Maybe frustration is prevalent for you just now, whether you’re isolated at home with ‘loved’ ones (they might not look so loved sometimes) or whether you’re in the frontline with customers or patients not keeping safe distances, high absence levels, supply chains slowed up or equipment not available. Have a read and see what occurs to you.
I was on Hung Lee’s Recruiting Brainfood on Friday lunchtime — loved it! — and at the end we were invited to share practical tips for mental wellbeing, at this time of ‘unprecedented change’! I felt resistance to the idea of giving tips and here’s why.
We all have a fresh, bubbling source of creativity, fresh thinking and ideas available to us every single moment of every single day.
You’ll have had these. The shower moments when the lightbulb appears. The walk when everything becomes clear. The pits of frustration or sadness and even depression when a fresh thought strikes like a bolt of lightning.
We’ve been taught to figure things out when something feels difficult. We’ve been taught to analyse what’s going on to find an answer. These are activities of an intellect that just gets in the way of the very thing it’s looking for.
Have you ever had an experience where you felt like you were chasing yourself round in circles in your mind?
We’ve constructed new year’s eve on 31st December.
But what if you’re Jewish or Chinese or Pagan?
Then we’ve constructed the idea of new year as a time for reflection, for celebrating or mourning what’s passed, for looking ahead to what’s next.
What if we knew that we didn’t have to do any of it?
How the intellect is taking us away from clarity, brilliance and the perfect next step.
My mum recently got back from a holiday in Nepal. She was telling me about the experience of crossing the road in Kathmandu. Two things struck her.
The first was that the drivers decide the lane system. With no markings on the road, no lane information signs, no overhead illumination in greens and reds about which lines are open and closed. The drivers just drive in a way that makes sense based on the volume of traffic. Six lanes heading into the city in the morning, just one heading out. The opposite in the evening. It just makes sense. And they don’t need a formal system to tell them to do this. It just works. They’re connected. They’re not in their heads.
What level are you working at to try and solve stressful thinking? Is it making the difference you hope? Is it adding in more to-do’s, should’s and complexity to life?
Over thinking leads to..
Inhibited cognitive function & IQ
To try and change we can work at the level of:
- The immediate problem — work longer hours, trudge through the to-do list, have exasperated conversations with colleagues and bosses. Use caffeine to stay awake, grab quick-and-easy-processed-food, some alcohol at night to shut off & wind down.
- The next problem down — the sleep — create the perfect sleep environment, have consistent bed time & wake up times, lavender, pillows, heavy blankets.
- Or the next — the stress — walks, meditation, exercise, change jobs.
- Or the next — the thoughts — switch the negative for the positive, recite mantras, practice helpful beliefs.
None right or wrong. It can make sense to do these things because it can seem really real that stressful thoughts need fixing and changing and getting rid of. They feel yucky. Why would we want them?
Needing balance shows up in various guises in clients’ worlds and yet each and every experience of ‘out of balance’ has the same origins.
I wrote recently about leadership and said I’d write a linked piece about balance because it’s such a common feature of experience and something that was more than a one-liner.
The out-of-balance problems I hear from clients tend to show up as:
Leading the team vs doing my work
Strategic vs operational
As I return from a holiday of Disney, Busch and Universal Park fun I can confirm again, 100%, that thought creates reality. Moment, to moment, to moment.
We came here a few years ago and I did not have a good time. Back then it was Easter, the days were longer, the kids were younger (both seemed to equal lots of grumpiness!) and my fear of heights and nausea with simulators had me stay off the vast majority of the rides. My youngest was the perfect partner as she couldn’t go on the big rides back then.
‘Working in the business or on the business?’ A common phrase to shift attention out of the day-to-day. Up and out into strategy and external insight. But have you ever considered this in the context of your mind?
This week I was one of a group of parents at a meeting with the Head of my kid’s school about changes and improvements they’re making.
At one point there was the suggestion that they ask parents for help more; a wealth of knowledge and experience on their doorstep and from very differing backgrounds and industries.
Loss is essential. Only through loss can something new flow in.
A thought. Dropped in a moment. New insight coming in.
A definite idea of a plan. Loosened and let go of, even the slightest gap. Innovation of something better appears….Keep reading over on Medium, and give it a few claps if you like it! Thanks
If you’re interested in talking more about the work I do, just get in touch here and we can set up a call.