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Changing Your Mind Changes Everything

This post is about using your perspective to change your experience.

A sunset over mountains and clouds

This morning I woke at 6:30 and soon after I had a coffee. It was nice.

A little later I noticed my daughter was running late for the school bus. And so I needed to wait a little before setting off to the office.

That caused me problems, because I had things I wanted to do before my first client. I was cross with her and I told her. There wasn't a good excuse, she was distracted by YouTube.

When I arrived at the office I found that my first client had cancelled. Sickness. So I had more time than I thought after all. (Another client cancelled later in the day.)

I did some work on my backlog and then met someone new for a chat. It was a really good conversation and I had another nice coffee.

So the day continued. Coffee, clients, cancellations, planning, replanning.

Setting aside terms and conditions which handle cancellations, I could have:

  • Spent the day cross with my daughter

  • Got angry with client 1

  • Got frustrated with client 2

  • ...and so on.

Or, I could have said to myself, "never mind, these things balance out." The nice coffees and other things somehow balance out the unexpected or inconvenient things.

But there's a better way.

It's to notice that none of these things have any objective qualities or emotions attached to them.

That is, not until you interpret them and label them with those qualities.

The coffee was only nice because I chose to enjoy it. It wasn't the best coffee I ever had, but I didn't compare it to anything. It was just an experience that I was present for. I spent time paying attention to it.

Similarly, people being late, or clients cancelling. They are just experiences. I could chose to get annoyed about them. But that changes nothing.

And so I chose not to get annoyed or frustrated. I chose to see them just as experiences. Which meant that I didn't carry any negative emotions and was able to make good use of the spare time. By, for example, writing this.

In summary, all experiences are just experiences until we label them with our minds. We have the power to change our minds. And so we have the power to change our experience too. Being as present as we can be in each and every moment is the key to this.


PS Except when your daughter makes you late because of YouTube. Not even Ghandi could cope with that 😉

At 3pm (London) on Wednesday June 19th, 2024 I'll be holding a LinkedIn Live conversation with global influencer Tom Dickinson called Mental Health & Mindset. It's free. Just follow this link and click the register button to be reminded. The link will take you to a recording if you read this in the future.

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