When you change the way you look at things, then the things you look at change. To do this, we need to be able to look at things from a different perspective. This is why your mindset is everything. Are you ready to learn how to do this?
In life, we encounter countless obstacles, setbacks, and challenges. Some people seem to conquer these hurdles, while others struggle to find their way. Have you ever wondered what sets these individuals apart? The secret lies in their healthy mindset.
Changing The Way You Look at Things
Dr. Dyer (1) says when we change our mindset, something miraculous happens. Our whole field of perception changes. Changing the way we look at things only takes four steps.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.” — Wayne W. Dyer
Most people want a better world. But there is a difference of opinion about what “better” means. One of the best ways to find common ground and solutions is to shift how we see the situation. Can changing the way we look at things make a difference?
If your mindset contains any bias and prejudice, it will be reflected in harmful actions. This is why your mindset is everything. You need clarity to think rationally. To understand a problem, you must eliminate unhealthy values and beliefs which get in the way.
The processes that reveal these harmful values and prejudice can be challenging. Removing harmful socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and lifestyle prejudice is serious inner work. About one-half of the population is controlled by this kind of thinking. It can be traced directly to extremist political and religious ideologies.
Why should you change your perspective first? Because if you change the way you look at things, you can see things more clearly. You see things the way they are instead of what you think they are. That’s the foundation for making things better. It starts with changing the way you look at things.
“What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.” ― Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now
This conflict manifests in two main areas: the social arena and our Egos.
The Social Arena
There is a polarization between religious superstition and scientific evidence. The clash between science and religion is becoming more intense. Religious extremists want to take us back to the 12th century, and science wants to move us to the 21st century. How can we reconcile these two vastly different worldviews?
People on both sides are not engaging in meaningful dialogue about global issues. The next time you face this dilemma, reverse your focus. Don’t start thinking of a rebuttal. Instead, stop, listen, and think. Ask questions about why they believe what they do. When you change the way you look at things, what you look at changes. Changing your perspective helps us see through the filter of the cultural narrative.
Knowing why they believe something will help you understand their perspective. When you engage them in this way, it calms their emotions and disarms their attack. To do this, you need to overcome two things. First, we must overcome our emotional response to them and the issue. Second, we must also overcome the propaganda that bombards us. Both are intertwined together, which makes it more challenging to negotiate.
The propaganda machine makes sure you hear the message they want to project. If you learn to recognize what is happening, you can ignore it or minimize its effect. We recommend using an “emotional check technique” to help maintain your emotional equilibrium. If you can stay calm, then you will think more clearly. You can spot the propaganda and sift out facts from the fiction when you think more clearly.
The idea here is not to change their minds but to get them to question their beliefs. Don’t be surprised if this leads to a discussion about what they hate or makes them angry. The source of these emotions drives all bias and prejudice.
The second thing we need to deal with is our ego. Our personality likes to control what we think to maintain control. Changing the way you look at things underscores the importance of why your mindset is everything. Changing how we look at things helps us regain control of the mind from the ego. It means turning off living on autopilot and showing up fully present.
We must understand our self-talk to remove harmful scripts. The Enneagram of Personality is the best tool to identify these scripts. Your personality isn’t a bad thing. It’s a necessary tool of consciousness, but few people learn when to turn it off.
It may seem like a relatively simple strategy, but it’s hard to implement. That’s because routines run our lives. The autopilot mode makes things easier. We don’t have to think consciously about what we need to do. But patterns make it easy to slip into bad habits. If we want to see things differently, we must start with ourselves.
Today, bad habits come from the conveniences of our modern society. The first is the hypnotic effect of being entertained. When we are engaged, we lose ourselves, and we lose time. It’s a waste of opportunities in life. The second bad habit is filtering our social interaction through electronic media.
Why Your Mindset Is Everything
Your mindset is the lens through which you perceive the world. It shapes your thoughts, attitude, and actions. With a healthy, positive mindset, you unlock unlimited potential for success. A healthy mindset equips you to overcome challenges. It enables you to learn valuable lessons from failures.
And best of all, it improves your mental health and well-being. But, if this filter is tainted, your experience of reality will be skewed. Eliminating unhealthy programming is difficult. These scripts are often attached to important values and people.
Becoming More Present
To get started, you need to become present. Being present means being deliberately aware of what’s happening now. When you are present and aware, your attention expands. It includes the body, feelings, and immediate surroundings. We can be mindful of the body while observing thoughts and emotions.
Being present means you are calm. This is the platform necessary to identify negative bias and prejudice. The first thing we must change is our observation and perception approach. We do this by “being present.” It doesn’t mean we should empathize and agree with those who promote harmful ideological views and behaviors. But when we are present, we can better understand why they hold these positions. We may be able to help them change their thinking using a process we call “an unconventional approach to save the believer.”
