‘All truth goes through three steps: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; finally, it is accepted as self-evident’ German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer
Imagine you were about to have a medical procedure that involved ‘opening you up’.
What would be your reaction if you knew that the instruments had not been sterilised and your surgeon and his team had dirty hands?
Would you agree to go ahead?
Yet in the early 1800’s, before we understood germ theory, sterilisation was not even on the radar of the medical profession.
Around a third of women died following childbirth and the cause of the ‘fevers’ they experienced was attributed to ‘bad air’.
In the mid-1800’s Ignaz Semmelweis, through a series of astute observations, came up with the idea of cleanliness, and recommended doctors and nurses wash their hands.
His idea was completely rejected!
He was ridiculed by the medical profession and was eventually committed to an asylum, where he died of septicaemia after being severely beaten by the guards.
It was decades before ‘scrubbing up’ became standard practice.
I first heard Dr. Keith Blevens tell this story several years ago. He tells it to create a context for sharing a new paradigm about how we operate as human beings.
What does this have to do with business? Well, just about everything.
For instance, one way you could think about business is that getting results is really about problem solving.
Think of an existing problem, challenge or goal that you want to accomplish, and you seem to keep running into roadblocks, feel stuck or know you have greater potential.
What is really in your way?
The false paradigm that people are operating under is that circumstances cause feelings. The result of this misunderstanding is that it turns us into a victim of circumstance and the (ill) logic of this is:
1. It appears your feelings are feedback about your circumstances
2. We spend a lot of time thinking about the past and the future
3. We use control strategies
All the above perpetuate negative thinking, discouragement and stress.
The inside-out understanding creates a new baseline
The true paradigm is that we feel our thinking. Thought is an independent variable from our circumstances. Clarity of mind, well-being and presence is our natural state.
Waking up to this truth it changes everything.
Recently, a business client I began to work with had a regular and draining drone of negative thinking and feelings. It was like living with a ball and chain around his foot.
To him, it seemed as though there were things in his past made him feel the way he did.
But just as it is with all of us, his experience of life is shaped by thought in the moment, happening now in the present.
We had a few conversations and then one session he reported that all this negative thinking and the tension that went with it was gone.
Instead he has new found clarity, something he had only ever fleetingly experienced before.
Freedom of mind
Before we understood germ theory, we ascribed the causes of illness to all kinds things that turned out to be false.
In just the same way, the inside-out understanding wakes us up to how the mind really works.
Your feelings are a feedback mechanism.
But not about your circumstances. We all get low moods and when we know that our feelings are from our thought in the moment then what is the problem?
There is no problem.
As you increasingly realise that the mind works only one way, habitual and pervasive thought patterns fall way and clarity, well-being and presence become your new normal.