July 25, 2011

Changing Your Mind

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”  ~ Albert Einstein

In last week’s post I shared my struggles with attitude.  The shift I effectively made occurred as I was watching golfer Darren Clarke celebrate his British Open victory.  For me, the week transformed from a challenge to improve my attitude and perspective to a celebration of fulfillment and accomplishment.  Quite frankly, I had a pretty good week.  And, as I pressed to do those things that  needed to do to accomplish my goals and be successful on my journey, I found my outcomes and my attitude improved significantly.

When I stumbled upon this quote by Albert Einstein, I am reminded of the quote I shared last week: “If you don’t like something, change your mind.”  I couldn’t help but revisit it again.

When we stand in the middle of our issue and the problems we see – whether real or created – it is impossible to solve them without changing our mind or our perspective first.  When we see or discover a problem, it is the awareness of the problem that is our focus.  Depending on the issue, there may be more than simple awareness.  There may be an emotional burden, as well.   For example, despite the best of intentions my thoughts about Brandon’s situation always hit me in my heart and my gut as I ponder his situation.  I cannot think about Brandon or his problems without first experiencing the emotional pain of his situation.  It is impossible or improbable for me to clearly define a course of action for my life and my relationship with Brandon from this emotionally troubled state.  I need to change my mental environment first.

Like Einstein says, I cannot create a solution from that same state of emotional consciousness.  Instead, I need to change my mind.  This means that as I begin to explore solutions to the challenges that I face, I need to begin to focus more logically and intentionally on the mission, the vision, and the goal at hand.  I cannot get mired I the problem, I need to zero in on the purpose and the promise of the solution.  In Brandon’s case, I start out with the vision of who I am, my commitment to loving him without enabling him, and my faith that my logic and my thinking will provide me with the best course of action in response to his challenges.  Bringing mental clarity to my challenges empowers me to be more creative, more strategic, and certainly, more focused on my decisions.

When faced with adversity, the solution is not found in the emotional presence of the challenge.  It is found in the focused efforts of your vision, mission, and commitment to your journey.  The trick is to be able to change your perspective from awareness to strategist.  While not always easy – all you need to do is change your mind.

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.