A possibility thinker is someone who reframes problems. They think in a lateral, rather than a sequential, way and discover a fresh perspective on things. This is often enough to tip the balance in their favor, transforming a problem into an opportunity.
If you’re not a possibility thinker, then by default you’re a probability thinker.
You look at facts and figures to determine what may happen. If your data is inaccurate, then your predictions will be wildly inaccurate. Since we now live at a time of disinformation–deliberate misinformation disguised as fact–this can be a dangerous thing.
When you are a possibility thinker, you lean on your imagination. The limitations of the past won’t constrain you. You also won’t need to verify the accuracy of the information you hear from other people. Your focus will be entirely on what’s possible in the future.
Tip the Balance With Possibility Thinking
If you are not a possibility thinker, then you can’t think beyond what you know. If, for example, you have a serious disease like cancer, you will rely only on your doctor’s advice about what treatment plan to follow. You’ll also rely on their judgment about how likely you are to survive.
While, of course, it’s sensible to consult with an oncologist, what do you do if they don’t have answers? What should you do if your oncologist can’t provide you with an effective course of treatment? What should you do if they have grave concerns about the probability of any success?
If you’re a probability thinker, you will accept your oncologist’s grim prognosis. But if you’re a possibility thinker, you’ll approach the same health crisis in a different way. You may consult with several oncologists. You may also do your own research. And, if possible, you may even interview people who beat this type of cancer.
Along the way, you may discover overlooked possibilities. For instance, you might decide to seek alternative cancer treatments in Mexico from a clinic with a successful track record.
How to Become a Possibility Thinker
In a nutshell, If you are a possibility thinker, then you will explore alternative answers. Conversely, if you are a probability thinker, then you will rely on other people’s opinions.
Sometimes, of course, probability thinking works. You can get wise, unbiased advice on how to solve a problem.
While probability thinking has its place, you should broaden your thinking repertoire. If you only rely on probability thinking, you will only rely on limited information to make decisions.
Unfortunately, if you rely on probability thinking alone, many things will stay the same for you. Essentially, you’ll pull from the past to create your future. You’ll stay at the same intellectual level. You’ll associate with the same group. And you’ll remain within the same socio-economic circle. This is fine if you have a great life, but you’ll feel helpless if you don’t like your life situation.
If you’re open to becoming a possibility thinker, then there are two simple ways to cultivate this type of thinking—reading, and writing.
When you read a book, you’re having a conversation with the author. If, for example, you read books on success, you’ll get insider tips on how to become more successful in your own life. The more books you read on a wide range of subjects, the more possibilities you will see everywhere.
If reading is like listening, then journaling is like expressing your opinion. What you think about novel ideas matters. Learning anything requires effort. Besides learning interesting information, you should also reflect on it. If you don’t reflect, you’ll soon forget them.