[Podcast 5] The foundation of problem solving
Today I want to talk about the foundation of creating awareness. Once we know how our mind created what we have, we can start building on purpose what we want. This is also the foundation of coaching. It’s a mental model that simplifies everything. This tool is so versatile. People use it to lose weight, improve relationships, make more money and move forward with acceptance despite everything they face. And we use it also to feel more authentic and accepting of ourselves and out life.
There are 5 things in the universe. 5 things in any situation. 5 things in any relationship, the same 5 things in the weight loss process, or money making process.
We can classify everything we come across into 5 categories that influence each other.
Circumstances – facts everyone would agree on Thoughts about the situation.
Feelings – because w/o a thought, w/o meaning, there is no feeling.
Actions or lack of actions because our actions are driven by our feelings
Results – the direct effect of the actions and lack of actions.
I want to talk more about each of them but it’s always helpful to give a real life example. When you separate what you think about a situation from the cold facts about it something happens in that moment .
EXAMPLE Maybe you feel unmotivated because you think it’s such a hassle to go to the gym The cold facts are: C- gym on your schedule. T – it’s so hard to go to the gym F – unmotivated Action – not going, negative self talk thinking how hard it is to lose weight R- make it harder to exercise and lose weight What are we in control of ? The thought. C- gym on schedule T – I cannot wait to go to the gym F- excitement A – keep showing up every day in the moment more energy to go to the gym, did not waste time on overthinking. R – you are showing up and make it easy for yourself to exercise
Let’s look closer at each part of the model, and the relationship between the parts of the model, because magic (aka awareness) happens when we realize it.
Circumstances Everything we can’t control: weather, other people and their actions, their words, our goals, current weight, diagnosis, everything that happens in the world and we can’t control, including our past. The C is neutral. This doesn’t mean we feel neutral about it, it’s neutral in a way that it exists. Everyone would agree on it. When we say: it’s hot – it is subjective. It’s a thought. What is a fact about the situation? It’s 98 F But then one person will say it’s too hot, another person may say it feels just right. Or you may be feeling offended because you think “this person is disrespectful” You can see this guy as disrespectful, and maybe most people would agree with you. And it may be shocking to you that we cannot classify it as a fact. “He is disrespectful” is a thought, because there is an adjective. Now when you try to describe the person using only facts, you could say: He doesn’t say hello when he walks into the office. Or he didn’t return your call in 5 days. Or he didn’t hold the door for me Whatever the situation, now do you see that he is disrespectful is an opinion. And when you see just the facts, you have so many options to think about this person. In the end you are the one that deals with the results of your thinking and feelings.
When it comes to people that we are triggered by- the result is that we spend way too much time thinking about them. They spend too much time in our head and we invite them to our mental space. Another example of Circumstance The past – what do you think about your past? Sometimes we are not very happy it. We look back and feel resentful, regretful, shame, hurt. You can also feel positive feelings like gratitude, appreciation, relief, and we never consider those feelings a problem. The past is done. But you have the power to change how you think about the past. There is no upside in feeling guilty, resentful, or regretful about the past. If we think the thoughts that make us feel resentful, we create more resentment now, and tomorrow this moment will be in the past. And looking back spending energy on resentment, you create more and more of it, more of what you don’t want.
Thought – About the facts. Sometimes things happen fast and you don’t realize you have a thought. But you will quickly create meaning for the situation. Like in situations dangerous to your personal safety. No matter how long we study the model, we will continue talking about the facts, using thoughts, thinking we are describing the facts. It’s natural, we are adding descriptions and words indicating our feelings about the fact. We describe events as wonderful, fun, or terrible, frustrating, scary.
I have been using the model intensely since the beginning of 2019 and I still do it all the time. But when I know my story doesn’t serve me, when the negative emotions take too much energy, I have to write down the model. And check what are the facts. When you give yourself space, maybe when you meditate, you will notice you can observe your thinking. There is an observer or watcher within; this gives us an incredible power of choice. You can think and you can observe your thinking – and it’s happening within one brain.
Feelings. Whatever we think creates a feeling. There are no neutral thoughts. You already know you can choose what to think about the circumstances. Now you see the consequences of the thoughts. In your body. Feelings are vibrations in the body. When you feel love you feel expanding energy and lightness, when you feel scared you feel contraction, tingling in your chest, when you feel worthy you may feel this elevating energy, feelings are felt in the head, chest, shoulders, back, abdomen, legs… Feelings will drive our actions.
Usually when we don’t take action it’s because we feel dread, discomfort, we feel unmotivated, and why do we feel it? Because we think it will be hard. It will take too much effort, or we’d rather do something easier now. I talked about discomfort in my first episode, it’s such a deceiving emotion, because of the discomfort of doing or not doing. No way to avoid it either way, and discomfort is the currency to our dreams, I want to mention it is possible to use the model against ourselves. For example I should be thinking something more positive. Etc. I shouldn’t be feeling so bad since I’m doing the work. You cannot force yourself to think something you don’t really believe. We need to tune in into the new thoughts we create because you need to believe them. If you force yourself to a positive t you don’t believe – you will feel miserable. So take small steps towards better and believable thoughts.
If you are not feeling better.. Well.. sometimes the goal is not to feel better. The goal is to have a full human experience and often it is not pleasant. In the moments when we say goodbye… We want to feel sad, in some moments you may want to feel quiet within. So we know that feelings drive our actions. If you wanted to write a chapter of your book today, what would you need to feel? Inspired? Determined? Uncomfortable? Always. Focused? What do you need to be thinking to feel it? Maybe “this is something people want to read This will give someone hope I need to share my story I have three hours for my best work. I can do this. ” I can be uncomfortable and still do the work. All helpful thoughts. Unlike unhelpful thoughts of this sort. “Who needs another book! Nobody needs this book. I will never write as good as such and such. Who am I kidding? ” Can you feel the difference? Do you realize now how powerful feelings are in whatever we want to create? The later t’s will not lead to action that we want to take to create the results we want.
The action. Directly influences the results, and is directly affected by the feelings.
If you are not doing something you promised yourself, check what your feelings are. And then observe what you are thinking. Examples of actions are: calling a customer, or not, preparing your food, cleaning, or not, meditating, exercising, overeating, overthinking, procrastinating, worrying (though it is also a feeling it can be action when you indulge in it. Willpower: take action without addressing T and F
The last part is the Results. Examples of result are: specific numbers on the scale. Finished program. 50 pieces of art completed Published book. Getting married. Being hired. We want those things because of how we think they will make us feel. The focused work lies in managing the mind daily. If you want to have a book published a year from now, maybe today you need to create one page or one chapter. This one chapter, when completed – is the result you want to have accomplished today. And the thought leading to the right feeling and action may be different than the thought leading to the published book. Whatever you think will be evident in the result.