But that doesn’t mean we can’t try!
You’re about to embark on a whole new journey…
From a dramatic, unexpected conflict that almost tore a close friendship apart, to the most hilarious of family vacations. There will be action, there will be tactics, and there will be insights.
It’s a dream come true for any knight, king, OR sage!
Once Upon A Time…
1. How KKS can enhance communication and build teamwork.
Sometimes speaking the same language doesn’t mean we know how to communicate.
Sometimes we get so stuck in our own perspective that it can trick us into thinking we can’t get along with others. In actuality, it’s just a communication problem caused by seeing life through different KKS mindsets.
This is the story of two women who were living so extremely in their different KKS mindsets that they were unable to work together, despite being highly compatible in their personal lives.
Zoe and Hailey were working on producing a film together. Zoe was directing and Hailey was stage-managing.
They were good friends in their personal lives, and neither one wanted the other’s job, so it looked like it would be a conflict-free situation. In fact, it looked like such a good match that they were really excited to begin working together!
Zoe usually lives in a knight mindset but is often vey fluid with her personality, allowing the king and sage aspects to take a forefront when they are more effective.
But when she directs, her knight side takes a strong lead. She’s very passionate about her work! So much so, that sometimes it makes her blind to any complications in the process. And her eye for detail is so keen that sometimes it over-shadows her ability to see how all the details fit together.
Hailey, on the other hand, tends to live in a sage mindset most of the time. But she’s comfortable taking on her knight mindset when it’s helpful and accepts her king side when it’s the most beneficial.
Being the stage manager in the film brings out a clear sage side in her though. She’s very gifted at seeing all the actor’s needs and desires, but sometimes struggles to make something concrete and usable out of that information. She definitely has the wisdom and insight to see what will and won’t work, but can’t always convey detailed information quickly enough to make the necessary adjustments.
In their personal lives these traits had never been an issue, so neither foresaw problems arising over something as simple as scheduling for a film!
As Hailey attempted to gather and understand all the aspects of the actors’ schedules, Zoe was eager to start work…
Zoe kept looking to start the next day, and Hailey kept looking to discuss the long-term options for the schedule before starting…
Hailey felt like Zoe was charging in unprepared! Clearly, listening to the actors’ needs for scheduling was vital to a successful rehearsal process.
But Zoe felt that Hailey was getting lost in her thoughts! Things would be fine if they could only get started and share her passion.
They got so frustrated over this they started snapping, and eventually yelling, at each other. So much so, the good friends ended up discussing how they shouldn’t work together any more.
This is where Knight, King, Sage was able to aid in communication and help these friends get back on the same page.
When they came over to visit us, we pointed out how their extreme knight and sage mindsets left them unable to learn and communicate effectively with each other.
They needed to open their minds to the other’s natural gifts and skills that were being utilized in their work environment, and use that to uplift them, not tear them apart.
For Zoe, being so gung ho stopped her from listening to the people she was working with, and made her seem bossy and demanding. Her passion was an asset to her vision of the final product and helped her with every detail she addressed. But her refusal to adjust made her hard to work with and stopped her from seeing opportunities for improvement.
Hailey could get so caught up in the possibilities of how things could play out she sometimes forgot to come up with something concrete and usable. She spent a lot of time working on the schedule, but often didn’t get anywhere. She was understanding and compassionate and people appreciated her listening to their needs, but she couldn’t make strong decisions that moved the process along when she had so much information in her head.
By pointing out the natural strengths and weaknesses of both mindsets, we showed the two women how they could bring balance to each other, watching out for traps the other tended to fall into.
Though it involved being more understanding of each other and accepting of their own faults, it allowed them to live in their key mindset and use their strengths more advantageously for the greater good of the project.
By blending their skill set, they became a great team, closer friends, and more effective at their jobs. They helped build each other up instead of letting communication and a lack of understanding tear each other down.
At the end of the day, the film turned out to be a success! Inevitably, they decided they liked working together after all, and have done it many times since.
