Until recently, the standard scientific belief was that human attributes were pretty much set after adolescence. This is why people like Will Rogers have said things like “People change… but not much.” Or, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” The sad part about that is not only that we believed these sorts of statements, but that we have done our work and lived our lives on the basis of their presumed truth.
And this line of thinking can certainly induce paralysis if we follow it. That is, if we are relegated to an unchanging and unchangeable path, why have any goals? Why dream? Why think we can improve? Why would any company ever have any projections that would extend beyond simple reality? It’s a bleak view of life to be sure, and yet it is how too many people work and live.
At Rewire, we are all for goal-setting, vision-casting and forecasts. However, we also want our clients (and ourselves, for that matter) to do this work with a tangible plan to make the goals a reality.
Furthermore, we all have to see that goals that call us to results that we have not yet achieved always call us to change. And this is where the trouble usually starts. So many people underestimate the brain’s consistent and vehement resistance to change. Many people will go to a workshop or read a book about goal-setting and get excited, but that emotion quickly fades — largely because they glossed-over the idea that WE need to change if we are to hit our goals.
Thus, the more pertinent question is not “should I or shouldn’t I have goals and objectives?” but rather, “what are the tangible strategies available to me to help me more effectively handle inevitable change?”
Today I want to offer a few such strategies that we have written about and will continue to practice and write about here on The Wireboard: Learn to be silent. Meditate. Practice mindfulness.
For our modern, info-laden world this sounds like pure insanity. But as it turns out, some of the wisest people from every part of the world have known for centuries about the power of stillness and mindfulness. Today, neuroscientists are discovering just how powerful it is.
There are countless ways to practice mindfulness and stillness and you can certainly go and learn a few for yourself. Soon, Rewire will be offering a few live sessions on the practice of stillness. Please let us know if you are interested.
For today, what I want to point out is that when you train your mind to slow down and evaluate the present, you are effectively building a muscle of sorts. It is the essence of neurological rewiring. You know… the kind of change necessary for you to hit your goals.
Give daily mindfulness a go and begin building your mental muscles. I can’t remember ever getting a complaint because too many people actually hit their goals.