Is your thinking above the line or below the line?
Edition 18 of Forward+
1 big idea worth considering.
Last week I wrote about the importance of aligning our time with our vision, which is the only way I know of to make our days reliably sane and productive.
But what about the mindset needed to align our intentions and actions?
That’s where the concept of above the line and below the line thinking comes in.
When we engage in above the line thinking, we are choosing to embrace a mindset of both possibility and responsibility. Not either, but both - that’s where the power lies.
It’s taking ownership of our actions, choices, and outcomes, and understanding that we have the power to shape our lives and move toward our goals, even (and especially) when it’s hard.
In contrast, below the line thinking tends to keep us trapped in a cycle of externalizing responsibility and viewing ourselves as products of circumstances. We perceive challenges as insurmountable obstacles rather than opportunities for growth. It robs us of agency and control. It hampers our ability to make informed decisions and take proactive steps toward our goals.
It’s the concept of a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset, packaged with a distinct dividing line between helpful thinking and unhelpful thinking. You can view that line as the moment to moment decision to choose growth over fixed.
But how can we apply above the line thinking in a useful and practical way?
Here’s 4 areas to think about.