“The Golden Rule of Habit Change: You can’t extinguish a bad habit, you can only change it.” ― Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
“You can change your life if you really want to. You can improve it, make it better. And it all starts with changing the way you think.” — John C. Maxwell
The starting point for thinking lies in the quality of your mindset, your worldview. When you change the way you look at things, it reshapes your reality. So it makes sense to know what’s in our filter that frames our reality. This is where the real work begins.
1. Digging into the Foundations.
The first step in changing the way you look at things is to assess the filter of your worldview. Start by dedicating time to investigate your beliefs and values. What principles guide your decisions and actions? What shaped these beliefs – personal experiences, culture, upbringing, or education? This is inner work.
The best tools for this inner work are those that provide data. We recommend the Enneagram, Comparative Analysis, and Cultural Narrative Questionnaire. The time spent taking these evaluations will give you a snapshot of what and how you judge, what you value, and what you think is important.
2. Remove Unhealthy Sources of Programming.
When you use the above tools, you will reveal not only the harmful values, beliefs, and thought strips, you will see where you got them. Family, friends, religious and political connections are the common sources for unhealthy programming.
So, now comes one of the biggest choices of your life. Do you have the courage to remove harmful sources to improve your health? Many people get stuck here. They fear making these changes which alter significant relationships. But changing the way you look at things requires this kind of decision.
3. Replace the Harmful Programming.
Don’t skip step two and try to reprogram without removing the source of the bad input. Old thought scripts and values are powerful; they resist change. Most likely, the people who help reinforce them don’t want you to change either. But if you try to reprogram with affirmations or any other tool, you’ll find they won’t work.
After you’ve removed harmful values and beliefs, replacing them with positive ones becomes a simple process. An inclusive, sharing, and caring mindset comes naturally. It’s easy because that is how we were born before the culture tainted our programming. So, we use the habitual aspect of the mind to build good habits instead of harmful ones.
4. Reinforce Positive Behaviors
Limit TV and Internet
Your mind needs space, time, and the opportunity to create habits. The first step is creating space for new, healthy ideas. So, most people can cut this time from their social media consumption.
The goal is to limit TV, the internet, and social media to two (2) hours per day. Yes. It’s a hard step, but you’ll save, on average, about four (4) hours a day or twenty-eight (28) hours a week. It will save you a lot of time that you can use to grow and develop your body, mind, and soul.
We are subject to a great deal of social programming and propaganda. It can become addicting, making change more difficult. We get an adrenaline rush when we encounter something that triggers our emotions. But this “triggering” of emotion does nothing to change our perspective. It often does the opposite by reinforcing the message of the propaganda. What we see changes because the filter of propaganda programs us to act like a trout chasing a shiny lure.
“One must always be careful of books,” said Tessa, “and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
Find a Used Book Store
Now, with all the time you’ve saved, find a used bookstore, and buy the oldest and cheapest book in philosophy, religion, or history. After you buy the book, don’t leave.
Next, please sit down and read it for at least an hour. Use a pencil or yellow marker to make notes in the margins. Think about what you’ve read. You are expanding your awareness by creating new neuro-connections and sparking new ideas.
You’ll be surprised at how fast the time will go once you engage your mind in new ideas. It will become a positive habit that will replace the negative one with the overuse of social media.
Talk to People
When it is safe, meet people face to face—otherwise, substitute “FaceTime” or Zoom. Chat rooms will allow you to see people. Sign up for free webinars. Explore new interests and subjects.
If you are still in the used bookstore, ask other guests if they’ve read it. What did they think about it? Tell them some interesting tidbits. The goal is to meet new people and open your heart. Use a book as the focal point; find out what others read. Find people from different backgrounds and points of view. It will expand your social awareness.
Now that you know one another, ask them their opinion on what you’ve read. We also suggest making a follow-up meeting but don’t forget that step two’s primary purpose is finding someone new to talk with about the book.
Repeat the Above Steps
The results will surprise you. In less than a month, you’ll discover that connecting and doing research is more enjoyable than passive entertainment. You’ll find your mind hungering to learn and share. When we change the way we look at things, the things we perceive will also appear differently. What we see changes to the same degree as our shift in perception.
You may also discover other freethinkers. There are more people like you than you think. Changing our perspective will make life more interesting.
What Happens When You Change The Way You Look At Things
Understand why your mindset is everything. You possess the key to unlock your true potential if you take the journey of changing your perspective. Assessing the filter of our worldview is an important step in this journey. Removing harmful biases and prejudices from our mindset will make us a better person.
It is within our power to create positive change, break free from harmful biases. We can foster a more inclusive and empathetic world.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” This opens up a world of possibilities. Embrace positivity, cultivate a growth mindset, and believe in your abilities. Transform challenges into opportunities. Be the catalyst for positive change in your own life and the lives of others.