Episode 96. Negativity. Brought to you by the 4th law of the universe. The law of rhythm or as we call it, harmony.
That there are two things, two sides, two aspects to everything is called perspective. The one human condition that is preserved by the individual regardless of their talent or position in life is their freedom or perceived freedom, to claim a perspective.
When people go to work they claim the ability and right to have a perspective. If that perspective is left to gossip and rumour, it will always gravitate toward the loudest voice, and the loudest voice ironically is always the most negative. If you sit in a cafe and listen to the conversation that goes on around you in that cafe you will hear people talking about what went wrong. You will hear them talking about what they’re doing about what went wrong. What goes wrong in a persons life becomes interesting to others because it creates a point of intervention in their life and, although people am now free to identify with different pronouns and sexuality, 99% of them actually identify with negative stories. Stories of injustice, stories of bad things, stories of what didn’t happen.
And so negativity, the polar opposite to positivity, has become the greatest single format of identity in the world. If you go to any news station such as SBS, Apple, Microsoft, Google, and take in the top 20 headlines, you will see that bad news, negativity, sells. Remembering the purpose of news and a news channel is to sell advertising. The news is not there to inform you, the news is there to recruit people onto a website in order to sell a product which is how the news pays for itself.
As an individual committed to success, you do not fall into the masses that are engaged in the search for the next negative story. As an individual wanting to bring the world to greater heights of competitive spirit, to make a profit and be a positive influence on the planet you need to be aware of how easy it is to fall into the polarity universe. The polarity universe is where negative stories are presented in order to create a Whitehorse, a rescue, and alternative that is polar opposite. You have to be careful of the news, and other media that will bring you back down into the world of polarity.
Let’s say you are sitting at the dinner table and somebody spills the milk. What are you going to say? Are you going to say that that was a stupid thing or are you going to say how good it was that they didn’t spill the milk up until then? In other words are you going to join the masses and find what’s wrong and celebrate it by focusing on it or are you going to sit and find what’s right and instead of focusing on the negative focus on the positive? This battle, begins in micro management of our day. But it extends to micromanagement of our life.
I’m sitting on my bike turbo doing my daily workout. I’m sweating drips onto the floor where there is a towel and a flood taking place. It’s a hard grind. I am staring at a computer screen which is telling me how hard I need to push for the next 60 seconds. My mind starts to contemplate this effort and can easily start to think about how sore my crutch is, how aching my quads are, how ridiculous it is to be sitting here puffing and panting over age exercise bike and would rather drift off into the things that aren’t going wrong in my whole life. Once we start to experience the moment as a downer, we lose the presence of the moment but we are more likely to head off and find other bad stories to reinforce the negative space we are in sitting on a bike turbo on the balcony. This is the complicated management of perspective.
I can also be sitting on my bike turbo during my daily workout with sweat dripping off me and celebrating the fact that I can look out across Bondi Beach and see the ocean and there are whales jumping. This is equally a option for me, but it equally can take me away from being in the present moment and transport me into places far away from the bike.
Or, I can transport myself back from all these remote distant places and speed on the bike itself. I can start to use self talk. When are you self talk I am becoming more and more present with the thing that I’m doing and this becomes a habit rather than try to escape it with a negative or a positive perspective. Once again using the pyramid principle, the bottom of the pyramid you have two sides, duality, one side being negative in the other side being positive, but at the top you are fully present. Becoming fully present on the bike turbo is not just about training my body it is a habit I develop that when I am doing anything at work such as coaching somebody or doing a presentation I am here in the moment. So rather than escaping into the negative or escaping into its opposite the positive which both promotes each other, I don’t escape, I use self talk.
Self talk is badly taught. Very often tries to polarise people into a positive viewpoint of a negative situation and this again breeds concept of duality. Duality comes when we see negative and we try to see the opposite. We often think that we need to see the opposite of negative in order to be positive but this is a misunderstanding of the principle. The principal, to be fully present is not to be positive but rather grateful for where we are. To be grateful for where we are we must be grateful for both a negative and a positive of where we are. If we can only see the negative of where we are then being grateful for that negative doesn’t change a thing. If we can only see the positive of where we are being positive doesn’t change a thing. It reinforces the duality and bipolar nature of our thinking. Alternatively if we see thankfulness or gratitude for the negative of where we are, we see the negative and therefore gratitude for the positive of where we are, then where we are is where we are right here and we are becoming thankful for being in this moment. Now this is automatic when we are transported away by a singer or an entertainer that is a comedian because we’re not looking at what’s wrong or what’s right about it we are just enjoying the experience. That’s the gift of art the ability to transport us away from judgement of negative and positive, until we get to go to a concert with somebody who spends the whole time criticising themselves or others all the music or the band or the crowd or the seat or the cost of the ticket and therefore isn’t present in the concert at all and we listen to them and suddenly we get transported away from the concert to. But this can also happen at work.
So it is the responsibility of the leader to cause people to become fully present. When I studied Zen Zen master would walk around behind you and if you were meditating sitting with your eyes open staring at the wall and you lost concentration into the past or the future drifting away from the present they would slap you on the back with a bamboo cane. This would be the perfect process for a workplace environment except you would end up with a lawsuit. So we are trying to find the same snap back into focus process for people who are basically trained to think in duality and either are looking for positive news or negative news in order to drift away from the present. They say I am bored all this is not interesting and they drift off into Nana land. The next thing you know they are complaining that they are stressed and have mental health problems. It all comes down to the inability to be present. If I’m on my bike turbo and I find a way to endure the discomfort of the bike session by drifting off into watching Bondi Beach whales jumping or drifting off into criticising what I’m doing I find a past through the tedium of pain. That is going to become a habit and it will inject a mental health problem because the number of atoms that I spend hanging out in a positive space in my day is going to be balanced by the number of atoms that I spend hanging out in a negative space. So the more I think I can escape this moment in Time by jumping on the positive bandwagon and celebrating all that’s good about the work place the more time I’m going to spend jumping on the negative bandwagon and complaining about stuff. There is no choice around this.
