills you develop over your lifetime.

Life presents us with a series of challenges that we can think of as obstacles on the road to success. The better we are able to successfully confront these challenges, the more successful we become.

We can rely on our natural abilities only up to a point. All the research into success and the acquisition of excellence suggests that no one becomes successful based on natural abilities alone. We all have to work hard and learn how to successfully overcome these challenges.

What Professor Costa identified are the driving skills that must be developed in order to successfully confront the ever-increasing challenges that the obstacles on the road to excellence present to us.

Bill Jarrard's picture

Edward de Bono and Habits of Mind


I like your retelling of Edward's analogy of the car and the driver which I have heard him tell many times over the last 25 years.

It highlights two things we often discuss, which is related to the Nurture vs Nature discussion, but also our view of Deliberate Creative Thinking as a skill anyone can improve - no matter how creative they are naturally.

The aim of the thinking skills both Dr de Bono and Prof Costa promote is to help us shift perceptions to see new ways of moving forward, adapting to situations creatively as required.

Dr de Bono's Thinking Course gives people the driving skills, as does Pro Costa's Habits of Mind.  Also people can learn more about thinking as a skill in our public workshops.