thinking, flexibility in ..
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
T.S. Eliot (Four Quartets, Little Gidding)
To practice in flexible thinking the Japanese have designed various martial arts such as jiu jisu, judo, kendo (see simulation, the Book of five rings is an instruction in sword fighting) and aikido. Jiu jitsu (the intelligent way) is an art of self defense. It is based on the principle that in every attack energy is released. As einstein has taught us (E = mc2) energy never disappears it may be transformed but somehow in this universe it is hanging around. So instead of opposing this energy it is guided and used to one's own advantage. In this manner we learn to react to unexpected situations and find ourselves in new places for reversing the energy means new viewpoints. Every attack is a challenge and by answering it I improve myself. Do is the Japanese word for the Chinese 'tao' (pronounce Dao), which also means way. The systematic practice of the way is the goal (life is a journey and not a destination).
Thinking is difficult because it usually is not done in a structured manner. Perhaps that's why so many people don't do it. In analogy to the martial arts it is wise to structure your approach and practice it all the time. An alternative martial art is suggested by Edward de Bono in 'Six thinking Hats'. He invites us to put on a black hat for a critical viewpoint or a yellow one for sunny optimism. A green hat brings a wealth of creative ideas, whereas white stands for neutrality and red for emotion. Once you've generated a whole range of possible solutions, you sort them out. For this you put on the blue hat which stands for the detached overview, the director in front of the orchestra.
For me colours work differently. In mind mapping I use them without thinking about it and afterwards I analyse. I have come to know my favourite colours and then see what in a particular situation I did not like very much and what seems okay to me.