What's IN your Mind is not what's ON your Mind
How a difference of one letter can make a world of difference!
thinking about the way we think
And the question seems to concern everybody, all over the world. A sort of perceptual Tsunami, if you will! Everyone everywhere seems to be stuck in mental traffic jams, on unfamiliar roads, without any GPS assistance! The Education we received seems to be at a loss when our system bugs like it does today. Our familiar roadmaps are screwed up, we look for ways of discovering the side lanes normally reserved for emergencies. But we don’t! We are out of our Minds! Without Imagination, we are stuck in the dominant worldviews of Neoliberalism: the story of Scarcity, Separation, Competition, Efficiency, infinite Growth, Power over others, etc. We need an alternative story of the Future that would resonate with our deepest Hopes and Aspirations. A narrative able to generate an “erotic” attraction for the Future. Without that new story, Hope vanishes; fear, despair, fatalism, and cynicism supersede the desire to move forward.
The good news is that alternative approaches, roads, itineraries, liberating structures to get moving and reach our destination exist! Our “Mental Highways Network” can be challenged! Entrapped in the convolutions of our brain, new approaches, liberated strategies, innovative solutions are dormant. They may be a bit difficult to imagine using our current Thinking skills. But driven by a strong desire to shape new Futures, they can be awakened.
As you have noticed, the “bug” is actually occupying every possible physical and mental space available! Press, Radio, Television, Social Networks… Every media enumerates hourly the number of people who died; Schools are closed; a large number of teachers are idle, nurses and Doctors are overworked… there is no space left to think about anything else. Even children are getting fed up!
What if we started to look at “our mental box” differently? Its size, its content, its “routines” and the “outdated furniture” which fil the space? What if we could introduce some silence instead of the constant noise of repetitive thoughts invading us? What could happen if we started to put some distance between who we are and those taken for granted beliefs, ideas and assumptions we confuse with “theTruth”? Wouldn’t we begin to find that the most obvious and familiar answers we usually have are “not so obvious? “Not so true”? “Not so accurate”? Even “strange”?
We would see how we are shaped by these stories and how we keep them alive. We would stop to consider them as the Truth as escape them. We would become “unconventional” with ourselves and stop to conform to obsolete ideas. We would even discover that what we look at is less important than the way we look at it.
And what could happen if we could escape the obviousness? Could that refresh our sense of curiosity? Could that open new doors to the Future? Could that help us discover some inspirations around us that give us hope? Could we then put our imagination at work to have Transformative Visions of the Future, in tune with the emerging world and with our deepest values? Could this help us make wise decisions now and move into visionary actions that are not designed to “fix the problem” or “correct the past” but to shape a different Future?
Some situations which may seem “impossible” according to one type of mindset suddenly become possible using another mindset! It suddenly becomes exciting – instead of discouraging – to think about what the Futures could look like! The Coronavirus is not the end of the world! It is a serious threat! Yet, it may very well be the beginning of a new era. Driven by the Desire of making the world a safer place and to propose new, more Life-Sustaining approaches to People and the Planet.
In these new perspectives, the quality of our Thinking seems to be a key element. Because it will determine the quality of our Futures. Imagination will provide us with “options” and counterstories ; options will provide us with freedom of choice. And if we weave our Imagination with our highest Values and Hopes, we can create generate “Desire” for the Future, the best antidote for Fear, Despair and Confusion. This “desire” will give us the drive to act, individually and collectively, to shape better Futures.