The world we live in consists of the visible and the invisible. The form and the formless. The finite and the infinite.
The business world focuses almost exclusively on the visible, the form and the finite.
If you want to improve results in any area – marketing, sales, leadership, management, communications, innovation – there is a huge amount of help on offer.
How to think, how to behave, what to say, strategies, tactics, the 10 steps to…, the 12 rules of… , lean in, grind it out…
Lots of fascinating material but just how much does all this information help you?
Are we like robots who can simply follow the instructions of other people and get similar results?
Or does the invisible have far more to do with it than we may ever imagine?
State of mind? Presence? Charisma? Timing? Inspiration? Grace? Momentum? Creativity? Confidence? Resilience?
These and many other things are in the realm of the formless and yet are they any less real?
Are they not the real power behind your success?
The business world likes what is concrete because the intellectual, conceptual mind loves form. It likes processes, steps and formulas. It loves to make things complex.
To the intellect it is highly attractive to discover that to get what you want there is a process, a formula or some steps to follow.
Even though life does not lend itself to this approach.
The business world tends to struggle with the invisible, formless dimension.
You often hear people talk about mind-set, for example, but the talk is almost always about form.
They offer prescriptions – choose your thoughts, change your words, surround yourself with the right people, create a new set of habits, take a small step each day – the list must be endless!
Back in 2004, when I began coaching people, I focused on the form too. I thought that people just needed to know what to do. They needed a technique, strategy or instruction.
But I began to see inconsistencies.
For instance, with the same information or technique, why did some people get great results whilst some got only mediocre results?
Why did people’s performance seem to randomly fluctuate (my own included)?
Why did some people change but others not?
Why did some people get everything they want in life and yet continued to be stressed-out and discontent?
I did not know the answer but when you get curious and enquire, things show up. Often in unexpected ways.
A series of seemingly chance conversations lead me to the inside-out understanding and I had an ‘Ah-ha!, so this is what is going on!’ realisation.
For the past eight years I have been pointing people towards this understanding and how it creates our moment to moment experience of life.
Has it all been plain sailing?
I stumbled around in the beginning. When sharing it with people you must be patient and stay present because the formless is difficult to grasp; the intellect is of no use whatsoever.
And some people do not hear beyond the words because the illusion they live in is precious to them.
But this is all fine with me because we are all in the same boat.
Everything comes back to the understanding in the end because our experience of life is thought created – every problem or challenge we can ever face exists only in our thinking.
This is not to say there are not things in life we need to deal with or get through because, of course, there are. But if we see ourselves as victims, as being bullied or pushed around by our circumstances, then we lose our spark and we suffer.
The clearer and deeper you see the mechanics behind how you perceive life the more you live with presence, intelligence and free from struggle.
As a friend of mine who also shares this understanding once said, “There is an easier way to do life.”
And it is there, right under our noses.
P.S. The inspiration for re-working and publishing this piece came from watching a video of Mara Gleason. Mara was one of the first people from who I learned the inside-out understanding. She is doing some amazing work in parts of the world with big challenges. You can watch a short video of her by clicking here.