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Your Past, Present, & Future SELF

Updated: Dec 28, 2022

"Do something today that your Future-Self will thank you for!"

Sean Patrick Flanery

As many of you have experienced during our Leadership Training Sessions, our foundational Thinking Tendencies Model (TTM) is built on two pairs of opposites that delineate 6 specific Mindsets across three zones.

Positive Thinking and Negative Thinking are located in the top and bottom creases and Past Thinking and Future Thinking are found on the left and right boards. In our simple visual, Past-Negative thinking is located on the bottom left and Future-Negative Thinking is positioned on the bottom right. Past-Positive Thinking is on the top left and Future-Positive Thinking on the top right. In the neutral zone we find Mindfulness and the Flow/Zone.

Visuals help focus our past, present and future thinking!

As we head into a new year (they are still "seasons" in my mind), let's together explore how our Thinking Tendencies Model visual can help us review our past year and prepare us for our next year!

I highly recommend that we not just examine our behaviours - what we did and what we are going to do, but add to this a personal growth focus around who we were and who we want to become. In other words, let's keep a portion of our focus on what psychology terms our "Past-Self!" our "Present-Self!" and our "Future-Self!"

Paul in the scripture Philippians 4:8 says, "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things." This is our Future-Positive goal, focusing our energy on who-we-want-to-become!

“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” Francis Bacon

As we explore our "Past-Self," and past season, Andrew Linder's key questions are useful in helping us identify and ruminate on all that took place during the year:


  1. What do you feel has been one of your greatest accomplishments in the last year?

  2. What has been one of your greatest struggles this past year?

  3. If you could change one thing about the last year, what would it be?

  4. If you could have one thing different in your future, what would it be?

  5. Is there anything (nothing is off limits) that you would like to tell your "Future-Self" about your past year?

Now, turn to the future. Who do you want to be over the next weeks, months and years?


  1. What is your #1 desire or dream that you would like to see become a reality in the coming year?

  2. What is something that you really want to pursue more as you look ahead?

  3. Who would you like your "Future-Self!" to move towards or to become next year?

  4. What can other people do to help you reach that goal?

  5. What is one specific thing/event/adventure that you would like to accomplish in the coming year?

“Life is as simple as these three questions: What do I want? Why do I want it? And, how will I achieve it?” Shannon L. Alder

You will find some additional meaningful questions to ask yourself below. Scroll through and pick out 4 or 5 more questions that will help bridge your "Past-Self" toward your desired "Future-Self!"

  1. Did I achieve any of my goals from the past year?

  2. What’s the one achievement I’m very proud of?

  3. Am I happy with the direction my life is taking?

  4. What do I want my life to look like one year from now?

  5. What are my long-term goals? Can they be achieved 5 years from now? 10 years from now?

  6. What are the short-term goals that can help me achieve my long-term goals? Can they be achieved by this time next year?

  7. What do I deliberately have to learn next year to become a better adult?

  8. What am I working on that I’m excited about next year?

  9. What are the new opportunities I’m looking forward to pursuing?

  10. What changes do I want to make and why?

  11. What do I want to create more of in the coming year?

  12. What was the most impactful book I read?

  13. What minimized stress and improved my mental clarity?

  14. Who/what caused more misery or unhappiness?

  15. What skill made the most impact in my career?

  16. What made me happy or miserable?

  17. Which of my current habits can help me achieve my short-term goals?

  18. If I repeat the same habits, rituals and routines, will I become a better or worse version of myself?

  19. Which practices do I have to stop repeating, and which ones do I double down on?

  20. What social connections helped me become a better version of myself?

  21. How can I improve my relationships, physical and mental health and work/life balance?

  22. What would I do differently if I could go back?

  23. What was my biggest failure? Or my biggest challenge? What did I learn from this experience?

  24. What will I do less this year?

We believe in questions! Questions focus our past growth - learning, and our future growth - becoming. The focus questions above will help your "Past-Self" and "Future-Self" identify where you were and who you want to be. Heading into your next season, you may also want to develop a set of questions and triggers that help you spend more specific time in the present. Increasing our awareness of our "Present Self" is a powerful way to stay in the now, to enhance relationships and to focus performance.

Enjoy the questions, enjoy the focus, build on these three awarenesses to grow who you are and to accomplish what you desire to do today, and in your future-positive tomorrow!

Many of our corporate clients are engaging our services to energize their teams, focus their cultural mindset, and brainstorm processes around how to maximize their team COMMUNICATION.

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