Too often, when facing a problem or crisis, we start thinking that we don’t have more choices. This thinking, sometime, can lead to depression and possibly to failure. The lateral thinking law “proof is no more than the lack of imagination” says that if we can’t find any alternative, it is not because we have run out of alternatives or possibilities but because our imagination is limited.
There is always an alternate, possibility or choice which we are not able to think of at that particular moment.
APC is another thinking tool created by Edward deBono. APC stands for “alternatives, possibilities and choices”. I consider it one of the most useful tool for my own use and have benefited a lot by its regular application. Doing an “APC” forces you to consciously put some effort to look for alternatives. (It is an “attention directing” thinking tool.)
As with other thinking tools, initially you practice APC on trivial matters or fun situations. Once you get more comfortable you can start using it in your daily routine.
To learn and practice this tool, you write down any alternatives for a particular situation or action on a piece of paper. Discipline for thinking tools requires you to do this exercise within a pre-defined time period, mostly within 1-3 minutes.
During this practice you don’t allow your judgment to come into your thinking. You just keep thinking what are the other possibilities and list them. Once you have a list of possibilities, you can apply your judgment to select the appropriate one.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kretyen/2628104710/