Analytical Super Powers — Changing your flow chart

Analyticals have superpowers.

I’m sure other races of humans also have them, but since I’m not a part of those races, I can’t comment.

Today, I would like to focus on a very simple fact and why being an analytical gives you a leg up on the Nons.

Most human decisions are based on algorithmic thinking that is not unlike a computer program with the exception that by default, it’s just a repeat of all the most emotional moments of your life crammed into a big decision tree. Which is not always so good for those of analyticals who spent most of middle-school visiting the insides of trash cans.

The good new is that you can change it.

I hate change and doing things that are new.  So much so that I have developed rules for myself and my family on how to overcome the fear of new things.

But in 2012, when I took a new position at work, I had a problem.  My rules didn’t work since they are designed for normal every day things, like how to survive your first international plane flight.

In my case, my programming algorithm looked pretty much like this:

If you-suceeded-at-this-task, you are a marvelous human being.

If not, then you are a complete failure and have a decent chance of losing your job in the near future.

Yes, that might seem a bit Eeyorish, but the problem is that for me, a fear of failure is deeply ingrained.

Thankfully, I’m an analytical.  Which means, compared to many people, I’m keenly aware of what is going on inside my meat-bucket of a brain.

My wife is fond of asking me “What would you tell someone else in your situation?”

The answer, of course, is clear — It’s a new job. You’re going to mess up a bit. You’ll be fine given time.

But while I could occasionally recall this, I still had problems remembering it in the moment.

So I did two things:


I put a reminder where I would see it every day — right at the top of my to-do list spreadsheet at work.

I wrote the phrase a bit more definitively as this:

Every task is an opportunity to be right or learn something.

And the truth is that it has helped quite a bit.

But it can be a phrase about anything.

Failure just happened to be mine.

Others I’ve thought about:

Anger — Is this a big enough deal that I want to wreck my day being angry?

Happiness — What do I control that I can decide to focus on so today can be a good day even if it started out another way?

All of us (though Analyticals have a slight advantage given how their mind works) can change the algorithms we use to decide how we respond.

What are some re-programming tricks you’ve used on yourself?





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