Updated: Oct 9, 2021
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This is a picture of a young woman sleeping. Don’t focus on the old man. Focus on finding the sleeping woman. Don’t focus on the old man.
Once the eyes see something, the mind tells you what it is. It can be hard to convince your mind to allow for the possibility of something else. LIke the optical illusion, we struggle to see something other than what we believe to be true.That's the same thing we do in life. We are told how to live from the moment we are born. We are told what education is and how we should think at the moment we enter school.
And every day we are told what we should believe, consume and who or what we should be.
Our eyes saw what was right or wrong then our brain tells us it is so. But what if that wasn't the only way to look at things? What if your mind actually worked for you and not the other way around. We experience and live with sayings like, "Seeing is believing" and "Make up your mind".
We are told to stay within the lines when we are young in order to create properly. Heck even Legos gave in! If you're old enough...you can remember when you got a bucket of Legos. You made what the heck your imagination allowed. A "car" was anything that had at least one wheel to us. And I know for a fact that I have made airplanes that would defy the laws of physics and basic common sense. If you buy Legos now it's a different experience. You are shown on the box exactly what you are supposed to create. There's even step by step instructions...just to make sure you don't get too creatively carried away. And for the dreamers, they even play out an imaginative scene on the box to show you what you should be thinking about while you play with your perfectly assembled pre-designed optical illusion. No kid wanted to be perfect, they just wanted to imagine and have fun. If you put five 4 year olds in the same room with crayons, let alone Legos, none of them would be happy if they created the same thing. Kids loved being creative and different and doing what brings them joy. They cherish not having to be exactly like everyone else.
They told us this thing called life comes with ‘instructions’. But these instructions have become part of the problem. It comes with more rules than we can ever learn or ever adhere to. And success is measured by how well you play the game, how well you stay within the lines, and how well you can think inside the box. That works for some people. But if you're reading this I bet it doesn't work for you. You may have tried forcing it to work by staying in a job that just isn't right for you, or a relationship that isn't right for you, or an existence or state of mind that isn't right for you. I'm pretty sure someone can relate to one of those. For me, my creativity never fit the mold. So much so that it made me feel like I was crazy. Anxiety, depression, and adult ADHD are some of what I call my Lego instruction side effects. I needed to be me. I needed to free my mind and know that I wasn't broken because I didn't fit in. Mindset is a state of being. It's a choice. And once we realize that it's a choice, we can choose. As kids we had it figured out. Sometimes being happy is dreaming or imagining. As a child I would sit on the floor and have whole conversations with myself as I played. Like full blown conversations! It was cute I guess. Mmmhmm...try that next time you are at work!
But there are things we can do to change our present state and change it quickly. It all begins with our focus. Everyone experiences emotions - anger, sadness, fear, excitement, happiness, worry. These emotions are choices. A situation can trigger an emotion. Whether it's negative or positive, that emotion is real to you. And there is nothing wrong with that. It's part of what it means to be human. The key is to focus on the positive emotions that you want, and not to focus on the negative emotions that you don't want. I know, I know. Easier said than done. Absolutely.
You experience every emotion. But understand that (to quote from the movie, Pirates of the Caribbean...) They're more like guidelines.
You can choose to not stay in a negative mindset. You can choose to experience negative emotions as you take in the current situation. But then choose not to stay there.. When you remember how you truly want to feel you can change your focus and then change your mindset. Mindset is the key to unlocking your Lego set with no instructions. It allows you to see, like the optical illusion, a different picture that has been right in front of your face. When you choose to believe that your mind works for you and not the other way around, anything is possible. In order to Flip your Reality you need to Flip your mindset!
Many of you may have heard the Tony Robbins quote, "Where focus goes energy flows." That's only the first part. The quote in its entirety is actually:
"Where focus goes, energy flows. And where energy flows, whatever you're focusing on grows. In other words, your life is controlled by what you focus on. That's why you need to focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. When you next find yourself in a state of uncertainty, resist your fear. Shift your focus toward where you want to go and your actions will take you in that direction."
And as the great Bruce Lee said, "As you think, so shall you become."
Now remember this picture from above? It is a young woman sleeping. Focus on finding the sleeping woman.