Subtracting Overwhelm from Your Experience
The first thing that struck me when I came across the 3 Principles Paradigm some years ago, was the consistency of very positive outcomes. From community prevention to business success to recovery from burnout, statistics of 75% improvement or more were the norm not the exception. I’d spent 30 years working as a lawyer in areas where people had lots of problems. In that time I’d come across many interventions. Many were expensive and complicated. Most yielded incremental change of 1-3%, if anything. So the vastly better outcomes got my attention.
What was going on? Most conventional programmes designed to bring about change involve a set of steps or directions to be carried out. They add something to the client’s list of things to do. Take the example of stress and burnout, the client might be taught to meditate and encouraged to do this daily. Or more exercise might be suggested. Both exercise and meditation can be good things but they are additional requirements in an already full schedule. And neither is actually necessary to create a transformation.
The 3 Principles Paradigm points to the fact that lack of exercise or meditation was never the problem. Sticking with the example of burnout, the problem is never the things on the to-do list. The problem is always the state of mind of the client. Specifically it is the client’s thinking [about what’s on the to-do list or indeed about anything else] that creates the feeling of stress. The list alone has no power. All the power to create stress comes from an individual’s thinking, whether they are aware of it or not. And mostly they are not. The purpose of a training session is to show someone, via examples from their own life, how this is true. No one is the victim of circumstance. Many are the innocent victims of their own thinking. When people see this insightfully, or experientially, a sense of freedom always occurs. Instead of this understanding adding extra requirements to a client’s day, it has the power to subtract energy-sapping thoughts/feelings such as anxiety, rushing and overwhelm.
If a person has a finite amount of time and energy, it is clear that the amount of time and energy spent thinking about overwhelm saps some of the available resources.
Even more significantly, 100% of the feeling of overwhelm comes from thoughts of overwhelm. And when the thinking changes, the mind clears and the to-do list becomes a neutral list of actions. A few days before Christmas I fell prey to my thinking on one occasion. I noticed I was feeling stressed and had fallen into believing that tackling my chores was the only way to get over it [forgetting everything I know about the role of thought.] In the midst of this I had to participate in a coaching call. Suddenly during that call my thinking changed. I realised that my overwhelmed feeling had stemmed entirely from my overwhelmed thinking, which just dissolved. After the call I was free to work through the chores from a relaxed and neutral mindset minus the overwhelm.
Can you recall a time when you felt very stressed out, apparently because of a particular situation, then noticed that your feelings had changed even thought the situation hadn’t altered? Perhaps after a nights sleep? Or maybe you would like some pointers in dropping the overwhelm?