The Client-centred Blog

My favourite Einstein quote and why it matters

There aren’t that many true bona fide geniuses, past or present, but Albert Einstein was certainly in that category.

Apart from his work in the field of physics his insight and clarity into how the human mind works were extraordinary too.

My favourite quote attributed to Einstein’s is:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

To me, he is saying that it is inconceivable that we could find the answers we need on the same level of consciousness in which we see something as a problem.

Can you think of a recurring challenge, difficulty or problem you encounter where you feel stuck and would like an insight or a new perspective?

We can all find examples of these in our lives and it is so easy to expand a great deal of energy looking in the wrong place, or rather, from a state of mind in which we’re highly unlikely to get what we need.

The only time we ever truly transcend a problem is when we get new, fresh thinking about it. In other words, we experience a jump in consciousness.

Imagine a glass elevator on the side of a very tall building. The view from each floor is different and the higher you go the bigger and broader the view.

This is like consciousness.

The higher we go the more perspective we have and something that looks like a problem at a lower level doesn’t even look that way any longer.

But you cannot force, control or will your way to a more expansive state of mind. This would be like trying to slow your car down by pressing the accelerator.

A successful business consultant friend recently shared with me that if he wants an answer to something and it doesn’t come to him in about 30 seconds, he just lets the problem drift out of his mind.

His logic is that if he knew the answer then it would have come to him straight away.

He knows that it tends to be when we are not thinking about a problem that we’ll get an insight or a new idea.

There is a reason for this – the thinking we need comes far more easily to a relaxed mind.

Just the other day I was looking for something in our kitchen at home and I spent a good few minutes looking everywhere I could think of but with no success.

I left the room to do something else and returned a few minutes later to see what I was looking for in plain view on the work top!

It was there all along but in a state of mind in which something doesn’t exist then it simply doesn’t exist. Even when what we are looking for is right in front of our noses.

When it comes to producing the results we want, our state of mind can be our greatest asset or our biggest liability.

The ability we all have is to be aware of how we feel.

Internal feelings of pressure are not information about our circumstances – feelings such as tension, frustration or impatience are telling us that our thinking has become tight and constricted.

Seeing this truth allows your mind to clear. Free from extraneous thinking, as Einstein was telling us, our problems will solve themselves because we are not stifling our natural ability to get insights.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

John Dashfield spent 14 years as a self-employed adviser. Since 2006 he has been a coach, mentor and author helping advisers create transformations in their business and personal lives.

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