Everything we do begins with a thought
. . . and there are three priorities that shape your thinking,
and everything you do and feel:
Certainty – what we can derive from the Past
Probability – what we can improve in the Present
Possibility – what we can imagine for the Future
Everyone has a unique point of view which is formed by their blend of these three foundational priorities of mind.
The result of this blending of priorities is a person’s thinking style. It defines the value each of us brings to every aspect of our lives. It is what motivates us and shapes our personalities. It is also at the root of most of our differences in how we each think. Here is the story of these three priorities.
Past thinking gathers as much data as possible and is concerned with accuracy and truth. It refuses to take anything at face value; it needs to be certain and is perennially engaged in evaluating, validating, researching, weighing pros and cons, and judging credibility. Refusing to trust that “everything will work out,” it attempts to reduce the risk of negative outcomes. Above all it is reflective.
Present thinking seeks homeostasis and some measure of control over unfolding events. It monitors the surrounding world, assesses any changes in the environment, values stability, productivity, harmony, and closure and respects existing rules and the status quo. It will do everything it can to follow through and to honor commitments. It abhors chaos and confusion, and is driven to establish balance and order, create structure, and get things done. It is primarily practical.
Future thinking is open to possibilities, seeks out new opportunities and intuits what the future might bring. It is our source of vision, and it often promotes those visions with enthusiasm and energy, inventing new strategies and tactics along the way, and flying by the seat of its pants. It pushes the limits of what is known and understood. It is comfortable with change and ambiguity; it chafes when confined within a rigid structure. It needs deadlines for generating the motivation to bring something to completion. It is essentially imaginative.
Your unique point of view is a blend of these essential priorities.
We each blend the three perspectives of time, that’s how we become different from one another in our thinking and therefore our behaviour. Whether you lead with one perspective, blend two, or equally blend all three, all possible points of view are a blend of the same 3 dimension of time.
These blends can be understood most easily as the 10 MindTime Archetypes. Each one highlights a specific possible combination of the 3 primary priorities of mind: Certainty-Past, Probability-Present, and Possibility-Future. These 3 priorities motivate all thought and shape all behaviour.
Each of us lives with a kind of pressing issue, a way we want to lead our lives, a particular way of being in the world that is more important to us than all other things. It is our way of thinking. It defines who we will get along with, what we love to do, what we pursue and how we think about things and then act. It is a liberating experience to understand oneself at this level.
No archetype is better than another. Everyone has value to bring.
Each archetype has strengths and weaknesses, and each will be better-suited or worse-suited for a given role. For instance, The Visionary (Future-thinker) may do a wonderful job of coming up with exciting new ideas, but they’ll need to rely heavily on Truth-Seekers (Past-thinkers) to validate those ideas and on Organisers (Present-thinkers) to make those ideas real and tangible. For everyone, understanding how each archetype contributes and how to relate to these very different thinking styles is crucial to success.