Last week, I posted on the power of mindset. “Your Mindset Creates your Reality. Time to Take the Reins” outlined some of the robust research on the power of our mind to adapt, change functionality, and even change our body according to our interpretation of experiences and formed beliefs.
Today’s article is about how we create our mindset.
We’re born with pure potential. Depending on your philosophy, you may believe that we’re born knowing everything which we promptly forget leading to a life journey of remembering who we are and embracing our pure potential. Alternatively, you may believe that we’re born knowing nothing, and that our time here is about learning what
Our pure potential is moulded by messages and experiences in our imprint years from birth to 7 years old. We’re like sponges. We have no conscious filtering system until we’re around 7 so everything we’re exposed to is absorbed without judgement or discernment, creating the foundation of our mindset which unconsciously drives our choices, behaviour and outcomes.
While we have absorbed everything we’re exposed to, we’re absorbing an already filtered reality. Scientists put forward Information Theory suggesting we’re exposed to 1 million bits of information in any one moment (no, I have no idea how they count). We can’t possibly pay attention to all that sensual information – so we eliminate, distort or generalise the information to whittle it down to 150 bits we allow into our mind and 5-9 bits we consciously pay attention to.
As a metaphor, if those 1 million bits – the entirety of reality – were a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle, we each hold one piece. If you’re a jigsaw puzzle player, you’ll know what I mean. We have no picture for the end result. We can’t line up the outside and corner pieces to form a framework for our puzzle. We have a random piece and no context. How can we possibly know what reality is?
A number of interesting ideas emerge from that understanding.
- How can we think that we are right and someone else is wrong? If we each have one piece of the jigsaw puzzle, each are equally valid, just different. It makes no sense to be black & white, and judgemental.
- Each piece is equally valuable. The puzzle can’t be completed without all pieces.
- There is no such thing as objective reality – at least in our experience. Our reality is determined by the way we see and experience it filtered through the characteristics of our piece of the puzzle.
- There are other pieces of the jigsaw available for us to explore. Those pieces will lead to other behaviours and outcomes. They may be more aligned with what you want to achieve in life and/or work.
- Exploring other jigsaw puzzle pieces leads to expanding our reality and increasing our wisdom. Curiosity is the key. How others see and experience the world is a far more appropriate approach than judgement.
So the question to ask is not whether your mindset is right or wrong. The question is whether your mindset serves you or not. Are the outcomes you’re achieving the ones that deliver success as you define it?