|Jim Wilder and Chris Coursey met on a hot summer afternoon in 2002 to begin figuring out practical ways to train people in nonverbal brain skills. Chris wanted things to be enjoyable and fun as a learning environment could be. Jim wanted things to be as close to theoretically perfect as a practical application of brain science can be. Chris would test the design with a small group of people in recovery and Jim would try them on leaders. Before long they had to divide every THRIVE conference into minutes and assign as many minutes as possible to training exercises with the 19 THRIVE brain skills. However, Chris fell in love and lost considerable concentration and focus.
Before too long the skill guide development team included Lady Jen who was very organized. It was good to have Jen for two reasons, Chris was more focused and Jen laid out every exercise very clearly.
There were three objectives. The exercises had to be as fun as Chris could make it, the exercises had to fit well in the THRIVE flow and be spelled out as clearly as Jen required. Each exercise needed to be as close to the ideal exercise as Jim could make it. All this led to two problems. First, people could learn the skills in the six packed training days at THRIVE but they did not get enough practice to get good at them. Chris, Jen and Jim developed far too many good exercises to fit in the 2055 training minutes of a THRIVE week. Lady Jen laid out a brilliant solution over the 52 weeks between one THRIVE training and the next track. These practice sessions build skill and prepare participants for the second track of THRIVE.