Next time you may be struggling with someone, try looking at how you can improve your communication by better understanding each other using KKS. You might just find the differences that are causing conflict are really untapped potential that can take your relationship to a new level.
2. How KKS can give you a competitive edge by changing your perspective.
Hey guys, it’s Nathaniel. Not long ago, I had a college buddy over who’s heavily involved with martial arts. Let’s call her Ashley.
Ashley’s key mindset is a sage, with strong knight tendencies as her supporting mindset. Every now and then she has some golden king moments, but this girl is a witchy firecracker like none other!
It makes sense that she loves the different types of martial arts classes at her dojo…
Some nights they focus on very specific formwork, really diving into the details of stance, posture, alignment, breathing, and so forth. Other nights, they’re being taught a new takedown or complex form for the first time.
Either way, all classes engage Ashely’s sage and knight sides quite a bit depending upon what they’re learning.
Now you’d be surprised, but when Ashley came over she told me that she was having such a difficult time lately in class and was really discouraged to go.
She was really down on herself since she recently advanced to a new belt and was constantly tweaking old things and learning new things every class. She said she was having a hard time flowing with all of the new changes and felt like she was very inadequate because of it.
Consequently, she was taking some huge hits to her self-confidence and her martial skill, and had a lot of pressure and judgment building up inside!
I talked to Ashley about a lot of things after that. But one of the first things that I mentioned, which had a great effect on her, was looking at how she was struggling in class because of her difficulty finding the harmony between her sage and knight mindsets.
Since Ashley was already very familiar with the different qualities of KKS and used it frequently in her life, all I had to do was show her how changing her perspective would help her become much more successful.
On days she learns a new form, she would benefit the most from her sage mindset:
It would give her a greater ability to absorb information and understand the different reasons why the form flows the way it does. It would also allow her to pick up information much more quickly and retain it significantly longer through all the connections she was making through that understanding.
In this instance, paying attention to the details from a knight mindset would only serve to distract her and add to the duration it would take for her to learn the new form.
On days she tweaks older forms, she’s best benefited from her knight mindset:
It would give her a greater attention to detail and ability to stay focused in the moment much longer. She could really tune out other thoughts and focus on feeling her form more thoroughly. That way she could pick out any minute details that needed to be tweaked for better control and perfection of the form.
In this case, trying to understand and absorb the form and teaching would only distract her and pull her out of the moment. As a result, she’d lose her attention to detail that she’d need to make class more efficient for her.
Once I explained how consciously deciding which mindset to approach class (or parts of class) with would help her, she was much more excited to get back to her dojo for training!
Not only that, but she definitely identified with the struggle between using her sage and knight mindsets at the wrong times. They were really adding to all that unnecessary pressure, judgment, and stress that were leading her down a much more negative path.
Next time you come across a situation that you’re struggling with, try the following:
- First address what KKS mindset you’ve been approaching the situation with.
- Then find which KKS mindset you think would be best to take on the situation.
- And finally, try approaching the situation from that new mindset and see if the change in perspective helps you in any way.
Perhaps it’ll give you the edge to turn that negative circumstance into a successful and positive one too, like Ashley.
3. How KKS can help you identify how people change in different scenarios and what to do with this information.
Hi, it’s Kelly! When I’m not working with Nathaniel and Kaitlin on Modern Monks, I teach singing lessons in Hollywood. I’ve had a lot of Knight, King, Sage experiences when I work with people, but there’s one particular story about my good friend I’d like to share.
Jane and I had been friends long before she started taking voice lessons with me. She’s outgoing and full of excitement no matter what the topic of conversation is or what activities we’re involved in.
When she talks about her strong opinions and ideas, she’s full of passion and enthusiasm, particularly when talking about anything to do with her love of the performing arts. But maybe one of her loveliest traits is that she’ll liven up any room she’s in!
