The greatest misconception that exists in society today is the commonly-held belief that the world is happening to us. We innocently, but mistakenly believe that we are dealing with a world of circumstances, situations, systems and other people. Read any newspaper, watch the news, or listen to those around you, and you will begin to notice the pervasiveness of this belief, the idea that our experience of life is fundamentally determined by issues and circumstances ‘out there’.
We routinely talk of high-pressure jobs, stressful workloads, difficult bosses or colleagues, and frustrating relationships. We take it as a given that other people and situations make us feel a certain way. The economy, technology, parenting, traffic, change – the list of factors perceived to affect our mental and emotional lives goes on. For anyone interested in the current state of the world right now, the outlook doesn’t get much better. War, terrorism, violence, racism, mental illness, poverty, domestic abuse…it can be hard to look at the scale of the challenges the world is facing and not wonder if we aren’t heading in the wrong direction.
This belief, however, is a simple, innocent misunderstanding of what lies behind the human experience. As difficult as it can be initially to see, and as much as it flies in the face of every commonly-held notion in the world, the only thing we can ever be up against in life is our state of mind in the moment: we live not in a world of circumstances, systems and other people, but in a world of our own transient thinking.
Those willing to challenge their understanding of the world by considering this possibility and exploring its implications will begin to see not only that we live in a world of thought in the moment, but also that our state of mind – the quality and clarity of our thinking at any given time – is in fact an independent variable, unrelated to the circumstances of, or people in, our life. We begin to see that the mind is designed for well-being and success, and that there is nothing we need to do or change in the external world to achieve the happiness and peace of mind we all ultimately seek.
Once we as individuals, and then as businesses, organisations, communities and ultimately as nations, see that we can stop trying to manage ‘problems’ in the world that are, by their very nature, temporary reflections of state of mind, we can begin to focus instead on creating our world from a radically different starting point: from potential, not perceived limitation. We can begin to see possibility and potential for change where we couldn’t before. The most urgent challenges that we face in the world today – major global challenges like violence, terrorism and gender inequality, but also the every-day challenges of burnout, fatigue, miscommunication, low morale and disconnection from those around us, to name just a few, can be effortlessly resolved.
This is a revolutionary shift in perspective, and the vital missing piece in our understanding of the world. An understanding of state of mind is quite literally a game-changer for leaders, businesses and individuals interested in operating from greater freedom of mind and working to create a better world.
Susan Andrewes Consulting Ltd is dedicated to working with leaders, individuals and organisations working to achieve sustainable change and make the world a better place. For more information on our ground-breaking global and personal leadership programmes, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.