Posted by Steven Blake 1360 Days Ago
Every day I learn several more lessons about life, these often come from mundane things and yet they can make the most profound learning experiences. Usually I take how the mind works and transfer it into how to deal with practical issues, but today’s blogs is learning about how the mind works from the practical.
Trudy, my partner, has a gate with a dodgy catch. The gate is old and somewhat battered and rotting. So a few weeks ago, when I was busy doing some other job, I saw her trying to mend it and although I offered advice I didn’t really give it much thought. She didn’t manage to fix it, it wasn’t a priority and so it got left.
Yesterday, in between other jobs, I noticed it and started to think about mending it, not concentrating on it just really passing thoughts. Could I extend the strut that was rotten and provide a better fixing? Not really, no suitable wood. Could I tighten up the bolts? No, they are rusted, we need new ones fetching. And so it went on with several half baked ideas until I decided to have a good look at it.
So I thought I better have a good look at it. Straight away I spotted the answer it was blindingly obvious move the latch and the catch to a better position. So then I started thinking “why hadn’t I thought of this before?”. Quite simply as with lots of things in life we fall for concentrating on the red herrings, the false trails that send our mind off track.
When Trudy had been trying to mend it she had been attempting to tighten the bolts but had no luck, nor any new bolts to replace them. So my thoughts started at that point, taking over her idea that it required the latch to be made more firm. When I looked at it afresh I realised my new though process started from, what is fixed and needs to stay that way, and what can be moved?
This is what I do with clients, see past the symptoms and look for the cause and then find the remedy. The gate was the fixed thing, it was past repairing as to why it had dropped, so that left the latch and the catch that could be altered. We had both been thinking about how to repair the latch because that was the thing that was loose as it was attached to the rotten timber.
As I noticed the catch and saw it was screwed – not bolted, I immediately switched to the thought that it was easy to move, which also took my mind off bolts and led to the fact I could move both latch and catch and attach them in a better place with screws.
So how does this apply to the mind and how it works (other than having a screw loose!)? In a previous blog: The Unconscious – Not a flash in the Pan, I discussed how the unconscious can solve problems that the conscious mind cannot. It does this because the conscious mind holds the red herrings, by starting with the wrong piece of logic that is the building block for the rest of the thought process. When we start off that way, so called setting off on the wrong foot, it really doesn’t stack up. It was this understanding I outlined in that previous blog that made me reassess this new challenge by looking at it afresh and seeing what was the truth, what was fixed and up for change.
The other thing I learned from this was how we don’t get around to things things that bother us until something makes it a priority, as we get so used to the way something is we don’t think to change it. So this thing that had been a minor niggle for me for about 8 months got fixed in less than 10 minutes.
Whatever problem is currently bothering you, why not look at it again and see if it is based on a truth or just the wrong start point. Let me know!