Stress and other unhealthy symptoms can easily come upon us in uncertain times like these. Combined with what is (or often seems to be) a much faster pace of life, it’s no wonder that most of us from time to time can lose perspective on our jobs, our careers, our relationships – even our lives in general. Technological advances certainly contribute to this acceleration, and thus are viewed by many as “part of the problem”. Others, especially the people and organizations that are part of this high-tech revolution, see them more as “part of the solution”. Yet today even many in high-tech find that they are being adversely impacted by this uncertain, increasingly fast-paced and dynamic industry.
Clearly, there is truth in each of these perspectives. The creative ability of us as humans is astounding, as evidenced by the many advances of the 20th Century. And while we may differ in our perspectives on the value/contribution of these advances, few will dispute the creative genius that it represents. Fewer still can escape the impact of these dramatic changes in our world. Like it or not, technology is part of the way we live, and with it comes the opportunity to either adapt or become overwhelmed. The good news is that the same creative energy responsible for these developments exists within each of us. This innate ability can support us in handling this “high-tech stress” and adapting to the ever changing world of today. The history of the human race is our best evidence of this, and it is with this natural human ability that we create our own lives as we choose. Once recognized, this ability can become a powerful tool for use in our personal and professional development.
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Many people (myself included) have found an insight developed by Sydney Banks called Psychology of Mind/Health Realization (often referred to as simply Health Realization or HR) to be extremely helpful in this regard. The understanding is built upon three principles — Mind, Thought, and Consciousness. The basics are that we create our reality through our thoughts, and because as human beings we can be aware of this through our consciousness, we can choose to change or let go of a thought… just as I get to choose the next word I… write… type… but… in this sentence.
In an increasingly complex and dynamic world, it is easy to lose track of this simple insight. As intelligent beings thinking comes so naturally and our brains work so fast it can seem that our thoughts occur on their own. When someone says, “My head is spinning”, or “Thoughts just keep racing through my head”, it often means they have lost touch with this insight, and reminding them that they can “let go” of the thoughts that are not serving them well at the time can make a big difference.
In the context of HR, our feelings are a natural feedback mechanism (a barometer) of the appropriateness or healthiness of our thinking. By being more mindful of our feelings, we can begin to let go of our “personal thinking”. These persistent (and often non-productive) thought patterns, like regrets about our past or fears regarding our future, are like tapes we play in our minds. We can become so used to “hearing” them we forget we created them in the first place. By becoming aware of this, and choosing to reduce the level and intensity of these types of thoughts, we naturally become more quiet and present.
It is from that quiet place that we are able to see how our Mind can really support us. In HR, “Mind” goes far beyond the function of our brain and refers to our connection to a universal life force or creative energy. When we become very quiet, we are open to receiving more creative energy and can experience more “flow thinking”. Most of us have experienced being “in the flow” at some point. Athletes report this feeling when achieving peak levels of performance with seemingly little effort. Many artists do as well. For myself in coaching, when I really connect with someone deeply, my speaking and hearing become more centered in my body rather than in my head and physical senses.
With practice, this “deep listening” state becomes more natural and the feeling is remarkable. That feeling of well-being is what the understanding refers to as Innate Health. It is accessible to each of us hence the notion of Health Realization referring to our natural ability to “realize” our own health whenever we choose to do so through awareness and use of Mind, Thought, and Consciousness in our daily lives.
Our Innate Health is a guide to managing our lives. As we become more aware of our thinking we are able to connect with our inner wisdom and insights. Moreover, as we realize this natural, more peaceful state, our true creativity will begin to flow… perhaps only as a trickle at first, but with practice as a stream of new thoughts. In this healthy state of mind, we become even more aware that we can choose how we think. And as we do, we gather new insights and develop new perspectives on our selves, our lives, and our changing world. We become better able to deal with the impact of high-tech changes, and may even choose to utilize some of the advances in our own lives, creating a new, healthier reality for ourselves and for those around us.