You may have noticed that what goes on in your mind you may not have much control over. In many ways much of whats goes on in our mind is not our fault or even our intention. It is amazing that nearly 3000 years ago Buddha had this insight about the mind and come to the same fundamental conclusion; that because we have no control over whats in our minds then it implies that it’s not our fault or our intention to have those thought in our mind.
It is now well accepted that two major factors that influences us are our genes and our early environment; and we have no control over neither of them. We are hard-wired, so to speak, by our genes and our early childhood experiences but had no say in the process. We were not consulted, no one asked our permission. But it is the interaction of the genes and the early childhood experiences that gives us our sense of “being oneself “; this experience of oneself may vary from feeling amazing to feeling severely traumatized, and we had no say in the matter.
Even though we had no say in the design of ourselves and we have little control over our mind we can still take responsibility in a new way so that we can live in and work with such a mind. It is like taking responsibility for our physical body; we had no choice over what body we were given but we still have the responsibility of looking after it to keep it healthy. We have to eat right, exercise etc. The same is true for our mind, we are learning that our brain and mind need certain kind of input to function well.
We will explore what kind of input is required for our brain and mind to function well. But until than it is important to realize that we are not to blame about whats going on in our minds. We can be kind and compassionate to ourselves.
The Compassionate Mind. by Paul Gilbert
Posted by drchana on April 17, 2012
Our society is so obsessed with succeeding and being on the top; and it is in general contemptuous of those who are not interested in this game. We are never taught in school the most important lesson of life - how to fail. The psychological studies show that to enhance success we must not focus on the end result but rather focus on the effort one make towards achieving that end. Yet our society is so focus on the results. In sports we only remember who came in first but rarely do we remember who came in second or third. We forget that even if we do well today we may not do so well tomorrow; that success is only temporary. The moment we are no longer frightened to fail, but take failure as an opportunity to learn from, then we are free to succeed.
How often people don’t try things because they are afraid of failing ? Learning how to fail is not a resignation to become a failure but it is being open to the possibility of failure and learning from it and being appreciative of the effort that was invested towards a given goal. When we focus on the result we invite people to cheat, commonly out of fear. Take government statistic for example, very few people believe them because they don’t tell the whole truth.
Those who are employed get regular personal performance review; under the pretence of being helpful to the employee. But is it really helpful? or is it more to check on the employees that they are meeting their targets; and if the targets are met then they will be increased for the next year. There is always a perpetual change in big corporation; employees feel uneasy with this constant change; but that is exactly the managements thinking that if you let things settle down then people become comfortable and inefficient. But this is wrong kind of thinking. Not only does it create stress and anxiety for everyone involved but it is poor for the morale and the ability to develop cooperative working relationship with each other. Resulting in huge costs which are born in term of people getting sick and having to taking stress leaves; but the inefficiency in these organization never improve with this kind of thinking.
Some have said that an inspired , dedicated , cooperative ‘ all for one and one for all’ team of lesser talented is likely to beat one made up of those who are gifted but are treated as marketable objects and don’t cooperate.
We have to recognize that our psychologies are rooted in our working and social lives. It is easy not to be mindful of how the negative effects of the working conditions can have adverse effect on our minds and our relationships. We can end up being insensitive to many facets of our lives and just being focused on winning. We look for the competitive edge at the expense of support, cooperation and integration.
The compassionate mind by Paul Gilbert.
Posted by drchana on April 10, 2012