How to Look At Things With the Proper Perspective

By June 4, 2018 December 2nd, 2021 03. Intellectual Dimension

Hi, Doug Andrew here. 

I want to share with you how to look at things with a proper perspective between three segments of time: the past, the present, and the future.


I’ve noticed a lot of people go through life trying to have a better past. That’s futile, isn’t it? They try to change the past. Now, I’m going to show you a secret that Dan Sullivan, Strategic Coach, taught me. 

And I’ve sort of expanded upon it. 

Did you ever see the ridiculous motion picture Napoleon Dynamite? It was this low-budget film that was filmed with a bunch of amateur actors up at the border of Utah and Idaho at a high school.

Now, Napoleon Dynamite is sort of a geek in high school, and he’s helping his friend Pedro get elected. But in this movie, he has an Uncle Rico. 

This is Uncle Rico. Uncle Rico equals: has been out of high school 15 or 20 years. He’s living out of a van. He’s always videotaping himself throwing a football because he was a football player back in high school. And he’s barely eking out a living by selling plastic Tupperware bowls, but he’s always thinking about the past.

One night, there’s this scene on the front porch. He’s sitting there, and he starts to drift off into the past: “If the coach would have just put me in fourth quarter, we would have won that football game, and then we would have taken region and then state. Then I would have gotten a scholarship, and I would have gone to the college of my dreams. We would have played in the Orange Bowl, and then I would have been recruited and drafted into the pros. I’d be sitting here right now with a Super Bowl ring on my finger, in a hot tub, with my soulmate.  But the coach didn’t put me in….”

See, he’s trying to have a better past. That’s futile. You ought to watch it. It’s the most stupid movie, but I’ve watched it about eight times. You get the gist of this.

So, Dan Sullivan put out this idea of the Quick Thinker, and he’s authorized me to share this with you and with all of the Strategic Coach members. I do this Quick Thinker exercise every year with my own family; I do it with my employees—it only takes just a few minutes.


The first part is you choose three things you want in the future. I’m going to use a Quick Thinker that I did when I was the keynote speaker to a bunch of scholarship recipients—high school seniors. I said:

  1. Be successful as a professional and as a parent to my own children
  2. Choose to be happy and grateful for everything and everyone in my life
  3. Always be in motion and add value to the world and stay healthy

Remember, put down just three things you want in your future.


Next, decide what part of the past gets to come along, and let the rest go. So, I put down:

  1. All the incredible memories and good times with family and friends (you want to bring that into the future, right?)
  2. All of the awesome lessons I’ve learned from both bad and good experiences (what did you learn from the bad experiences, right?)
  3. The accomplishments that were a springboard to my brighter future

So, decide what part of the past gets to come along into the future, and then utilize the present to make the best possible present.

So to the students, I suggested to write down:

  1. Use this scholarship to catapult you to an exponential 10 times lifetime growth (double that thousand-dollar scholarship 10 times, and you’ll have $1,000,024)
  2. Take advantage of the wonderful mentors and role models that you have
  3. Commit to have a Lifetime Learning Commitment, and enlighten your life daily instead of just thinking college is the end of learning


You know, when I gave this Quick Thinker card to prisoners at a detention center, they wrote down the future and what part of the past they would bring with them. I let them know that their future is spotless, but let the rest go. You’ve got to pay for the restitution here, but utilize the present.

And they took these cards back to their locker, and the staff said they wanted more blank cards—they wanted to fill them out again. The next morning, instead of just sitting in their cells or just watching TV, they decided, “I’m going to utilize the present. I’m going to get my diploma here, instead of waiting until I’m out there to start getting my education.”

The Quick Thinker is a game-changer. It’s a favorite activity that we do every December with our family and our grandchildren. Try it. You’ll like it. 



DON’T GET STUCK IN THE PAST – It’s easy to get stuck in the past, but it’s a futile exercise that won’t yield future results.

QUICK THINK YOUR WAY TO A BETTER FUTURE – Follow the Quick Thinker process to create a brighter future:

  1. Get specific about three things you want to be or achieve in your future.
  2. Identify three things from your past that can come along to help you.
  3. Let the rest go, and utilize the present to accomplish your future goals.

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