Food for Thought from Mike Schwarzer’s Pearls of Wisdom, July 2013
“We don’t see the world as it is. We see the world as we are!” Anais Nin
What a fantastic line!
Who hasn’t experienced moments when you felt on top of the world, full of joy, enthusiasm and highly motivated with an energy that was infectious? And funny enough, the world and the people around you looked beautiful. There seemed to be a harmony between you and your external world. You liked the world and the world liked you. It was easy to get on with people and they seemingly were eating out of the palms of your hands. Solutions to problems just appeared. Your creative juices were flowing with new ideas and insights. Time was flying while you were engrossed in activities that would normally be a drag. At the end of the day you felt alive with energy to burn and a strong sense of wellbeing.
On the flip side you may also have experienced the opposite. Moments when you felt that the world was to blame for all your worries and feeling sorry for yourself with an energy that was repelling. You seemed to be at war with yourself and your external world. And in this scenario didn’t the world and the people around you look just the way you felt? You disliked the world and the world disliked you. People didn’t particularly want to be around you and it seemed that they were the cause to all of your problems. You’ve got little collaboration and got not much done! At the end of the day you’ve felt exhausted and burned out.
Does the circumstance have you or do you have the circumstance?
What is the difference between the two scenarios? High quality versus low quality of mind or Artistry versus Misery! Look at it this way, when we operate from a high quality of mind, we experience life with greater clarity, presence of mind and a heightened sense of self-awareness regardless of our circumstances. Here we drive the quality of how we feel our circumstances. We have the circumstance. We call this inside out thinking. A high quality of mind allows us to draw on our inner resources and wisdom. It helps us to develop new insights, see possibilities, expand our mental and behavioural flexibility, focus more on what we can bring to the world rather than what we can take, bring out the best in ourselves and others and enjoy a greater quality of life and wellbeing.
When we operate from a low quality of mind, we experience life quite differently. We experience a lack of clarity, distress and have little self-awareness. We feel at the mercy of our circumstances, being controlled by them. In this case the circumstance has us. We call this outside in thinking. A low quality of mind limits us from drawing on our inner resources and gives us little mental and behavioural flexibility. It prevents us from being the best we can be, live an authentic life, have high quality relationships, help others to be the best they can be.
Artistry or Misery, which one do you want to lead your life?
Which mind dominates most of your mental space, high quality or low quality? Where do you spend most of your time? What would happen if you practice inside out thinking and develop a high or even higher quality of mind?
How do you bring Artistry to your mind?
We are limited by the boundaries of our assumptions that we make about the world and our circumstances. In other words the meanings that we hold in mind about what we deem is true and what is not true to us. These meanings create an inner map of how we see and experience
the world or how it works. This inner map is reflected and expressed in our thinking, in our language and in our behaviours. Depending on the level of distinctions and richness of our map it gives us either a greater or smaller range of mental and behavioural flexibility and choice in how we respond to and interact with our environment.
There is no right nor wrong with what we are holding true about a certain circumstance or the world. Rather it is a question of usefulness. Does the way we think and feel about something or someone serve us? Does it support us? Does it enrich us? If the answer is no, then we may consider changing it or adding further choices to it.
We bring artistry to the mind by expanding on the meanings that we hold about ourselves, others, our capabilities, the world around us, etc.
And how do we expand our meanings? By questioning the assumptions behind those meanings and in doing so giving them new and/or additional meanings. By doing that we stretch our mind and give it greater flexibility.
With what mind do you want to lead yourself and others? With what mind do you want to engage and connect with the world? The one that leads to Artistry or the one that leads to Misery?
When you lead with clarity and presence of mind –
- How do you show up in the world?
- What kind of leader are you?
- What relationships do you have with yourself and others?
- What kind of conversations do you have?
- What difference do you make to your family, friends and the community?
- What problems do you solve and how?
- How do you contribute to your work and serve your clients?
- What levels of health and wellbeing do you enjoy?
Curious to find out more about how to bring artistry of the mind to your self-leadership and experience a higher quality of life and work? Then contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the details for our Inside-Out Leadership training at www.thoughtleadingpeople.com.au/.
to your highest learning and growth
About Mike Schwarzer
Mike is a Transformation Professional and an Internationally Certified Trainer in Applied Neuro Synergy & NLP with the Global Association of Applied Neuro Synergy, GAANS. An experienced facilitator and coach, with an ability to connect and align people, he helps leaders and organisations to solve the problems that they have not been able to solve elsewhere and create the results they want to achieve.