Google has released the most searched topics of 2016, and amongst the US election, Euro 2016 and David Bowie, lots of people were asking "how to accept myself for who I am". It was the tenth most frequent 'how to' question to Google in the UK. Initially it surprised me that it was such a well requested search. Maybe it is something people are happier typing anonymously into a search engine than asking their mates down the pub or colleagues in the office. But when you think about it, many of the perceived causes of our lack of well-being or fulfillment in life in any moment, are because at some level we think we should have, do, or be something else. Many of the things my clients come to me with as presenting issues (disconnection, insecurity around their career or relationships, success), are all symptoms of that.
So what? Is the answer to simply just accept myself? Surely that's easier said than done....?
Well, like the famous joke about the tourist in Ireland who asks one of the locals for directions to Dublin. The Irishman replies: ‘Well sir, if I were you, I wouldn’t start from here’. Similarly, I wouldn't start with the idea that 'I need to accept myself'. Just for a moment imagine that accepting ourselves was our innate default. It's easy to see this in children; I don't know about you, but I don't see many 3 year olds struggling to accept who they are. What happens however, is that something gets in the way, often invisibly, of us being content with who we are. Now it might look like that thing in the way is our job, facebook, our peers, advertising, our parents etc. But that is an illusion of correlation not cause.
What causes, and is always the cause 100% of the time, is 'thought'. Thought which gets invisibly whipped up into conditioned narratives and that don't even look like they are made of thought.
How does knowing it is made of thought help?
Here is the bit that might be different to what you think you know already, have a go at being curious about seeing something new in these words:
Thought is just the creative play-dough of the mind, that creates our experience moment to moment. It provides us with an experience that feels real, but isn't objectively true. Once we insightfully see it as this, it changes. Thought dissolves, once we see what it is made of, and new perspective arise.
That's why we don't get hung up when we have a dream that we are a goat herder living in the 18th century. The dream may feel real at the time we are experiencing it, but as soon as we wake up, we know it is not true.
Now I realise this might all sound a little over simplified and unrealistic but if you are keen to have an open mind and explore how the mind actually works in a tangible and accessible way, then join our next executive retreat. Just in case you are wondering whether this does anything for the bottom line, and isn't just a load of navel gazing, tree hugging rubbish - have a read here; or, if you are wondering whether this is really different or just a new window dressing, have a listen here.
Our next open executive retreat on the principles behind Quality of Mind is in January 2017 -'New Year - New Thinking'
If you like the personal and immersive approach to exploring something new, come along to one of our open executive 3 day retreats.
Curious to know more?
In my posts I have been pointing to something quite fundamental that is missing in our understanding of how to get the best out of being human (and hence business and life in general). Catch up here: