Drawing from the latest cross-disciplinary research, this paper reimagines standard practices to deliver innovative solutions for the emerging challenges that face the individual in the modern world.
Collaborating with thought leaders in diverse fields from neuroscience and psychology, leadership and business culture, systems engineering to environmental science I’ve created a thought process to engage the individual, community and corporation to collaborate and create impactful solutions.
This work brings together human well-being, the built environment, and ecology to create solutions for stress, improvement in health, an antidote to depression and a connection to wealth creating success in a changing world.
It begins with roots deeply planted in a morning connection with nature. This work is more than digging deep. It’s about taking control & driving the bus.
It’s about clever use of time & resources to be absolutely present in each of the different pieces of the puzzle. It’s about clearing a rolling fog that if allowed, will persist throughout the day/week/month/year. What you’ll achieve is an effective morning, combining the elements of healthy food, exercise and focus on the current task and making time for the big picture, all threaded together in a way that hits these pieces at full throttle.
This approach brings the relief and release that comes with knowing you have had a solid, effective crack at something without the fog of distraction, without competing alternatives for any given minute or hour. The 30 Day Challenge is the best way of achieving it.
Traveling the world can be pricey… wandering your mind is free.
More than that, it’s an investment. The more time you spend wandering the halls of your psyche, the more you will get in return.
The world is a beautiful place, but there is nothing more beautiful than the human mind.
You need to travel. You need go sightseeing. You need to explore all that the world has to offer.
But don’t forget about the most beautiful of all places, a place where you are in control, where you have all the freedom you could possibly ask for.
Don’t forget to wander your mind because traveling the world honestly pales in comparison.
LEARNING TO ENJOY YOUR MIND IS THE FIRST STEP TO ENJOYING EVERY OTHER ASPECT OF YOUR REALITY.
Our minds don’t just think — they govern what we think, why we think and how we think. And what are thoughts? Perceptions, interpretations and understandings of our reality.
The way we understand the world to be — both on a micro and macro level — is all from our single standpoint – our mind. So, our minds rule our personal reality. If we think it’s bad, it’s bad. If we think it happened, it happened.
Emotions clearly arise from within us, in response to the thoughts we have about the world around us and, most importantly, the thoughts we have about ourselves.
So, mind can be changed. Emotions can be changed. Therefore it is a good place to start. If we can change our thoughts and our emotions what would it be wise to think about the going’s on around us. Is there a different way to see the world so we have less anxiety, less food dependency, less stress, more love and inspiration about life?
BEFORE YOU GET TO KNOW THE WORLD, IT’S WISER TO GET TO KNOW YOURSELF.
It is wise and fun to explore your own mind. If you don’t explore your own mind then the only avenue for change is outside your mind. That doesn’t work because it’s filled with disempowered frustration and blame. Changing the world is a crazy ambition. Changing your mind and therefore being part of a changing world is wisdom.
The most powerful proposition ever offered to any human being is the freedom to change their mind, to think beyond what you are trained to think, to break free of the prison of convention, breakout, breakthrough circumstance, join the revolution, the evolution.
THE WAY YOU VIEW AND UNDERSTAND THE WORLD, STARTS WITHIN YOU.
There is a flower. It is fresh and alive. It may be a rose. A red, fragrant rose. But it is lying across the casket of a dead mother. Tears fill your eyes. The flower is just a flower but there is profound sadness in this flower. Somebody loved that person and now that bond is different. The flower is not described the same. And someone takes that flower and puts it on the centre of your dinner table as you romance your lover and the flower now means “I love you” – it is the same flower but you have given new meaning to it.
Events are events, things are things until we give them meaning. This is a very powerful proposition. It means that death is not sad until we make it so. A wedding is not happy until we choose to be happy about it. A past lover might cry at a wedding at the loss of what might have been had they, in their mindset, not been so …..
Most people think that they think. Their impulses are not considered. This is a blessing because imagine what it would be like to contemplate everything. One would need to time of a monk, no work, no worries or responsibilities, in order to spend that time contemplating every thought. So, the mind creates patterns, habits, memories. And those serve us well.
But those patterns are not infinite patterns. They are time zone patterns. For example: being angry with your father might be a great way to think when you go through university or get your first job, but when you are a doctor in surgery, or a parent, or a business owner or a table tennis champion in the Olympics, being angry with your father might become the thought, the pattern, the habit that breaks your concentration, prevents your progress, stops your dreams from being realised.
Ultimately, if you don’t love your parents, you can’t love yourself. And yet, even love is an evolving mental awareness. At 15 years old, love is pure and unbridled infatuation, when we are 25 love is a pleasure, when we are 35 love is deeper, more of the soul and yet, there are 65 years or more of life and love must grow for those years too. Love doesn’t plateau nor does any other belief, pattern or habit. And yet, we wish it did.
Our identity is often built from those patterns of thought. We prefer to see the world through one fixed lens. Often the 15 year old love is the love we approach our new partner with at 35 and 45 and we try desperately to stay young by applying that belief about life of the 15 year old self. This identity is where all, 100% of our emotional, mental and to some degree physical pain comes from. To avoid this pain, we must evolve.
This awareness is lost on the therapist, psychologist, human resource development expert or psychologist who are trained in coaching individuals into a perfected snap shot of reality. For example: if you are wounded in love and go for help, a coach will rarely present a fluid solution to your pain by identifying where your evolution is blocked, but rather present a more ideal way of resolving your history.
