There are many possible answers to this. First, did you answer the questions based on how you really are, or on how you think you want people to see you? The great thing about MindTime is that there’s no better or worse, so if you think you nudged the results, go back and try again. You may also want to ask yourself why you nudged the results or why you don’t agree with your Thinking Style. If you’re recognising traits you don’t want to admit to, then you’re in luck! This is exactly what we’re here to show you–how you can change how you make decisions if the way you’re doing it now limits your success or happiness.
I agree with 95 percent of my Thinking Style, but I think 5 percent is way off. Why?
The beauty of the MindTime model is that it is precise in its generalities. Since we’re human, we cannot be pinpointed with 100 percent accuracy. This is why most people are bothered by those personality tests that pigeonhole you into one way of being. While you may follow most of the traits of your Thinking Style, there will be situations when you don’t. We all use the future, present, and past perspectives when we manage life and it’s impossible to gauge if there are specific situations where you might use a thinking perspective that you normally don’t. Since we’re so wonderfully complicated, there are times when we do something that appears to have no real reason. So someone who is a strong Future thinker might suddenly do something that you’d expect from someone with a strong past or present thinking style. In fact, some people find the real fascination with their Thinking Style not in what they usually do, but in these many little exceptions.
Does my Thinking Style ever change?
It can, in some ways. And you can also do something about changing your behaviour, if you want. MindTime was designed to give you an easy way to think about how your behaviour is a consequence of the decisions you make. These may be conscious decisions driven by a subconscious process, or they can be simply subconscious decisions. So if you know your Thinking Style as it stands today, it gives you some reference point about how you’re seeing the world and how you work with it. If the results you are currently getting from how you do things are not what you want, then MindTime can show you how you can change the decision-making process you use to adopt one that will achieve the desired result. This is the function of self-aware discipline. However, it is unlikely that, without a concerted, long-term practice, you will fundamentally change the way you are wired to think.
Okay. So how can I change now?
Right. This is sounding like the “Lord, give me patience and give it to me NOW!” routine. We’re not offering: “Do this now and you’ll be changed forever.” We’re here to create conscious awareness. Changing the way you make decisions is not like changing the color of your hair. It takes time and mindfulness. You need to understand what you’re doing and see how people who use other thinking styles do things and then compare, contrast, and experiment.
Is this like a Myers Briggs?
No. The Myers Briggs is what we call a personality test: it measures a very small number of personality traits and specifically how you score relative to a population group (the famous bell curve). MindTime does not measure you against other people, but shows where you stand within a natural phenomenological structure, in our case, time. It is not a comparative, human-to-human, type of exercise.
How did I come to have this Thinking Style?
Ah, the perennial question of nature versus nurture. One of our goals at the MindTime Project is to work on answering that question satisfactorily. Does that sound like a cop-out? In a way, it is. We honestly can’t say, although since we note that people, after becoming aware of their Thinking Style, are able to make at least some changes, this goes a long way towards suggesting nurture plays a big role. But there is also a lot to be said for people being born with a natural proclivity (perhaps genetic) towards one Thinking Style over another. We hope that one day we will be able to answer this question more fully.
Does my Thinking Style limit me in any way?
Only you can decide that. MindTime is not about whom or what is best, just about which Thinking Style is better conditioned for specific tasks and situations. For example, someone who uses Past thinking works better with lots of detailed information than a person using Future thinking, who’s comfortable making decisions with less information (by the seat of their pants, to be more specific). If you ask a Past thinker to make a snap decision without giving them the time and resources to investigate the pros and cons, they’re going to be less prepared than the Future thinker (and probably a great deal more stressed at the prospect). Neither thinking style is wrong, but the Past thinker may feel limited in that specific situation.