Great to back after the summer vacation. Plenty of ideas for how we get the best out of ourselves have been popping up as I have let go of trying to find them. Ever had the same experience pushing less and getting more? I think you have. And still we try harder the more important we think something is. We are an interesting lot, aren’t we.
Anyway, this time I would like to take a fresh new look at where our ”best” is actually coming from. Because it’s my experience that neither happiness nor satisfaction in life is an intellectual achievement. Rather, it’s a simple understanding of how we all create our experience of life.
So, it’s my hope as you read on below that you will find something beyond the words on your screen. A feeling of ease in your body that tells you that you’re looking in the right direction…
Make Your Life a Masterpiece,
Quote of the month
" Nobody who ever truly gave his or her best regretted it. "
- George Halas
Lost in translation?
Aren’t children amazing? Pretty much every study I have seen says that we learn better the first six years of our lives than at any other time. Language gets installed in a seemingly automatic fashion. If we are lucky enough to be exposed to multiple languages we learn them all in a couple of years. However, once we get to school we might take 6-7 years of a “foreign language” only to go travelling and find out that we can hardly speak it.
Furthermore, children come pre-installed with great confidence and self-esteem. They take on just about anything to the best of their ability. They handle set-backs by crying for a little while and then they get right back in the saddle with the magical words ”again and more!” as their battle cries. That ability to stand back up after a fall and full of enthusiasm give it your absolute best again is the best marker of confidence and self-esteem there is according to me.
Now, just compare that to when grown-ups try something that doesn’t work out the way they wanted it to. As they dust themselves off they nervously look around and say: Anybody see that? I’m not doing that ever again! And then we wonder why we don’t learn as fast as we once did growing up. Also, a kid can throw a tantrum and without reading any self-help books, personal development techniques or needing a coach effortlessly get right back to their normal smiley selves.
So what’s the difference? Why do we as adults seem to have to work on ourselves constantly to display the same enthusiasm, enjoyment and resilience? Do we really lose this innate ability to learn, unconditionally try things and go for it regardless of past hurts? Of course not! It’s still right there at the heart of you as you’re reading this. Nothing has been lost. Rather, I would argue that a lot of “stuff” have accumulated and is obscuring it. And that apparent block can be both daunting and aggravating trying to rid yourself of as many of us have discovered.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the accumulated stuff isn’t even real. It just appears that way. Because the only thing keeping you from approaching the world with childlike abandonment is thought. Your ideas about what is possible and how sure you are about them being true. And trying to fix this by thinking about it is about as effective as talking to yourself about quieting down your inner dialogue;-)
Because getting back to where you’re born to be is not about doing – it’s about an understanding. It’s about realizing that we never experience ”reality” but we will feel our thoughts about reality. And the less thought you have in the way the better your decision will be, the richer life will feel and the better you will ultimately ”do”.
Even though I have talked about this idea in almost every coaching letter since making this profound understanding myself a couple of years ago, it can be a bit bewildering at first. What do you mean it’s only my thoughts that are in the way of being a great learner, achiever and feeling happy? There’s a whole world out there affecting me each and every day…
Here’s a way of looking at it that has worked for me. Remember when you were a kid in school and you got to try a communication experiment. Usually it was set up so that the teacher wispered something in the ear of the pupil at the front. That person in turn was to wisper the same thing in the ear of their neighbour, who wispered the same thing to the person next to them and so on. Once you got to the last pupil they were to say it aloud. As rule rather than a exception what came out of the ”line of communication” and what had been put in was so ridiculous everybody laughed. The teacher could’ve said something like “napkin” and you ended up with “duvet cover”.
in the same way your thoughts are in the way of you reacting to reality as purely as possible. The more thoughts you have going through your mind the more skewed your view of “reality” will be. You might be thinking that someone is really rude to you when in actual fact they were just so lost in their own thoughts about their marital problems that they didn’t even register what you were doing.
Now, in your mind there is no way for you to know when you have made a mess of your interpretation of life. Fortunately, we all have a built-in system to alert us when it happens. It’s called feelings and as soon as you get ”lost in translation” you will be alerted to the fact by a ”bad” feeling. It’s not there to show you that you’re justified in whatever your currently thinking. It’s there to tell you that you’re no longer dealing with what’s going on. Your dealing with your own thoughts about what’s going on. A battle you can never win no matter how many books you read or how many courses you attend.
As soon as you start seeing this it’s a very humbling experience. But a good one that comes with a humility that takes you back to the wide-eyed fascination that you had with almost anything as child. Nothing was taken for granted and everything was enjoyed or disliked with equal fervor. Understanding your relationship to your thoughts comes with the wonderful feeling of being fully alive and learning like a child again.
Because that’s what’s hidden behind your “line of thoughts”. A more direct way to interact with reality and that always feels more alive than even the best fantasies you can come up with. That’s what you see in the glittering eyes of small children. People who are in love or athletes who are in the zone. As you understand this you will find yourself getting more out of life and results that are closer to your potential. At whatever level you’re currently at. Success at a child like rate…
Slowing Down to the Speed of Life
by Richard Carlson & Joseph Bailey
This is one of those rare gems of a book hat everyone should read. Reason being that it gives you an understanding of the very underpinning of our experience of life. It will give you insights while you’re reading and they will pop up into your mind afterwards as well. Insights that will increase your ability to enjoy life and perform better no matter what you have chosen to do. So, do yourself the greatest of services and get this book, read it and notice how your experience of life transforms…
You can find more books under Suggested Reading
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As an integral part of living my vision "to inspire, educate and make a difference in enough peoples private and professional lives to make a positive difference in the world", I write and distribute a free monthly coaching letter. In these I share various ideas, thoughts and insights that I think can be of value for all of you who are interested in getting the absolute best out of life.Read more