To evolve and mentally mature as life and opportunity presents itself we must disconnect our identity from our thought process. This means recognising that the more we know, the more we know we don’t know. Simply, the way we see things can change infinitely and therefore there is always a new day, a fresh opportunity to be humble, to learn a new perspective on something we have encountered before but must now see differently.
If you are a song writer and write a song that 1000 people love, and you are about to write a song and you hope 2,000 people love this song, you must write in a new, more evolved way. This doesn’t mean the difference between pen on paper or computer as a means to transcribe your thoughts, it means the difference between your immersion process, the depth to which you go to write. You need to evolve your process.
The reason I bring all of this up is for one specific reason: To encourage you to consider the life enhancing benefits of breaking with conventional snap shot models of the way people see the world around them and to navigate and map your own mind, to wander it, explore it, make connections from your personal experiences and from the things you’ve learned, simply to have the courage to evolve your thinking.
IT’S POSSIBLE THAT EVERYTHING YOU’RE EXPERIENCING EXISTS SOLELY IN YOUR MIND.
Descartes once pointed out, “the only thing we can be certain of is our own existence. Nothing else is guaranteed.” but just because he’s famous and got a nice name from history, doesn’t mean he’s right. Actually, to evolve there must be a centreline around which you adapt your thinking, otherwise all 360 degrees of the compass can become the right direction.
To evolve your thinking you must know when you are not evolved. That is the default. If I feel certain things, if I can observe certain things, if certain results present themselves I can say that my thinking is evolving. If those certain things are not present, I am stuck. This is how we know when to evolve our thinking and we are in luck because those signals are present in all seven areas of life.
I present here a small warning. Life is spherical. Three even four dimensional. But change is two dimensional. To change our mind is not evolving but evolving our mind does change it. If I am stressed at work I can easily change my mind because I have a thousand options I can use to make the situation less stressful. But if I change my mind about a situation at work I have not evolved. I have simply pushed the challenge out and into another area of my life. Let me give you an example of this common troublesome error in mind control.
I am at work and there is a person who aggravates the hell out of me. He’s a total pain in the butt. I go to a class and learn forgiveness or compassion or even gratitude and calm myself by resolving my reaction. Now I have changed my response to the pain in the butt guy. He’s still a pain in the butt, however, I’ve changed my reaction. Then I go home from work and get ticked off with the kids. They are not a pain in the butt, like the guy at work, however, my reaction is more accentuated than it normally would be. Simply I’ve just taken my emotions and bought them home. Nothing changed, it only moved to a different venue.
I have found this to be the most common process for people who are, with good intention, wanting to bring about a change in their world. They try to change their responses. This just moves things to another area of their life. A good example of this is a client who studied meditation and wanted their work place to be peaceful, it was an attempt to change their reaction to the stress of their home life in which they were dealing with out of control kids and a partner who was quite bitter. The more they meditated for peace, the more determined they became to introduce harmony in the workplace but the more violent became their home. This concept of changing our reaction to situations is the snap shot version of mental development. It is not evolving, it is only two dimensional and although helpful, usually results in increased frustration.
To evolve that situation we would simply work out what was taking us off centre with the pain in the butt guy. We’d look to evolve, not by changing our reaction to him, but by changing our perception. Just like the rose, it can be sad or happy, it’s our perceptions that evolve us. Our reactions change as a consequence of changing how we see things. And how we see things is what I would love to help you define as your centreline so you know when you are not evolving.
The idea of not evolving everyday is frightening. When we don’t evolve our thinking it is the equivalent of a pond of water that doesn’t have movement, it stagnates. It starts to smell. All around us can feel like change is happening, we can be growing in all sorts of directions but if our thoughts are not evolving, we are not evolving and this attracts calamity, disaster and humbling circumstances to move the stagnation forward.
This is why I think this work is so profoundly important to you. If you have decided to change your life, then it is wise to know the difference between change and evolving. Change is to a snap shot of life and evolving is to a process around a centreline that never ever stops.
When I was going through some personal drama more than 30 years ago all I wanted was for the pain to stop. I was so stressed, exhausted, that if someone offered me evolve or change as an option I would have been disinterested in the difference. My issue would have been “which one gives me the fastest pain relief?”
And so, I relieved the pain. But then got problems in another area of my life, for which I needed pain relief. Which I got from another source and then I got a pain in another area of life for which I needed another source of pain relief. I went from relationship pain, to business pain, to health pain, to spiritual pain, to relationship pain, to financial pain and after five years, I’d spent a fortune looking for ever growing solutions to ever growing pain. All interconnected at some level but to me, completely separate. I had the feeling that the universe hated me or was punishing me for how I’d lived my life. And there were plenty of people I’d hurt along the way who were in their own way, sort of hoping I’d hurt as much as I’d hurt them.
It’s so easy to get caught in the “change loop.” Fixing one problem and creating another. Most of us don’t recognise the interconnectedness of life’s ups and downs. We partition and can’t see that when we don’t evolve, we fragment challenges and simply more the problems from one form to the next.
As it turns out, that five years was the hardest of my life. And, when I eventually understood evolving and recognised the pitfalls of changing, the required shift that I needed, five years earlier, took 20 minutes. No months of meditating in caves, or climbing mountains, or sitting in Zen or paying therapists or studying MBA was required. 20 minutes evolving was all it took. I’m not saying I have regrets, every pioneer has to blaze a trail that, in retrospect was a lot of work. But I wish to save you time and energy and money, by showing you the difference between evolving and changing. Please enjoy.