Coping with the world around us today is like navigating through a rudderless, crumbling universe of chaos. In this unprecedented and bizarre moment of history full of disquiet and hardship, are we on a sinking ship? No knowledge of what the storm ahead looks like nor the coast we left behind?
Imagine the world was an organization and predictable based on past juxtaposed learnings against future science. We would investigate, resolve, and forge ahead along the path of winning in terms of profits and permanence collectively.
But this world is divided into many smaller ones. And we are presented with a future state that may resemble nothing anyone has imagined, predicted, or dreamt of. We remain a macrocosm whose direction can be powerfully shaped and determined by the individual’s microcosm. This is our unique proposition. All humans aim to achieve and fulfill their imagined perception of happiness. At a collective level, this sometimes is interchangeable with terms like success, joy, power, money, and control over their broader environment.
Each of us possesses a reality that is unique and exclusive. Often it is not the reality that shapes us, but the perception of reality. Checking in with ourselves, and aligning our ideas to the changes we want in the world, is the key way to squeeze the creative juices from our brains. When the rules of the macrocosm change, a new universe could potentially be born. This is a call to open our eyes. The following shifts in mindset have worked wonders for me and I am sure they will help you too!
The shift from Individual to Collaborative Mindset
Imagine a world where instead of competition, there was collaboration. Where countries could put their critical issues and strengths on the table, and the final strategy was developed based on the common good! Where success is defined not as individual gains, but as collaborative! Where integrated is more aspirational than apart. A mindset which looks at collaboration and overall well-being as success criteria. Success at home and the workplace could be measured based on whether we have helped a collective achievement instead of just our own.
Could profit be linked with one’s contribution to team well-being? Could market share be integrated with innovation towards the environment or the collective success of competitors? Can we start thinking about our success as part of our team, community, competitors, nation, and the world? I have used creativity and design thinking tools to help make this shift a positive process, helping me look at the larger picture and overall well-being.
The shift from Threat to Challenge Mindset
When human beings are under stress, they feel stuck, paralyzed, or feel like running away. One feels threatened when one hears about the economy, the rising number of COVID19 cases, or the lockdown situation worldwide. When you feel threatened, you will not be able to perform even basic tasks properly.
Another way of looking at a stressful situation is by treating it as a challenge. Suppose we could see the stressor as a challenger, our whole mindset shifts. When faced with a challenging situation, one feels activated, motivated, and energized. This shift will make hurdles seem surmountable and encourage one to find solutions to overcome or solve problems. A challenge allows for creativity to take over, and soon things don’t look as bad.
How many times have you seen that a threat makes you fight, freeze, or flee. In contrast, a challenge helps you grow, innovate, and empowers you to discover new solutions. Design thinking and creatives look at all threats as challenges. The design process aims to find solutions to challenges systematically.
The shift from Single to Combination Mindset
Today we live in a society where we have to choose to endorse one or the other. Either democrat or republican, either profit-focused or charity. Can we expand this singular way of looking at the world to one where combinations are possible? Where the interconnections and summations of material and human value produce synergies that are more beneficial than either of the individual approaches? Where we can benefit from the sum of different methods rather than one over the other. From apart to together, win-lose to win-win.
In the combinative way of looking at the world, one assigns values and looks at the sum of values to figure out the best-case scenario. In college, students chose the arts or science, math, or music. But today, we are shifting to a world of arts and science, creativity and math. The benefits of the varied combinations far outweigh the old approach.
Once I shifted my mindset from material or human value to one where I could make the most material and human value, magic happened. Creative thinking allows for an expansive and holistic approach that will keep you positive.
This pandemic has given us time to wonder and reflect on what we value and what the world needs. The post COVID19 world will be a more difficult and stressful one for each of us. We have to figure out how to cope! Working on our mindsets to make these three shifts will change the way we look at the world! Each of us can adopt these shifts at work, at home, with friends, and with family. Also, we can influence others and create changes in the world around us!
Changing mindsets is possible and could be easy! Try it! Reflect on the above three points and envision a world where collaboration, challenge, and combinations will make magic happen. People will trust each other. They will be positive and optimistic about situations, interactions with others, and with themselves. And collectively, we will have a world that dances to the music of a billion tunes that have the harmony of one!
Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash
This article is republished from medium.com dated 25th September.