Chapter 5, part 14, Mind or Matter. How do we know when to change our mindset or our circumstances?

We all know about mind over matter, but, how do we know when we should change our mindset or our circumstances? This is the age old question which becomes harder and harder to answer the more we understand psychology.

The most obvious example I can use is the work place. Let’s face it, the work place isn’t called ‘the work place’ because it’s all fun and games. Your bosses expect you to work hard and act like an adult. Plus, in most work places you are bound to find employees complaining, corporate cutbacks, lack of promotion opportunities, lack of respect, overtime work, injustice and much, much more. And although these types of things are accepted in business we (of course) want to find a balance between enjoyment, challenge and ethics for ourselves.

I remember my first ever full time job. The long term employees always talked about the good old days where the bosses would take them out for drinks, to amazing Christmas parties, plus, the working environment was more flexible and light hearted. I wanted this type of experience for myself so eventually I found what I was looking for, multiple times. Unfortunately though, I should have been careful with my wishes as I not only got to go through the good old times, I also (in each occasion) got to witness the corporate side of the business take over. Eventually, the corporate side destroyed the pleasurable environment that existed. In the business world this is called progression. In the spiritual world this is called ego and greed.

In recent economic news it has been said that the average person works in a single workplace for an average of 4.6 years. During the Y generation years it was said that most young adults were not lasting more than two years per job. This could have been for a multitude of reasons such as trying to start their own businesses or the increase of online job seeker websites. Personally though, I like to think that the Y generation were simply more mindful and not willing to take as much s#$t from old school out dated businessmen who don’t understand work/life balance. Anyway, I’ve lost sight of what I was saying…

So how do we decide when to change our mindset or our circumstances? (Although this is about business you can adapt this to all areas of life)

No matter what job, partner, state or country you change there is always something that you bring with you, and that is you. When we are caught in our emotions it’s hard to know what the right decision is, therefore, it doesn’t matter if you make a psychical or mental change. This is because deciding to stay at work and ‘deal’ with the issues emotionally is not enough, nor is changing to another job and realising you brought the same issues with you. It’s only when we get to the core of the problem that we can begin to come to a resolution.

For many years I jumped from company to company never finding what I was truly after. Part of it was growth and challenge yet there was always something missing. To find out what this was I needed to go deeper and ask myself different types of questions such as:

What do I truly desire?

What is important to me?

What do I need?

What do I enjoy?

When asking the above questions we need to think much deeper than simple answers. Responses such as ‘I like car’s’ and ‘I enjoy music’ are not deep enough. You have to tap into what is really important to you and why this is so.

For me, I realised that the most important things were:

What do I truly desire? To do something where I could help others

What is important to me? To stick by my morals and values.

What do I need? To be challenged intellectually.

What do I enjoy? Various projects, coming home knowing I’ve done something for the greater good and being able to have a laugh.

You may note that the above answers are beyond our surface needs yet still don’t tap into specific emotions. I will discuss why this is in a later chapter. Until then, note that the above is what drives me. Whether it be work or play, these things are what I desire. You will also notice that these questions are similar to the guidance I gave regarding finding a purpose/meaning in life in the very first chapter.

When I personally realised the above it was clear that after many years of jumping from job to job that I had never really taken the time to find out my deeper passion. It was this realisation that ended up leading me to the Aged Care and Disability sector where these needs could finally be met. And although the same corporate crap continues even in these types of roles, in the end, it doesn’t have the same impact on me because my core needs are being met.

So, in short, don’t just change your mindset to accept what you don’t like, and don’t just change your circumstances so that you can drag your baggage to another place. Be present, mindful and understand what drives you. It is then that you can truly review the situation from a sound perspective. Once you understand what is really driving you the next step will become evident.

Mind over matter Jamie Lee Woodman a.k.a The Lonely Spaceman

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