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important part of building a successful life comes from figuring out the natural laws governing beauty, ethics, and practical reason--and then shaping our behaviors to get ourselves in line with these laws. The only way to discover these laws is by learning to observe and interpret reactions, which the actual world of things and facts provides for us. Secondly, we all need some degree of coaching if we want to hone our caucus-racing skills. Our successes and our failures as a caucus racer impact every aspect of our lives--meaning mastering the ability to engage our intelligences effectively may be the most important skill we can learn.

Our lives and the lives around us are greatly affected by the way in which each of us engages our intelligences (or fails to do so). We are nearly always deciding what's worth doing or not (decisions of
QUALITY). We are nearly always deciding where to begin and where to end (decisions of PRIORITY). We are nearly always deciding how to solve whatever problems arise along the way (decisions of METHOD).

Our personal decisions of
QUALITY, PRIORITY, and METHOD produce reactions in the world around us--consequences that affect others as much as they do us. Everything that we do (or fail to do) produces consequences for ourselves and for others as well.

For example:

  • Poorly informed decisions of QUALITY always result in poorly conceived goals. Every decision of quality is a value decision. Value decisions are the most important kind of decisions we make, since value directs everything we choose to do (or not to do). A goal, for example, is nothing more than a value in action. Thus, poorly informed decisions of QUALITY reflect poorly informed values and result in poorly considered goals. In other words, poorly informed values direct the production of ugly, clichéd, insensitive, unethical, clumsy, inadequate, and/or ecologically damaging outcomes.

  • Misplaced PRIORITIES invariably produce outcomes that miss the mark. For example, poorly defined goals and PRIORITIES invariably produce delays and cost over-runs for builders and engineers. For school administrators, teachers, and parents, misplaced PRIORITIES invariably produce long term problems for children (and for society). Misplaced priorities cause businesses to fail; governments to waste time and money; and social programs with the best of intentions, to miss the mark.

  • Inadequate METHODS produce inadequate results, regardless of the activity. As the saying goes: "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every solution seems to need a nail." We make most decisions of METHOD right on the spot. If one way of doing something is not working, we need to find another. Some people lack mental flexibility--which means that they do not have good problem-solving abilities. Others have so much mental flexibility that they do not ever stay on task long enough to construct a good solution. Just as everyone needs to develop certain skills to be successful at sewing, woodworking, or playing tennis--so too, we all need to develop skills for applying various mental methods for solving problems.

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