And yet, our minds, the machine-like part of us that cannot learn, won’t learn, and fancies itself YOU… our minds tell us, moment to moment, that life will remain the way it is in that moment.
Is that crazy or what?
- When something bad happens, the reaction is not to the bad thing, but to the idea that the results of the bad thing are life-long.
- When something good happens, the reaction is not to the good thing. It is to the idea, to the notion, to the certainty, that the good thing will last a lifetime.
- When you are well… you are sure you’ll be always well. When you feel sick, you are sure that unless you fix it, you’ll never feel good again. Gloom and doom, or yippee… all is wonderful. The roller coaster, I call it.
So in light of this behavior of the mind: what is the most important skill?
I hear you whispering: “controlling the mind…” Bah, humbug.
What you can control is what you listen to. YOU, not the mind.
The mind is part of the “voices”, the mind is part of the “IT”, and needs to be treated as such.
There is a whole big brain outside of the mind… really! The mind is just the automatic, machine like, repeating b.s. jumping jack of the brain.
Why we have it? Without it it would be too easy… Just kidding, or maybe not.
Now, the first thing to ignore is the mind saying that anything, literally anything will last without your conscious and skillful maintaining it.
Just remember the time when you enthusiastically applied for a volunteer job, or were happy and excited to be invited to a party, only that the day of the volunteer job, or the day or the party, you’d rather stay in bed.
Where did the energy go? The enthusiasm? The happiness and the excitement? All gone by the way of the dodo.
And change is good, but some things you would like to maintain, if nothing else, for your integrity.
One of the things that, when it changes, it kills possibility, it kills a future dream, and returns life to quiet desperation.
And that is context.
OK, let me explain:
What caused the enthusiasm, the happiness, the excitement is the invisible component: the context. Context is the box you rip open and throw away… but it is the most important part of anything. The box.
When, let’s say, you volunteer to give a party, the context is generosity, the context is love, the context is looking forward to all that fun.
But this context soon to be replaced by the dread of having to clean, having to shop, having to clean, having to… needing to… and should…
The excitement is gone. The enthusiasm, the love, the generosity are all gone. F… Why did I do it? is all there.
Every coin has two sides: the head and the tail… And the head leads, but the tail, reliably follows.
Here is another example:
You decide to eat according to your DNA, according to my muscle testing. You get a weird diet. Very weird, occasionally. You have a wife, two kids, and now you cannot eat the same thing…
You are getting well, you snore less in bed, your food is even cheaper than what your wife is cooking, you make your own meals… and yet, your wife keeps on complaining, trying wear you down so you join the “chicken coop”.
So you decide to have a conversation. You explain that to you being well, becoming a real winner is very important, and you’d like her to support you.
She says: of course… and looks OK about it.
Good, that is done, that is in the bag, your mind says… but in a day or two, she is going to create subtle barriers to your keeping your diet, cook your favorite dish, or invite others for dinner to shame you into eating with the family. Or share with your mother… who, as we all know, will never leave you alone.
And you find yourself, in a week, giving in, snoring again, being tired and drinking six cups of coffee just to be able to get the minimum work done.
You did not activate the skill of keeping context alive, to keeping the context inspiring, for her and for you..
So most important skill is to be able to speak context in an enrolling way, and to never forget to do it again, new and fresh and inspiring.
The better you can speak the context, to the more people you can speak the context, the more “shelf life” your context will have.
Gather support. This phase is the most important in projects and in context.
There is not only one way to skin a cat, and you’ll find your favorite, most fitting way.
For me it is my phone calls, and the notebook by my bed where I write down my successes and my next actions. It’s been working… working as gangbuster. It is scary how well it’s working.
But the moment I’ll thing: it’s done deal, it will start dying. Dying fast.
It is easier to keep something alive than to give it birth again. Especially because every failure makes you trust yourself and life less and less.