Spending time as a knight comes very naturally to her, since it’s her key mindset. And for a long time it was the only side of her I knew…
But when I began teaching her as a singer, her personality sharply changed. She became absolutely silent, absorbing everything with big eyes. She almost never spoke, except to say, “ I understand, let’s try it.”
You can imagine how much this threw me at first!
Jane has never been silent and always agrees or disagrees passionately. At first I thought I must have offended her somehow! She always had something to say.
But she didn’t seem offended, just different than normal. Besides, I’d seen her offended before, and she was a knight through and through.
Then it dawned on me…
Jane may spend most of her time in her knight personality, but when she learns, she takes on a very strong sage mindset.
She’s observant and absorbs everything, rarely speaking unless she’s explaining a new revelation. Learning just brings out this supporting mindset of hers I had never seen before.
Once I understood that, I was able to be a better match for her as a teacher.
I began sharing much more about why things work and the theory behind it, which helped her sage side. I didn’t look for her impassioned responses to check that she was on track, like she would have shown if she was responding in her usual knight mindset.
When I worked with her natural way of learning and used this new information to change my understanding of her, she started learning much faster and more effectively. It was thrilling!
Whether she’s living in her playful knight mindset or her studious sage mindset, Jane and I are great friends. And as her teacher, I feel at ease knowing she’s just adapting to the situations around her to do her best work.
Knowing about KKS allowed me to understand and identify how people change in different situations, and how working with this change allows for better connection and communication, leaving us both feeling more accomplished and at ease.
4. How KKS can help you discover what may be holding you back in life.
Alex spends almost all of his time in a king or sage mindset.
When he’s seeing the world as a king, he’s amazingly tactical.
He always has a plan he can set into motion that will help him achieve his absolute best, and if that plan doesn’t work, he has at least three back ups. His ability to look ahead and deduce likely outcomes is a huge help to himself and those around him. He rarely gets caught off guard!
Alex also has a very strong sage side, since it’s a large supporting mindset of his.
He loves reading to understand the concepts and wisdom of things that matter to him. He has a vast knowledge of his field and uses that information to his advantage all the time.
He’s also a great listener who takes time to understand the people around him and the great minds he seeks out.
With all these talents and resources it’s surprising he has any struggles at all!
But strongly denying any side of yourself tends to harm you overall. And Alex had a hard time accepting his knight mindset…
With all his vast knowledge and in-depth plans, he rarely acted on his ideas, even when they were brilliant!
He’d choose to think and rethink his concepts to avoid plunging in and risk making mistakes, or worse…wasting his time at something that wasn’t working.
He was so careful that he couldn’t live the life he was working so hard to create for himself.
When he realized he was struggling, he sought us out to help him understand why he wasn’t making progress. We could see right away how out of harmony he was!
He had a world of talent inside of him that couldn’t get out through his constant denial of his knight mindset. Once he understood this, he was willing to work on it.
At first, he was reluctant to charge into things and take action without feeling thoroughly prepared. But we reminded him that he could never be fully prepared for everything.
Eventually, something would come up where he’d have to think on his feet. And with all the research he’d done, we had no doubt he’d know what to do.
We also explained that taking action could feel vulnerable, but it would allow him to share the amazing person he’d cultivated internally!
Through the risks he took, more opportunities came about in his life. All which led him to discover more about his field through tangible experience, rather than through reading and research.
Though his king and sage mindsets played a crucial role in his success, it was the action he was taking from his knight mindset that caused his life to develop in a more complete and fulfilling way.
Had he not neglected that aspect of himself, he could have been putting all that planning and wisdom to use much sooner!
Now Alex is more successful than ever and much more comfortable taking action. Learning to use and appreciate his knight mindset allowed him to become a more well-rounded person. It even enhanced his king and sage mindsets.
If you’re curious about what key and supporting mindsets you have, try taking our fun personality quiz. That way you can make sure you’re finding harmony between your different mindsets and develop a well-rounded persona too, just like Alex.
