Is It Time To Change Where You Sit?
A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to be offered a ticket for a premiership football match. The seat I had was just a couple of rows behind one of the managers’ dugouts so I was treated to the incessant shouting of Kenny Dalglish for just over 90 feverish minutes. It was quite an experience.
In the past I had nearly always watched such games from well back up in the stands from where players can only be identified by kit colours, numbers and general physical attributes. From such a distance the game is viewed more readily at a strategic level as patterns and shapes develop and unfold. Up close it is a very different matter. The people in front of you have recognisable faces, gruff voices and a very personal, physical presence. Their actions are immediate and brief and their part in the team’s overall tactics is often hard to see.
Despite being quite engrossed in the game I couldn’t help but reflect on the very distinct connection between these thoughts and the insights available from engaging with the MindSpan principles. Nothing can change the reality of the match itself but our perceptions of it, and our reactions to it, are considerably altered by the perspective from which we choose, or, more likely, are allowed, to view the contest. Equally the way we view our own actions is determined by our entrenched habits of thinking, what could be called the seat that we have become used to heading for, the one that we, often unconsciously, have appointed as the season ticket of our lives.
Now we may be happy to hold onto this place, year after year. After all, these season tickets are not easy to acquire and at the very least we always get to see the action first hand. But what if someone could arrange a guided tour of the stadium for us and, armed with the possibilities that this affords us, we could choose a seat in a different spot, at a new height, with a new angle and with a better chance of gaining a fuller understanding of all that is going on? Would we get better value and improved returns for our efforts? Would we, in summary, understand and enjoy it more? Sadly, the possibility of attaining this change may well be far beyond our control.
The analogy has, perhaps, gone far enough but it is a useful one to ponder. For, in essence, these questions are at the heart of the MindSpan programme. What we learn from it is that the choices we can make in our own lives are very much more within our control. One of the central tenets of MindSpan is that the way we think about what we are thinking about is what determines what we achieve in life. Changing the way we think, therefore, is exactly what MindSpan has been designed to help us achieve. So, thankfully, it is now possible to reconsider and alter where we sit in the grandstand of our lives and enjoy a new, fresh and more rewarding experience every time we turn up for the game.
John Jackson – MindSpan Co-Author