Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week's message will be of encouragement to you.
Consider the power to:
Reset Your Mindset!
Results follow Action - Action follows Thought (both conscious and unconscious thought).
"As a man thinketh so shall he be". - Proverbs 23:7
The way we think and feel in any given moment will determine whether we appreciate or depreciate that moment.
Nowadays, appreciation is often thought of in terms of financial growth, but to truly live a rich life, we need to learn to better-appreciate each given moment. No doubt our most precious gift is found in the Now - there is no way to physically inhabit the past or future - thus our current mindset really determines our true wealth.
Isn't a Mindset of Scarcity, despite great financial wealth, poverty?
Consider a deprived person with a Mindset of Abundance, which fuels gratitude in the moment and creates a life with less fear and anxiety.
Hmm, who's wealthier?
Why the difference? Mindset!
I look forward to reading Mindset: The new psychology of success by Carol S. Dweck, the book begins with her astonishing discovery that young children are not afraid of failure but take challenge as a positive experience- they are born with a Mindset of Abundance. When does our mindset change or even worst, convert into a Mindset of Scarcity?
About seven years ago, I was on a family vacation out West, roaming California in an RV. During a very windy day, after hiking around Yosemite, I sat on the lawn with our youngest son Grayson, who shared with me an insight that continues to serve me today. Grayson was six years old at the time. While sitting with my arm around him, I noticed the strong wind moving the trees. Thinking of a metaphor I had heard years before, I saw an opportunity to share some fatherly wisdom. I said, "Grayson, the wind strengthens the tree!"
Feeling pretty good about myself, I looked over at Grayson to see his eyes grow wide, and then he said to me: "Yea Dad, and without using your hands, it will hold a napkin on your face!"
From the mouth of babes.
Of course I laughed out loud, appreciating his contribution - which in time would reveal was particularly profound. While I may have thought he missed my meaning, it was I who missed what his observation revealed. It was only recently that I saw the power in his comment. Every one of us has experienced wind in our lives - winds that have strengthened us and those that have metaphorically left napkins on our face - obscuring the richness of life on the other side. The storms and winds of life develop our mindsets and no matter how strong our tree, there are still napkins which may obscure our vision- and when removed- can help set us free. For what are you without the napkin in your face? The strong tree, unaltered by the wind.
To identify remaining napkins, simply notice those occurrences in your life that you believe should not have happened. Where in your life does your mind have you remaining a victim? If the past is still hurting you - there will be greater fear of the future. When we come to see that all of life has happened for us and not to us, we gain more excitement about what life will bring us in the future. We will go forth with less fear, living more fearlessly and abundantly. When we live wanting to grow and strengthen - for ourselves and others - knowing that whatever comes our way will do just that - life is lived with greater excitement for what a new day will bring - rather than trepidation for what lies around the corner.
If this seems impossible for you right now, the painful occurrence is likely still fresh and may take time. The fight, flight and freeze function in our brain is particularly powerful and tends to take precedence in the heat of the moment. Time heals!
However, if a lot of time has passed, and you are still suffering, consider the thoughts that cause the suffering, thoughts that could be viewed as remaining napkins obscuring your freedom. As Dweck’s research reveals “When they aren’t coping with failure, they feel just as worthy and optimistic- and bright and attractive- as the people with a growth mindset.”
Why does the Mind Set?
Why does it get set in its ways?
The unknown future can terrify or electrify. The difference? Mindset!
All of our possibilities are found in the unknown future, but it is also where we will physically die.
Hmm... The very place that holds so much promise is also the place we die?!
Remember that our relationship with the unknown future impacts our relationship with life in the present moment.
Would you rather die living or live dying?
The mind can get set on the threat.
Danger avoidance can be the way of our day - and to what end: alive, but afraid? Surviving but not Thriving?
Think of the times as a child how you lived fearlessly. Oh sure, you got hurt, but wasn't the freedom worth it? When did we start fearing the price more than appreciating the freedom?
Pogo said, "We have identified the enemy and the enemy is us"
We humans have a voice in our head that can keep us from experiencing life to its fullest - seeing more napkins than appreciating our strengthening tree. Notice the brain’s bias to safety, its desire for control, its desire to know, to jump to conclusions.
Reconsider your thoughts - those that excite you and those that fright you. Try turning around the fearful ones. Write the thought down and then write it’s opposite. It's a very powerful exercise to help reset your mindset. Read "Loving What Is" by Byron Katie, and acquire a few questions that get at Why your mind is set the way it's set.
You have the power within you to reset your mindset! When we enhance our thoughts, we enhance our lives. Get at the napkins that have remained in your face; what you don't face stays in your face.
Pull off the napkins that obscure the glorious life you live and see the opportunities that stretch out far into the horizon. Let no worry steal your joy; live and work from this place! Experience the abundance that is always available in the Here and Now - marvel at how you will attract even more abundance - for you and those you seek to serve.
Make it a great week -
Because you can!