When the mind is not calm, emotions can take over, causing us to do things that we later regret. We can get the wrong end of the stick, make mountains out of molehills, jump to conclusions and leap in with both feet without looking first – all prompted by emotional decisions that took only seconds to make.
These emotional patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving can impact life at all levels: from our innermost thoughts and our interpersonal relationships, to our team-working and organizational culture.
The foundation of a calm mind is perspective – the ability to see the wood for the trees. Seeing how things differ in time, space, social significance and probability actually engages those parts of the brain where logical thought is processed, at the same time leading to a decrease in emotional thoughts and reactions.
Making sense of the world around us involves placing some sort of order on things…naming and labelling, qualifying and quantifying what we see so that a coherent and logical plan of action can take shape. This is how language evolved and the human race advanced.
Those primitive, emotionally-fuelled patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving will always be with us. We cannot survive without them, yet we can learn to manage them and to make decisions that help us maximise our potential. We’re in it for the long run and not only the here-and-now.