Forward Thinking
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Real people use forward thinking. They prepare for events before hand, plan ahead, looking more at where they are going, less time looking in the rear view mirror to see there they have been. (That’s useful only if looking back helps us learn lessons we can use in the future)

Forward thinking, looking ahead, Preparing, Exploring Experimenting


Forward thinking people have a different outlook on life. They seem to be more positive and are usually far more successful making powerful changes.

Thinking ahead is a very useful function when it comes to making things happen because it sets  up forward planning about how and when and where you want those things to happen. Forward thinking helps you see problems in advance, which is the best place to become aware of them.

Looking at the Big Picture

Forward thinkers are also better at looking at the “big picture” considering all aspects of a change rather than focusing too much on specific technical details.

What  if?

Associated with forward thinking is the “What if?” approach to planning. That involves looking ahead to consider what might happen if any one option is selected. That may also mean experimenting, trying something out before making a final decision, exploring more options.

The advent of the spreadsheet has proved one of the most powerful and easy to use “what if” tools whenever figures are involved. It’s so easy to change the figures on the sheet to see what will happen “if” any one factor changes.

Experiment Explore different options

There is no such things as a failed experiment. Even if the experiment does not produce the expected outcome it will still provide new information about the problem and possible solutions.

Double checking

Forward thinkers also display a special linked skill, checking and checking again to make sure ahead of the event to make sure that key factors or key people are all available for the task and are clear on what they need to do, how they need to do it and when. They might be seen by backwards thinkers as over cautious but double checking pays big dividends.

Forward thinking welcomes change

If you are going to make powerful changes in your life you need to welcome change. Growing only happens when things change. That change leads to more growth.

Worst Case Scenario

Faced with an approaching problem, forward thinkers like to introduce another double checking skill called the “Worst Case Scenario” which despite it’s title is a positive skill because it gives people a chance to think ahead about the worst possibilities should things go wrong, but in plenty of time (well before the event). Often the very worst case when it is thought about turns out to be not all that serious while other possible scenarios present even less reasons to worry. The future looks less scary.

The worst case scenario helps to offset the opposite which is unconditional optimism “Nothing will go wrong! Trust me I know what  I’m doing!” are famous last words from people who didn’t use their forward thinking Worst Case Scenario skill.

One disadvantage is a loss of spontaneity

Forward thinking can become overwhelmingly analytical and a bit too rational if not balanced occasionally with its energetic opposite spontaneity. When it’s not important, make an occasional spontaneous choice without thinking ahead to avoid losing touch with that equally authentic side of you which helps you retain your individuality.

Talking about history won’t change the past or the future.

“That’s the way it’s always been done.” or “If it ain’t broke don’t try to change it” are backwards thinking approaches.

Contrast the forward thinking approach to life with  “.... looking in the rear view mirror.”  When a change is being discussed, rear view people will typically want to talk about past events rather than the change.

History has a place

It’s true history has an important role to play when considering change. History teaches valuable lessons that are meant to be learned from past experiments and past mistakes. But often the “positive lessons learned” point of view isn’t the way the “rear view” person see things. Rather they will use history to support their

“......... changing never worked for me in the past so it won’t work in the future“ outlook.

During a discussion they waste their time telling the same old stories over and over without making any progress looking forward to making positive changes.

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