Mind You: Unpack your baggage for happy travels
IT'S fascinating to hear people describe what dissatisfies them about their work, their life, their relationships, health, boss, income, footy team, being unhappy - the myriad of things that pop up in conversation that demonstrate frustration and in some ways a disempowered view of the world.
What's interesting to me as a student of people, language and neuroscience is what it tells me of the person's view of themselves, more than what is happening around them.
Think about the statement "Wherever you go there you are". To me what it describes is that regardless of the situation a person is in, whatever their frame of reference is toward the external world that will shape how they engage with any event.
We all carry unresolved issues or emotional baggage that hasn't been unpacked and that tends to influence how we will feel and act as we attribute past experiences to present situations.
Unfortunately our tendency is to blame the situation or others rather than reflect on what we contribute to it. It can be very uncomfortable to be honest about our own behaviour and to take ownership of making genuine change happen.
The brain is lazy. It has a basic rule - move away from pain or threat and move toward reward and pleasure. It likes to work in a comfort zone of formed habit and to change that requires real effort and discipline.
Rewiring the brain and reframing our thoughts is tiring. Have you ever given up sugar, coffee, smoking or changed your diet substantially to get healthy? If you have, and were successful, you'll know what I'm talking about.
Imagine how many times you've confirmed a negative thought about yourself or others and done that consistently. In other words wired yourself to believe that, sought evidence to confirm it, not to deny it, and therefore created the reality that is true for you. Remember, none of this exists outside our heads. It's all in the mind.
So, back to the statement "Wherever you go there you are". If it's all in the mind then we can change any thought or belief at any time with a little effort, a reframe and refocus.
Rowena and I do a lot of travelling and for each trip we get our bags out and decide what we will need depending on where we are going, how long we are away for and what contingencies we may need to cover. We organise and clean our gear then methodically pack for ease of handling so wherever we end up we make the trip easy.
Over the years I've learnt to do that with my emotional backpack too. If what you're finding where you are isn't what you want, take time to unpack yours and repack it to suit what you want in your desired future. Happy travels.
Nick Bennett is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned.