Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Habitual ways of Thinking.....
Physicist David Bohm used to say "Normally our thoughts have us rather than we having them". How true is that? Better yet, How scary is that?
And why is our thinking habitual? Well, two reasons, one is biological.....yep, biological!!! your thoughts create the emotional state that is determined by the neuro-peptides that create the feelings you have. And you are addicted to those states and most of the time, you are not even conscious of those thoughts......because they are having you rather than you having them. The second reason is conditioning. An analogy of what I mean is a meeting in a business environment, or even a social environment, but a meeting is better for the example. Most meetings have an agenda which is efficient because it keeps the meeting on task and the participants focussed, or should I say "conditioned".
Now most people tell me, "well yeah, we need to keep focus, otherwise nothing would ever get done!" Okay, I'll entertain that......but what is lost? Creativity? Innovation? Self Awareness? To a degree alot, and we are not even aware of it. Here is one of my favorite stories, and a true one as well about self awareness and how far sideways we can get without even knowing it.
A Jamaican man named Fred that worked for the World Bank was diagnosed with a terminal disease. He went through the typical stage of denial for several weeks, but gradually with the help of friends came to grips with the "idea" that he was going to only live for a few more months. At that point, he decided to stop doing everything that was not essential, or that did not matter. He started working on projects with kids which he had always wanted to do, he stopped arguing with his mother, and started spending more time with his family. He didn't get upset with things like getting cut off in traffic, because he knew he did not have the time to waste being in those states that were not bringing him joy and meaning.
As he did this, of course, those things that took him to states of being he did not want to waste time in, stopped coming into his experience, and he met a wonderful woman that a relationship just blossomed with. She suggested that he get some other medical opinions about his disease and he came to the states and met with doctors who conducted a series of tests. Several days went by when he received a call from one of the doctors who told him they had a different diagnosis. The doctor told him that he had a rare but very curable disease. When he heard this, Fred said he cried like a baby---because he was afraid his life would go back to the way it used to be. Of course it did not, because he had changed, but it took the idea that he would live only a few months to decide to live the life he wanted to live.
So how Self Aware are you and are you living the life you want to. Think about it!!! and the next meeting you attend that has an agenda, just for grins, direct the discussion away from the agenda just to see what emerges.