I like to share those dynamics with people when coaching individuals or consulting in business, (and I'll share them with you below) because active principles help anyone continue to grow, long after a coaching relationship is concluded.
Without this basis for working, the nature of personal change remains a mystery. And I don't want my client to remain a mystery to themselves. I want to work on solid ground, so we are not guessing and fumbling and wishing and hoping.
As my clients come to understand these fundamentals about the workings of their own internal mechanics, they began to see for themselves why they are stuck and consequently, exactly what is required -- for them. Together we establish a self-sustaining, and self-generated basis for positive change, new ideas and insights.
This is such a practical base-camp to start from that transformational shifts occur in my clients that are irreversible and arise in areas where people had no expectation that change was even possible.
This has also been 100% true in my own life.
Here's why getting a good grasp of your inner workings is so helpful.
When you understand, you relax. You get it. Things makes sense and you know why they are happening. You understand your experiences and as a result your life. You don't get worried that you will forget that, because you see the root of all problems and you know how "the system" works. You begin correcting at the source, instead of at the after-spill. As your mind relaxes and clears, the more ideas come, the less reactive you are, the less conflicts flare unexpectedly, and the more you feel alive. Clients tell me they feel more "themselves."
It really is astounding how much it helps us to understand that the human mind has some simple functioning rules. And to know what they are and how they work in simple terms.
Not knowing how your mind works is akin to getting behind the wheel of a car having no idea what happens when you press the accelerator. If you don't know, you press the pedal, the car speeds forward and there you are behind the wheel, feeling completely helpless to stop it. Even though you have the power to.
Like understanding what happens with car floor pedals, Principles-based work gives you a greater understanding of what happens when you get behind the wheel of life.
Yet it may not be obvious what this means. I know I didn't see it. I thought I knew a great deal about humans and their motives and behavior. It turns out I had only scratched the surface. The root of all behavior and all that we feel lies in our thinking -- in the domain of the mind. We think we understand our human minds. We don't. If we truly understood the nature of the mind, we would have many, many more happy humans.
Simple Principles For A Change
It turns out that there are very simple working principles that explain how our own mind-states fluctuate, accelerate and slow down. Just like for our clueless driver, the functions to learn are not complex, but the information is precious.
It has us frantically over-steering, reacting in the wrong ways and then trying to fix the problems we ourselves created by trying to control everything around us. This is very much like going to the doctor for a treatment and walking out of the office with a prescription for your neighbor.
For companies looking to increase employee performance, resiliency and wellness, this understanding constitutes the ultimate competitive advantage. It is easy to see that employees with clear thinking processes, less emotional clutter and stress would be the definitive asset.
The work I do is often referred to as Principles-based, an "inside/out approach," "transformational coaching" or "The Three Principles work," Whatever the term used, the key distinction lies in that a Principles-based view always consists of looking at the inner functioning of human beings as thinking and feeling entities, for whom the overriding explanation for all our ups and downs in performance, contentment, and well-being -- lies on the inside of each of us and never in the circumstances outside of us.
The idea of looking within to understand human life is nothing new, of course.
What IS Inside /Out Work?
As a Principles-based coach, I will talk with a person about their inner world, the nature of thought and other aspects of mind and thinking functions so that we can lay a common ground about how the pedals work. We want to start off here. Yet Principles work is not positive thinking, behavioral psychology or positive psychology. It's also not about any kind of new brain science. It focuses on humans as thinking/feeling beings as a whole; and the implications of that knowledge in very practical terms. I'm interested in what's practical. And I've never found anything more practical that the rules that govern how things work.
I would describe this inside/out approach as having a basis in the following simple truths about all humans:
- we all think
- we feel whatever we think
- there's no "off switch" - we are alive and part of Life as a whole
In fact, I'd say that anyone who's not yet completely content and peaceful about life, would benefit from spending time understanding how exactly these play out for them, very specifically, day to day. I don't want you to think of them theoretically or conceptually. Concepts are are very little use for real change. If I say to you "I saw a dog today," I'm giving you no more than a conceptual category, but you have no idea what I really saw, do you? There's not much you can do with that. Except know I didn't see a tree or a boat.
Principles are not theories or concepts. Principles are of immense use. Their relevance is immediate. I've seen people grasp these simple truths and have their stress and anxiety dissolve on the spot.
Have You Read the Manual?
Without a good understanding of our own inner driving mechanisms, we all tend to:
- misunderstand our feelings
- attribute our feelings to all kinds of things outside ourselves
- run around trying to change the way we feel in all kinds of ways that actually don't change how we feel
- forget that a new idea could arrive at any time
I see people who are depressed, they are worried and can't sleep, they are eating their way through life -- they are waiting on the bank balance to go up, the child to come home or the scales to change in order to feel better. Maybe they want a coach to help. The best thing a coach could ever do is to show them how in every human, thoughts and feelings change independently of circumstances.
It sets them free.
Truly, we do not understand how the human mechanism works. Rising divorce levels are a testament to it. Persistent stress levels are a testament to it. Continued war is a testament to it.
These things would change and will change when we begin to grasp the operating principles of the human mind.
To work on a Principles-basis is to finally be given the manual to the human operating system that is you.
There is compelling and well-documented evidence of just how successful a Principles-based approach is in working with others.
Research being published is demonstrating how self-perpetuating change and ripples out from a single individual to all those around them.
Books are being written about the effects of trainings on human performance -- in sports and in the boardroom. Video documentation is available on work with young offenders and there are two videos on my home page about "no hope" diagnosis for addiction, mental illness and persistent or traumatic stress and how they were overturned.
In our own CSC work in organizations we see teams cooperate more fully and work environments become more harmonious and creative after Principles-based trainings.
There isn't an athlete on the planet who doesn't know the important role that the mind plays in performance levels.
In every field of endeavor, a greater understanding of how you operate internally will help you. Tremendously.
Everyone automatically becomes a better driver when they understand the pedals.
To learn more about Organizational State of Mind Trainings or personal coaching using the Principles-based approach, contact me.
Please view the CSC media site or on Three Principles Movies for even more case studies, research and training links.