For example, if you sit at work and go I had a great day because I got a promotion and a pay rise and made sales and hit my budget and did a brilliant job and help somebody who was needing help and did a really good great fantastic brilliant job at work today and you walk in the front door of your home somebody will express what you’ve been repressing which is the negative side of your day. Next thing you know shit hits the fan and everybody’s having a bunfight because you blame your partner for bringing you down off some skyhigh balloon riding emotional rollercoaster and you blame them because they knocked you off your pedestal. But this is the nature of bipolar emotional we think that a brilliant day is the day where we are all positive only because it feels good
There are even speakers and trainers on the Internet and books about thinking positive and being positive all day and such things as the course of miracles or whatever it is tries to find the good news in everything. But this is absolutely causing duality and duality causes mental health problems no matter how good the good news is. Every single atom in our body is a balanced atom it has protons and electrons inside it and they are positive and negative charged. A person who is always trying to think positive will become as sick as a person who is always trying to think negative. So when we talk about people identifying with a pronoun we would be wiser to see which side of the coin they tried to identify with. If they identify with the side of the coin that says they should be free to identify with whatever side of the coin they choose they’ve chosen a polarity and that is their identity not their pronoun. It is not for us to judge how the world is to be something in the world that is what will get us to what we will deliver to the world.
When we talk about certain mental states, such as doubt which is what the video series I am doing at the present time is all about, when we try to fix a mental state by finding an alternative to it we automatically go into the dual dynamic that causes stress. So sometimes we stress ourselves by trying not to be stressed. There are some really easy principles we can transport from that Zen experience all the bike turbo on the balcony that you can apply in your every day life.
- Being intense is very important to being present. You need to be right in the moment in order to be fully present in the moment and that means rising above duality by seeing the benefit of the negative and the drawback of the positive, to arrive right where you are.
- The more thankful for being right where you are the more present you become where you are and that means you need to surround yourself with gratitude for the downside for the pain for example and gratitude for the upside for the benefits for example, but be attached to neither just simply turn up thankful to be here.
- You need something to snap you back when you lose concentration. Concentration is the most under estimated quality. For example on my bike turbo it is concentration that will keep me in the moment and if I don’t have concentration I will definitely drift off into the never-never of the negative or the positive side of the experience.
- When you are in the state of presents you will lose track of time and this becomes a critical part of the work environment. We know that Parkinsons law is that work will fill the time you give it. It’s probably one of the greatest observations of the human condition. If you give yourself a week to do something it will take a week. If you give yourself one day to do the same thing it will take one day. The difference in quality between what you do in one week that you also can do in one day is quite significant but probably doesn’t affect the outcome much. Your output will be prettier, more organised, better communicated if you give yourself more time but if you give yourself more time the likelihood of being intense while you do something is low. So concentration, presence and focus require and intensity that is time dependent. Better to do something with a time limit than it is to do something with an outcome limit.
- The other thing that you learn from a bike turbo or a Zen session is that there is carry over. Carryover is when you’ve been doing something before you do the the bike turbo or the Zen session that you are still thinking about or is still rolling around inside your brain when you start the next thing. This is most conspicuous to me when I get on my bike turbo and I’ve been coaching somebody and I feel as if I haven’t made enough notes all done what I wanted to do and so I’m sort of a little bit half-hearted about the bike turbo session and as soon as it gets a little bit tough I start to question whether I really want to do it. This can often happen to people when they have a domestic environment that is unpleasant or unloving and then they go to work and they get to work and feel as if they just not fully into it. This is why I think mornings are so important to business people to get out and not necessarily burn all our matches with exercise but to gain some inspiration and turn up at work totally inspired so that there is not this carryover that I spoke about that will make it impossible or really hard to be fully heart invested in the work.
- Finally, there are no half-hearted success stories in the world. The only way the heart opens to something is when you can link the something to the future the heart wants. A great example of this is sitting in Zen and being fully present with it, or sitting on my bike turbo and being fully present with it, I must be able to link what I’m doing very clearly to what I want to achieve. And that achievement must be linked to what I want to give. It’s the thing we want to give the world that makes presents possible. If you go to a function and you are only worried about what people will think about you you will cause yourself to lose presents and that will in itself cause people to think about you negatively. But if you want to go to an event and have people think about you positively you go to that event with the intention of helping people or making change or giving them something and it’s the something that becomes more important than you. When does something becomes more important than you it allows you to link what you are doing in the present moment to what you want to give and this is an enormous shift. And example is when I worked with actors who were so worried about their career so worried about getting a booking so worried about paying their bills so worried about themselves and their future and they just completely forget that the purpose of their acting is to entertain other. When people become self obsessed they worry about how the world impacts them rather than how they impact the world. And this is the single greatest learning for today about turning up in the moment that even though you might have the balance, even though you might have gratitude, even though you might be right here in the moment on your bike turbo spinning around being thankful for the exercise, if you can’t link what you’re doing to what you want to give the world you will not be present. There is no way. Self absorbed presence and full presence with the giving concept are two completely different forms of the same thing and use two different parts of the human mind to experience it. So the question might be what is the thing you want to give the world, not just your family because that still self obsessive, the world is the question?
That is the end of this episode. With spirit, Chris Walker.