Had a wonderful day skiing with the family this weekend. Standing at the top and taking in the fantastic view I suddenly became aware of my own breath. As it was made visible by the cold I had this insight and knew what I wanted to write about.
Isn’t that how we all come up with our best ideas? When we are not even trying and our intellect is out of the way? Well, of course insights are lot like shoes in that what fits me perfectly pinches another. Still, it is my sincere hope that you find something between the lines that speak to you too …
That’s also why I’m looking forward to our life changing Mental Clarity course in Mallorca. Three days of personal leadership in a wonderful retreat that leaves space for having plenty of insights that make a real differences. And you can’t lead others if you can’t lead yourself. Hope to see you there…
Your Life is a Masterpiece, discover it!
Quote of the month
" A mind preoccupied with its own thinking looses its ability to appreciate life. So naturally, no amount of wealth nor success offers any protection from this. "
- Anders Haglund
The air that we breathe
Air. On a daily basis probably the most overlooked basic necessity for life. Try to grab some in your hands and it slips through your fingers. Invisible and odorless it seems to be made of nothing. Still its power when it starts blowing makes it clear that it has to be made of something after all.
It actually consists of 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen, some inert noble gases (Argon, neon, helium in particular), carbon dioxide and ozon. We don’t really think about that even though it is making life possible for us as it is streaming down into our lungs one breath at a time.
Still pretty hard to get a grasp on so no wonder they gave lots of thought to it in days gone by. Even though it was one of the four original elements it was vexing. How does it start to move? Why does it have such power when it speeds up even though you hardly notice it walking around your everyday life? Simple questions that begged for answers.
Since they had no idea about atoms, molecules, that the earth was spinning fast or the natural laws we now learn in school, they did come up with some funny theories. One that is especially amusing was the idea that the wind came up when the trees were swooshing their branches around. Pretty logical considering you could only see trees do this on windy days. So, there has to be some connection and chicken or the egg problems are not always easy to untangle.
Now, if you assumed that this faulty premise was correct what would be logical to do on a hot, still summers day when a breeze would be a gift from the gods? Well, you might walk up to the nearest tree and push on it to a wind going. Maybe gather some friends and everybody put their shoulders into it. Could be that you need a critical number of trees to start a chain reaction.
Before you laugh at this silly and naive metaphor I wonder if we now have any faulty premises that we take for granted and act on in todays world? Maybe some that makes us use up all our energy in vain by pushing at trees to affect how the wind blows in our lives? If the wind happens to come up as we are huffing and puffing it’s a short step to believing that our efforts had something to do with it …
Take stress for example. Latest research here in Sweden shows that over 40% of all sick-leave is due to stress and that more than half of the work force feels stressed on a daily basis. Furthermore, we have never had more articles, books and blogs on how to overcome these challenges. Work less, take more breaks, meditate, find your passion, exercise regularly, only do things you love and stay away from “energy thieves”.
All the tips and advice probably sounds both well-meant and logical, but if they actually worked there should be a clearly noticeable downward trend in peoples stress levels. What if what we are doing to calm ourselves down is like pushing a tree to get the wind going? Well, that’s pretty close to the truth as far as I’m concerned. At least if we have bought in to the common belief that the cause of stress is what and how much we have to do.
Because the scientific truth is that anything you feel is coming from inside you, no matter how convinced you might be that someone or something “out there” is to blame. We live in the experience and feeling of our thinking moment to moment and not in the experience and feeling of our circumstances. The reason I bring this up over and over again is that we such a difficult time understanding it beyond our analytical intellect. Especially when we are already stressed out.
Well, if it’s true that stress is coming from our own mind it stops making sense to rearrange our to-do-list to finally calm down, or avoiding certain people to be less irritated, move houses to feel secure or get a job with easier tasks to manage. Don’t get me wrong here: In no way am saying that you shouldn’t take a sober look at having a more reasonable to-do-list or to stop letting your mouth overload your back. I’m just saying that it has nothing to do with your experience or feeling of stress.
If you understand what I’m getting at here the logical question is no longer: Who made me angry, sad or stressed and what can I do about it? That’s pushing on a tree to get the wind going. Rather, you will find that it makes more sense to ask: What thinking about this am I taking seriously enough to stress me out? Once you take a look inward instead of outward you will find that you don’t have to do anything to have a better feeling or experience.
The feeling of stress is blown away by the wind that’s always blowing in our mind and bending the branches of our thinking. And in a mental flash it is replaced by something new and fresh. It happens as naturally as a change in the weather and is all part of the wonderful feeling of being alive. A little bit of understanding really makes living with your feelings as natural as the air you breathe…
This book is all about how we all create our experience of life and how it plays out in our lives. Suprising as it might be for most people, that simple understanding leads to profound changes for us. If that isn’t enough for you to go get the book I might add that will also impact everyone around you in a positive way. Want to be a better parent, salesperson, leader, friend this book is a big step in the right direction…
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