5. How our supporting mindsets can solve situations our key mindsets can’t.
What’s up everyone? It’s Kaitlin and I’ve got a great story to share with you all.
Let me start by saying, I love my family. Really, I do.
They’re great people: funny, smart, and caring. But they all live in a sage mindset most of the time. All of them.
For the most part this is pretty awesome since I live in a sage mindset most of the time as well. This means they generally understand how I tick, and in turn, tick the same way.
But as awesome as my family is, sometimes having four sages can be difficult, especially with one scenario in particular…vacations.
June 2014- New Orleans, Louisiana…the Walkers are going on a vacation!!
We chose New Orleans since it’s a cool new place none of us have been to. In preparation, we were all given the task of doing some research and coming up with some things in the city we’d like to do.
Now you have to realize that this is a bit new for us…
My dad travels a lot for work and my mom often goes with him. So often, where we go on vacation is usually a place my parents have been before. They know the lay of the land and they generally know how to figure out what will be enjoyable or an inevitable tourist trap.
But this trip was completely different.
None of us had been there, and so we were all on an even playing field. We were completely clueless about a city that has a lot of potential opportunities.
Flash forward to night one of our trip. No itinerary.
You see, as four sages, we had looked at a lot of options and had generally decided that they all sounded pretty good. Which was great and all, but doesn’t answer when to do things and doesn’t provide a stimulus to actually do them. We needed some knight and king action. Fast.
So I looked around and I attempted to assess the supportive mindsets of the group, hoping to find some traits that will balance each other.
Let’s start with my dad:
My dad has over 30 years experience in sales and management that bring out a very different side of his personality. Boom, there’s the king. He sits down with a computer and phone to do recon and start planning.
Next is my mom:
My mom has a very strong knight side compared to the rest of us. She’s gonna be our “get up and go” girl. We know that whatever we decide, she’s either gonna be the driving force behind getting out and actually doing it, or she’s gonna see the smaller details of why a certain event won’t work. Awesome. Mom tunes in, provides feedback, and supplies an excited attitude that starts to get us all on board.
Then there’s my brother:
He’s brilliant, savvy, and really good at understanding the general feel we want for vacation. He’ll be the first to point out that even though an event seems super fun, it might not fit into the grand scheme of what we’ve decided we want out of the trip. So my bro gets to hang out in his sage and king mindsets, since both are fairly strong in him and support my Dad’s leadership role nicely.
I decide to hang out in a sage and king mindset too, but in a different way. I’m the options girl. I combine my king and sage mindsets by presenting scenarios that the rest of the team can analyze, plan, and stamp with approval or leave on the cutting room floor. We could do a ghost tour on Wednesday, which leaves Friday open for a boat ride and Saturday open to watch the hockey game… Or let’s do the boat ride Thursday and Saturday and do brunch and a ghost tour later that night. You get the idea.
An hour later, we have all our reservations (thanks Dad!) and are embarking on our first event: drinks and live music on Bourbon Street.
Though we all had strong inclinations for our key mindsets, embracing some of our supporting mindsets helped us become a solid team. And I must say, our team had a fantastic vacation!
Moral of the story: don’t forget to take some time to really understand your supporting mindsets.
Sure, we might live in our key mindset most of the time and have a natural preference for it, but it’s our supporting mindsets that give so much color and depth to our personalities.
Understanding them and what situations benefit from using them more often will help us grow in far more unique and beneficial ways!
And They All Lived Happily Ever After! The End.
Thanks for taking the time to read these stories. We hope they’ve served as some great examples of how you can use Knight, King, Sage to positively impact your life!
As we just saw, Knight, King, Sage is not only a fun way to understand yourself, but it also is a great tool to improve your life. It can enhance communication, broaden your perspective, understand how people change in different circumstances, help you realize your full potential, and solve tricky situations.
But the story doesn’t have to end there!
We’d love for you to start your own story by taking the “Knight, King, Sage” Quiz for yourself. This is the best “first step” you can take if you want to learn more about this fun method.