Is your mind your friend? Do you suffer from stinking thinking?
If you spoke to your friends the way you speak to yourself would you have any friends?
You do not see reality as it is, you see it as you are. This is an important concept because your perception creates your reality. For example, if you see somebody and they remind you of a bully from school, chances are you are going to be cool towards them.
Contrastingly, if you see somebody and they remind you of a really good friend, there's a high chance you're going to be warm towards them. In both cases, it has nothing to do with the individual and everything to do with your perception - based on your filters, your experiences and your reference points.
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I was born and brought up in Zimbabwe. In my last four years there we had regular power cuts. Our kids were very young. I remember the first time we had a power cut and we chose to make it into a big adventure. Candles, a sheet made into a makeshift outside tent and an open fire under the stars. From then on power cuts became an occasion where we got out the candles and cooked over a braai (barbecue).
This contrasted quite sharply with some of the kids' friends. Their parents had found the power cuts disconcerting and, for some, outright frightening. They locked the security gates, doors and windows, brought the dogs into the house and waited until dawn. As such power cuts and being in the dark were connected to something scary and unsettling for them.
The way we think can be directly correlated to the way we behave and the results we see in our lives. For this reason, all our training is based on mindset. Understanding mindsets starts with identifying the little voice in one's head. Is that little voice a friend or foe? We feed the internal voices by giving them attention. Energy flows where focus goes so ensure you focus on what you want more of. One of the best places to start is watching your internal storytelling.
When the latest lockdown was announced we had clients who had to postpone several training days. The rolling lockdown led to further postponement. We had two days booked in Northland and worked out we could get there by driving to Wellington. Then Northland went into lockdown.
My internal conversations and stories have not been good. I have been working hard on focusing on what is good and right and yet somehow found myself dwelling on a frustration I have absolutely no control over. Then I saw a post on LinkedIn of life in Auckland under lockdown and spoke with a client up north who has laid off five workers as sales and cashflow have dried up. My internal pity party was challenged and my internal story changed with a strong focus on being grateful for all we have.
What stories are you repeating in your head and are they producing the energy and outcomes you desire?
• Mike Clark is director and lead trainer and facilitator at Think Right business training company.