How well do you know your mind?

1D 2D 3D Mind Framework & Quiz

The 1D 2D 3D Mind framework (introduced in Enduring Edge) describes three states of mind in which we tend to think. While we each use all three states, we can only be in one at a time and default to some more than the others. The Mind Quiz has 10 questions, takes ~2 minutes, and reveals whether you tend to default to the 1D, 2D, or 3D state of mind:

The result of the Quiz, combined with the 1D 2D 3D Mind framework, reveals how we can harness the strengths and conquer the weaknesses of each state of mind to gain an enduring edge in how we use our mind. For:

“True intelligence rests not in mastering any one dimension of our mind but in balancing how we use all three.”

-Enduring Edge



The 1D mind is our most primal state of mind focused on a singular mission—our short-term survival. Ever on alert for threats—real or imagined—the 1D mind harbors the ‘fight or flight’ or stress response. It is guided by basic impulses, a sense of urgency, emotions, such as fear, and memories of past experiences. While the 1D mind is critical for survival, most of us tend to overuse it, falling into its traps.


The 2D mind is the seat of our rational and analytical thinking capabilities—our intellect. It gathers tangible data and information to guide its analyses and decisions. The 2D mind is responsible for much of our productivity in the world. Yet, it can lead us into analysis paralysis or an over-reliance on data. The 2D mind is also the seat of our ego, which harbors judgment and can easily lead to binary (us vs. them) thinking.


The 3D mind is the source of our intuition, insights, wisdom, and creative potential. It harbors our sense of meaning, purpose, and values and fosters compassion, empathy, and connection. In the 3D state, we lose track of time, place and self and experience deep inner calm and joy (i.e. being in flow or in the zone). The 3D mind is also the essence of our shared humanity and most of us use it much less than possible.

We can understand the three states of mind with this simple analogy. Imagine you are visiting a new city:


Being in the 1D mind is like driving a car through the city. It’s fast and efficient, yet what we learn is limited because we are confined to roads.


Being in the 2D mind is like being a pedestrian. We can wander in and out of shops and restaurants and talk to locals to gain a deeper, more nuanced experience.


Being in the 3D mind is like taking a helicopter ride. We gain new, holistic perspectives on the city, which an on-the-ground view cannot reveal.

To learn more visit the following sections in Enduring Edge:

For a deeper dive into the 1D 2D 3D Mind Framework and details on each of the three states of mind, read Chapters 3-6.

To learn how to harness the strengths and overcome the weaknesses of each of the three states of mind read Chapters 7–10.

To explore how to train your mind and apply these principles to how you live, work, and lead, read Chapters 11–15.