7 Ways to Think Differently

Alan Charlton | Tuesday, 2nd December 2014
How to find solutions to economical, environmental and social problems by using 7 ways of thinking differently.
Author: Looby Macnamara
Publisher: Permanent Publications
Publication year: 2014
RRP: £5.95

I already knew about abundance thinking and having recently participated in the first '7 Ways to Think Differently' residential course delivered by People & Permaculture teacher and author Looby Macnamara just before the 2014 UK Permaculture Convergence where she launched her second book. I am still 'buzzing' from this amazing experience.

In 7 Ways to Think Differently she very successfully sets out to open our minds and hearts to new ways of thinking and in so doing presents a very readable, concise (only 128 pages and fits into your pocket), authentic, elegant solution to convey the magic, hope and possibilities that permaculture contains.

This book has evolved as a personal response to the question that she is most often asked – 'So what is permaculture?' and draws on her parallel experiences in teaching both permaculture and The Work that Reconnects. She has discovered that although the methods may have been different there are shifts in thinking that are common to both.

She freely acknowledges that on reflecting on her own journey it was actually the ways of thinking that had changed and made the most significant differences as they instigated new behaviours which in turn led to more exciting outcomes.

Throughout this very readable book Looby encourages us to 'think about thinking' ... and in doing so she poses a number of fundamental questions including, for example: 'How do you see the world?', 'What might influence how you think about this?', 'What are your beliefs and assumptions?', 'What are the patterns of thinking that recreate feelings, behaviours and learning?', 'How can you go deeper and think more critically to challenge these?' and 'How can you reinterpret these stories?'

The Introduction covers how she developed the basis for the book and briefly lists the seven different ways (and her choice of symbols to illustrate each one). She provides explanations of Permaculture and The Work That Reconnects, Thinking about Thinking, Shifting our Thinking and concludes with Landscape of Thought which pulls all seven ways together into a single graphic image.

The bulk of the book has seven chapters, each covering one of the seven ways, which are: abundance thinking, solutions thinking, systems thinking, thinking like nature, co-operative thinking, thinking for the future and from thinking to doing. Each one adds structure and depth to the unfolding story.

The final pages are packed with further resources, listing books, websites and films as well as 46 references used throughout the text. There is also a very useful double page 'Ways of Thinking Summary' with multiple examples and the relevant permaculture principles applying to each one.

In her closing words Looby asks us to accept 'that this [book] is an invitation to embark on a beautiful journey of embracing, responding and discovering'.

I do, I am now using the book (and the teaching and learning from the course) and strongly recommend it to you as one very effective tool for being and doing in a very different way."

Alan Charlton is an apprentice on the Permaculture Design Diploma pathway and a trainee permaculture teacher based in rural North Cumbria.

While stocks last: 70 signed copies of 7 Ways to Think Differently available!

Further resources

Also from Looby Macnamara: People and Permaculture

Visit www.permaculture.co.uk/courses to find out about Looby's courses

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