Life Coaches, Therapists, and Self-Awareness Leaders use interchangeable language. You might be familiar with the terms paradigm, story, programming, racket, and so on. All of them describe the mindset and narrative beliefs. If you are not getting the results you want, change the input.
I am drawn to using the word story, probably because of my love for literature, theatre, and cinema. It also has great historical significance. Storytelling predates all form of group communication and expressions.
Imagine a clan of migratory Homo sapiens around a campfire. One of the hunters stands, then begins to move his arms about. He utters sounds to describe how the stampede of gazelles scurried. He was telling a story, no words needed.
Have you ever heard someone say, “To make money, you need to sell your soul”? That’s a well-worn story.
Here’s another one. Uncle Jim telling his niece over and over, “Kid, life is hard, it’s all work, work, work.”
Before Christopher Columbus ventured out, people believed the earth was flat and ships were going to fall off the edge. Hungry sea dragons were waiting. Good thing we have science.
Some false stories get retold. Recently a conspiracy movement called flat-Earthers emerged. Seems that Christopher Columbus fellow is being challenged again, though no mention of sea dragons this time. The inspiring astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson had an informative Twitter exchange with rapper B.o.B about flat-Earthers over this latest fallacy that is informative and eye-opening.
The Map Determines The Destination
Sometimes two things can be true at the same time. Uncle Jim’s lament “life is hard, it’s all work, work, work” may be true for him, but not a universal truth for everyone. That story, belief, paradigm, programming, racket, or whatever you want to call it is merely a map.
If you are using an old map, or an erroneous one, you’ll stray from your path.
To determine what map you ardemonstrate with, look to see what shows up in your life. Outcomes clearly demonstrates what mindset was being used.
Your task is to figure exactly what that map is telling you. For example, if the interior of your car has fast food bags and empty soda cans strewn about, then your mindset is “it is okay to be messy in my car.” If you polish off the last of the milk and then leave the empty carton on the kitchen counter for your wife to throw away, then your mindset demonstrates “I expect others to clean up after me.”
Around this concept, money is one of those things that really pushes people’s buttons. If money is important to you, but you only make $38,000 a year, then you have a $38,000 mindset. If you make $73,000 a year, then you have a $73,000 mindset. You make $1.3 million yearly, then that’s your mindset. What you are okay with is what you will create. Your mindset is your map and we tend to follow it diligently.
I am sure you are not okay living on a park bench. As a result, you’ll do what you need to sleep in a bed, with a place that has running water, electricity and the necessary amenities. Why? Because that’s your mindset. A millionaire’s mindset is no different, just with more luxurious conditions. To the millionaire, flying coach is not okay. Neither is a beat up 2003 Honda. The millionaire was the ability to always eat sushi or sit front row at a concert. It is a must and anchored in the mindset, the map.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating money should be your lead mindset. Frankly, I believe it should be love, and service to others. But that’s whole other chapter.
My upbringing was rooted in a blue-collar, working-class mindset. I changed my mindset about prosperity and work long ago. I’ve been living Tim Ferris’s 4 hour work week since Ferris was in diapers.
I have come to learn making money is really easy. I assist my clients to collectively make millions each year. What seems to be much harder for them is being of service selflessly, and learning how to love themselves and others.
Choosing The Map What Matters
Your mindset is influenced by your surroundings. If you lived alone in the forest or a cave long enough, you would have little use for what others thought of you. Your appearance would not matter. Your status, Facebook likes, net worth, kind of car you owned, etc. would be meaningless. So would the subjective reflections such as “am I worthy?” or “what do they think of me?” All of that would eventually fall away.
Your thoughts would be centered on your immediate needs of food, shelter, water, and safety. If an impending storm loomed, you would focus on gathering food to ensure you had something to eat the next day.
You are born with a clear mind, an empty canvas. There were no self-created beliefs or stories yet. As you grow up, you selectively filtered and categorized meaning based on the depth of their emotional impact. You created meaning. Everything that followed was built upon the previous with variations and mutations. Naturally, you can see how the input affects the outputs. How powerfully our childhood experiences are.
Fixed vs. Growth Mindset
It is worth determining whether you have a fixed mindset or one that is growth orientated. The first is contractive, the latter expansive.
- Fixed Mindset:
– You need to be in control as a protective mechanism.
– You are determined to hold onto your limiting beliefs.
– When challenges come up, you resist flexibility.
– You easily defend, criticize, give up, or often say “that’s just how it is.”
– You view feedback as adversarial.
– You are envious of other’s success.
- Growth Mindset
– You are open to curiosity, learning, and change.
– You know challenges are part of expanding and therefore embrace.
– You view up and downs as part of the process; the downs are resets.
– You know the process and action steps produce mastery.
– You cultivate and are open to feedback.
– You support other’s successes, applaud, and are inspired by.
The good news is you can change your story, paradigm, beliefs, programming, racket, or whatever you want to label it. You’ll have to choose to make a change.