WIC Blog

Check out the Work In Colour blog for practical tips, ideas and musings on ways to stop working in black + white and start working in colour everyday.

Could You Use A New Mindset?

Last week I talked about changing your mindset to see the world as a friendly place. Whether that was one of your challenges - and whether we realise it or not - we all see the world through filters formed by our temperament, our personal history, education, culture, gender and life circumstances. We may think we know the world 'as it really is', but of course this is only our personal reality and there are many other ways to look at life than we believe, or have even encountered. Hamlet was right when he told Horatio that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in his philosophy.

These filters help us order our world, make sense of new information and reach decisions in accordance with our beliefs. However, they can be a real hindrance to creative thinking, because they shut off so many possible avenues of thought - often without us even realising they exist.

What can you do?

Trading places: if you have a problem and you can't see a way through it, put yourself in the place of someone else, and ask: how would that person solve this problem? For example, how would a man (or woman, or ten-year-old child) solve this? What would the Dalai Lama do? How would an alien see this? Your favourite animal? We all have access to many more paradigms than we may believe we do, but tend to fall back on our default setting. By contrast, this technique helps access that part of you that can see the world like Mother Teresa or Attila the Hun - it will give you access to ideas and ways of thinking you may never have been aware of before.

Different angle: if you have friends or colleagues who see the world differently to you, seek them out, ask their views and actively collaborate. One of the great powers in teams is that the combined perspectives on a situation can shed far more light than any one individual could hope to.

In the mind: if you reach a dead end, ask yourself if you are limiting your options by your mindset. This may sound difficult, but with practice we can become aware of our 'blind spots' and be alert to the possibility that we are just not seeing a particular angle. Maybe you don't see the wood for the trees (or vice versa); perhaps you tend to downplay emotional aspects of a situation, or maybe you just can't believe that an older person could have deep insight into your life?

What are your filters?
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