I bought myself a signed print of John Olsen’s painting ‘Sydney Sun’ for one of my major decade birthdays. Every day I enjoy exploring the seemingly endless splotches and squiggles that make up this quintessentially Australian artwork.
I’ve noticed that, over the years, I’ve acquired a collection of sun shapes and images around my home. A sunburst mirror, other artworks, bowls and platters.
The sun is one of the first images a child draws. Hopefully this means that many childhoods are filled with sunshine and happiness. Interesting that the face of the sun in children’s drawings always has a smile. As if sunshine itself is powerful enough to banish all bad feelings.
In an earlier period of my working life, I was an accredited teacher of Edward de Bono’s thinking skills. One set of skills I taught was the ‘Six Thinking Hats’. In this you learn how to change your type of thinking, designated by a particular colour hat, as easily as you might change headwear.
The Yellow Hat is all about looking for the positives in an issue or problem. I would explain that a way to remember the Yellow Hat is to think about the yellow sun shining light on everything around it. I’d also explain that thinking positively in not about skipping through a field of daisies and saying everything is fabulous. Uncovering the positives in difficult or unlikely situations is a learned skill that requires both energy and resilience.
Much easier to put on the ‘Black Hat’ and list the endless things that are, or could go, wrong. While Black Hat thinking is an essential part of risk management, over-use is far too easy and not that helpful. As they say ‘Everyone’s a critic’ …..
My SUN design is a daily reminder to keep my thinking positive, even when the going gets tough.