To bring forth your best strategic thinking and be most resourceful, keep in mind the wisdom from Einstein which states, “Whatever we say to ourselves before we look at something determines what we see.”
We are evaluation creatures. We continually make up meaning and assign it to every stimulus we are aware of in our different environments. We do this both on a conscious and an unconscious level. When something comes into our experience, we evaluate it by asking ourselves a sequence of three filtering questions – “what is it?” “what does it mean to me?” , and “what am I supposed to do about it or with it?” If we have familiarity with something we have most likely run that loop thousands of times and we simply respond accordingly based on what has worked in the past. When we look at our untied shoe, we know what to do and do it. We don’t stop and consciously process the three filtering questions to see if this time we come up with a new and different decision. We just tie our untied shoe and move on.
When something new comes our way, we ask ourselves the same three questions. The challenge comes when we can’t answer one of the three. This is where drawing on Einstein’s perspective may be helpful.
In my coaching and consulting practice I hear, in the beginning of many engagements, from my newer clients the phrase “I don’t have time” or “there is not enough time” creeping in to the conversation. This is what someone may be telling themselves before they look at a situation needing to be resolved.
Imagine someone telling themselves and feeling like they don’t have enough time to do something. Do you imagine them to be relaxed, resourceful, and able to think clearly about their best options to achieve their objective? Or, might they be feeling pressure, and a sense of anxiety which prevents them from accessing their best thinking to resolve a situation or achieve their objective? In this case it is not the time that is causing their angst. It is what they are saying to themselves about the time before addressing the situation that is inducing the sense of stress.
This is a common one for a lot of people, myself included. I make up stories all the time that I don’t have enough time. Why do you think I am writing this article? The clock is ticking down to deadline as I type.
Try this the next time you catch yourself muttering any phrases that resemble – “I don’t have time” or “there is not enough time,” and feeling crunched for time. Say something different to yourself that will cause you to see things differently. Here are a few of my favorites, “There is always enough time to get done what must be done.” “There is plenty of time now and it is never not now.” “Time exists so I don’t have to do it all at once.” “There is plenty of time now and it is always now.” “I am at the right place at the right time doing the right thing.” By saying these kind of phrases to ourselves we will see things much differently through the open lense of possibility. Where can you apply this in your life and in your work.
This week my challenge for you is to see things differently by saying to yourself what you are determined to see before you look at it.
Done…and just in time.
Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!