(A picture of Ross and me at the beautiful Iguazu Falls on the borders of Argentina and Brazil)
Recently, I asked my He’Art of Thriving Facebook Group what they would like me to write about in this regular blog. It wasn’t that I was uninspired – I was genuinely curious about what would be most helpful for them.
Here’s the list of suggestions:
- Insecure Thinking and Confidence
- Making Sense of Grenfell Tower
- How to coach people who are blaming their circumstances, or other people
- Why events themselves are neutral
- Obsessions, Habits and Addictions
- How to tell the difference between our wisdom and our ego
Great – I thought. I can get stuck into those.
But then, I found myself procrastinating.
After a few days, I wrote about three paragraphs on each of the above topics, and then paused again.
About a week later, I was on a call with Michael Neill, one of my mentors, and a metaphor he shared landed with me.
He’d shared it before actually – but for some reason this time I found myself smacked around the face with a huge insight that has already transformed my coaching, and what I share on my workshops.
I saw that the reason I was procrastinating was that I wasn’t clear where people were, (in terms of their attention), as they were asking the question.
Were they bobbing about on the lake? Or swimming in the river? Or were they up above the waterfall?
Let me explain!
In any moment, there are three places we can put our attention.
This is about what we do. Our behaviour, our actions, the results we get in the world. Many people spend their whole lives bobbing about in the lake, which is fine – but it’s not a place that has much leverage for change or transformation. Whether we realise it or not, what we DO is driven by our thinking. By the river that is feeding the lake.
Metaphorically, this is our thinking. What seems true to us in the moment. How it looks to us. Because thought is transient, the river is always changing. Something in your life can look one way on a Monday, and completely different on a Tuesday – without anything actually having changed in the external world. If you have fresh, new thinking about something it is BOUND to flow into the lake. Different things make sense to you to DO based on your thinking.
Up Beyond the Waterfall
This is about truth. The unchanging nature of something, including how our minds work. This is inherently stable. It’s a principle – in the way that gravity is a principle. It’s just always the case, whether we know it or not, or believe it or not.
The Earth really does always orbit around the sun. The sky really is always blue, regardless of the weather. Human beings are born and then they die (at least in physical form). Our minds only work one way: inside-out.
When we see something new about the nature of things, it MUST cascade down into the river, which then flows into the lake. This is why insights are so powerful and pervasive. One fresh new insight can be the tide-raising factor that lifts ALL the boats on the lake.
Thinking is transient. Behaviour is transient. Results are transient. The nature of something is just always true.
This is why I choose to point people back up above, behind and before the waterfall in my coaching and workshops. It’s where the biggest leverage is.
When people’s attention is on the lake – their circumstances, the behaviours they wish they did more (or less), the results they’re getting in the world, (or not getting), it really seems like what would be most helpful is a strategy or a how-to.
We innocently look for ‘hacks’.
“Give me the seven steps to more Confidence!” people demand.
Trouble is, the seven steps don’t work very well, or for long, or they’re just too much like hard work. They’re also predicated, usually, on the notion that there’s something wrong with you, or something missing.
When people’s attention is on the river, they think they have to change, manage or control their thinking in some way. Replace ‘negative’ thinking with ‘positive’ thinking. Become their own thought police.
You don’t have to do that either.
All that’s needed is more understanding about the nature of the human mind.
One of the ways you can get this for yourself is to come along to my 3-day Heart of Thriving workshop – running 27 – 29 September, and immerse yourself in your TRUE self. Contact me for more details, or find out more on my website at www.kaizen-training.com
I’m so pleased my latest book is helping many people already… here’s another shameless plug if you haven’t bought a copy yet!
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