Do you seize the moment, relish the past, or yearn for the future? How does that affect how you see your Moments?
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Talents and Tense .
A couple weeks ago I wrote over on the family blog about Moments. It feels cliche to “seize the moment,” but that’s what I have been compelled by these past several weeks—savoring the otherwise forgotten moments of early parenthood. I have had some interesting and varying responses to that post. Some resonating—those with older kids, encouraging me how quickly those moments go. And others challenging the concept—that other just as valuable moments will exist later on in parenthood, so sometimes dishes do need to get done.
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And that’s when it occurred to me that perhaps our natural, hard-wired Talent plays into this.
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Of course it does.
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A colleague and friend of mine, introduced me to the concept of thinking about Talents and Strengths in terms of tense—Past, Present, and Future. Our Talents will have an inclination to see from the past, simmer in the present, or seek the future. And that inclination affects our interactions with others and what we think is important.
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Are you inclined to ENJOY the moment, DO the moment, LEAP FROM the moment, or REFLECT ON the moment? How does that affect your interactions with those around you and what you think is important. Here are some ideas about how your Tense plays out…
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ENJOY the moment {present tense, relational}
Relationships are for the now. So, the most important interaction is the current one. You might find yourself asking how that person feels. Does everyone feel included? What is the general mood of the room right now? It is important for you to be present in the moment, to be available to be with people and offer your best today, in this moment. And, it will be important to you that the people around you be present for you as well.
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DO the moment {present tense, executional}
(uh, hem, this is me).
Interacting with others can be an interruption to the task of the moment, so if it is not a part of the current moment, watch out people. You might find yourself asking—what do I need to do today? What is on the list? What structure will be most efficient to get that completed? What are the steps to the goal?  It is important to you to follow the process or make the check mark today, right now. And you need others around you who are willing to help or at least support the “doing” of today.
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LEAP from the moment {future tense}
Your conversations often stray toward what could be, toward what you want it to be. In your interactions with others, you lead the way on thinking about what lies ahead. You might ask yourself and others–what are your goals? What does an ideal future looks like? Or you may just bounce ideas around with no real need to act on them. It is important to you that possibilities are not closed off and that the way forward is flexible and open. You need others to listen with an open mind to your dreams and ideas.
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REFLECT on the moment {past tense}
You are always checking out what is happening against what has happened. Interacting with others can sound like an interview, whether the questions are factual or relational in nature. You might ask people about their past, previous failures or successes, or about the way things have been done in the past. These questions are not just a nice to have, but rather essential for you to help move a person or situation forward. Without our past, what else would be our foundation for growth or improvement?
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So, where do you live? From my San Diego perspective, Hawaii is in the Past, California the Present, and Japan the Future. I pretty much reside right here in California, with occasional trips to the west and east. How about you—are you the Hawaii kinda guy or the Japan kinda gal, or do you break through the space-time continuum and live in several at once? Knowing the answer to this question is another tool to help you better understand yourself and those around you so that you can be best positioned to make an impact and succeed every day.
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[USE THIS: How does your own Tense Filter affect what you enjoy doing? Or are good at? How does it affect the type of people you most easily connect with or the conversations you have? The next time you meet with your boss, spouse, or kids, communicate how your Tense plays out in the way you think and act. Tell them what you need to feed this Tense so that you can be living at your best]
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Are you interested in where you might lie on the Tense continuum? Send me a message or post a comment, and I’m happy to chat about it. (If you don’t already know your Talents and speak the language of StrengthsFinder, you can access it here or just give me shout out and I’ll connect you).

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