Liminal Thinking

Create the Change You Want by Changing the Way You Think

By Dave Gray

  • Liminal Thinking Cover
  • Why do some people succeed at change while others fail? It’s the way they think! Liminal thinking is a way to create change by understanding, shaping, and reframing beliefs. What beliefs are stopping you right now?

    You have a choice. You can create the world you want to live in, or live in a world created by others. If you are ready to start making changes, read this book.

    Learn more from the author’s site.

    In a time of increasing complexity and change, Dave Gray’s Liminal Thinking provides a much needed blueprint to help us clarify our own thinking, make connections with others, and powerfully communicate our ideas in a way that is both deeply human and profoundly impactful.

    Lisa Kay Solomon, co-author, Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change

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    Illustrations View all on Flickr

    • LT000a: Front Cover
    • LT001
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    Liminal Thinking Blog View all Blog posts

    Table of Contents

    Part I. How Beliefs Shape Everything

    • Principle 1. Beliefs Are Models
    • Principle 2. Beliefs Are Created
    • Principle 3. Beliefs Create a Shared World
    • Principle 4. Beliefs Create Blind Spots
    • Principle 5. Beliefs Defend Themselves
    • Principle 6. Beliefs Are Tied to Identity

    Part II. What to Do About It

    • Practice 1. Assume You Are Not Objective
    • Practice 2. Empty Your Cup
    • Practice 3. Create Safe Space
    • Practice 4. Triangulate and Validate
    • Practice 5. Ask Questions, Make Connections
    • Practice 6. Disrupt Routines
    • Practice 7. Act As If in the Here and Now
    • Practice 8. Make Sense with Stories
    • Practice 9. Evolve Yourself

    Foreword

    It’s necessary if you’ve gotten this far in Dave’s newest book—and I say newest because he is prolific and his energy pervades his passion about thinking and understanding—it is necessary to read his definition of the word liminal, a word that I had never heard before he asked me to do this foreword, but I’m envious and jealous that he thought it up as the name of a book.

    In fact, in the off chance that he’s not going to use it in the beginning of his book, I’ll reproduce his definition here as the beginning of my introduction to his many words:

    “What is liminal thinking? Liminal is a word that means boundary, doorway, portal. Not this or that, not the old way or the new way, but neither and both. A state of ambiguity or disorientation that precedes a breakthrough to a new kind of thinking. The space between. Liminal thinking is a kind of psychological agility that enables you to success- fully navigate these times of transition. It involves the ability to read your own beliefs and needs; the ability to read others’ beliefs and needs; and the habit of continually evaluating, validating, and changing beliefs in order to better meet needs.”

    We both recognize that the look of things, the name of things, forms the doorknob to the door and belongs in this great villa of learning and understanding that pervades mankind. Each of us resides in some strange side chapel, which we poke our nose out of every once in a while, prod the rest of them, and invite them over into our little alcove for our odd interpretation and individual definitions of how to join us in a more interesting, more productive, and more understanding life.

    This is certainly a book to be read because it is like being with Dave himself, filled with the energy of his conviction, his whole belief system about how to get through our life of thinking and making sense, asking questions, exploring our alternatives, and in a conversational way, with Super Glue attached, putting it all together in an amalgam of a story.

    Boy, does Dave do it well, and he seems to do it effortlessly. He can produce one of these babies in one-tenth the time it would take me. Dave is formidable physically, so it’s accurate for me to say that when I’m in his presence, I look up to him and he looks down on me.

    When we’re sitting, I think we’re more equal and very much in the same street, neighborhood, village, town, city, county, and country. In the best sense of the word, this is popularization of the obvious, of the space between things, of seeing things you’ve always seen but never seen and pulling them into your own personal library, for get- ting through the morass, the flotsam and jetsam of all the stuff that’s around us.

    He’s on my short list of a very short list of kindred spirits. I wish him well. And you would be wise to get past my prattle and read his book.

    —Richard Saul Wurman
    Newport, R.I. 10 August 2015

    Testimonials

    In the best sense of the word this is popularization of the obvious, of the space between things, of seeing things you’ve always seen but never seen and pulling them into your own personal library, for getting through the morass, the flotsam and jetsam of all the stuff that’s around us.

    Richard Saul Wurman, founder, TED conference, and author of Information Anxiety

    Dave Gray has taken the brilliantly simple germ of an idea (how to think across the borders of belief) and written it into a potent virus. Dave’s timing couldn’t be better. As the world slips again into splintered conflicts of belief, I hope and pray his virus spreads.

    Dan Roam, author of The Back of the Napkin

    In a time of increasing complexity and change, Dave Gray’s Liminal Thinking provides a much needed blueprint to help us clarify our own thinking, make connections with others, and powerfully communicate our ideas in a way that is both deeply human and profoundly impactful.

    Lisa Kay Solomon, co-author, Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change

    Change, it’s inevitable, and it will happen whether you’re proactive or reactive. Becoming an effective agent for change is invaluable. In Liminal Thinking, Dave Gray nails it! Do yourself a favor, buy this short book and finish reading it immediately.

    Jeffrey Eisenberg, Author of NY Times Best Sellers Call To Action and Waiting For Your Cat To Bark?