Welcome to Insights and Implications!
If this is your first time receiving our newsletter, welcome! Sent just once per month, each newsletter contains a short story that illustrates the insight principles in real life. We hope this series becomes an easy and accessible way for you to reconnect with your learning, reflect, and deepen your understanding of insight principles.
We also hope you are having a fantastic start to 2014.
All the best,
All of us at Insight Principles
Insights vs. Resolutions
Those of you who belong to a gym know that gyms are always crowded with newcomers in January. People start the New Year fueled by their New Year’s resolutions. By the end of the month, however, most newcomers disappear, and gym populations return to normal. The motivation that accompanies most resolutions appears to have a shelf life of approximately 3 weeks.
Most of us aren’t sustained by our resolutions, and it can seem like the road to hell is paved with good intentions. However, there is hope! To make the changes we want to see in our lives, we simply need an insight.
As an example, a friend of mine quit smoking a few years ago. Prior to permanently quitting, she made many false starts. As she described it, “I would get myself up for quitting.” Each time she resolved to quit, she prepared herself by listing all the logical reasons for quitting. Next, she told her spouse and kids so they would hold her accountable. Finally, she chose a technique or method that would aid her in the process, e.g., a nicotine patch or gum, hypnosis, or prescription drug. Despite these best efforts, my friend kept smoking through five years of “quitting”.
After years of resolutions, this friend finally had a helpful insight. A frequent business traveler, she was schlepping her suitcase through the airport, searching for the smoking room. She found the room, and as she peered inside at the people smoking, she was hit by a new thought. “You don’t belong in there,” she realized, “and desperately looking for this room every time you fly is a huge inconvenience.” The thought rang loud and crystal clear, as if a voice was speaking to her. She walked away, immediately quit smoking cold turkey, and never smoked again.
An insight is a thought from the unknown, a thought that rearranges your thought system. Insights make visible something that was previously invisible. They change your attitude and how you feel about something enough that new behavior seems obvious, easy, and natural. In my friend’s case, smoking no longer made sense to her, and her insight, albeit simple, was powerful enough to help her through her withdrawal with zero outside assistance.
Insights are incredibly useful, but unlike resolutions or good intentions, they are not something you can willfully make happen. Insight is like an unscheduled bus. You can’t predict when it’s going to show up. You can be waiting at the bus stop, however, and that helps.
The bus stop, in this metaphor, is realizing how the human mind actually works. When you remember that your experiences and feelings are not caused by external factors, but crafted within your own mind, you settle down. You have less on your mind and the intelligence that makes insights possible has room to serve you up a new thought.
As in the story of my ex-smoker friend, you can happen to be at the bus stop when the insight bus arrives without ever understanding how the system works. It happens all the time. But I like the leg up that my understanding of insight principles provides.
©Insight Principles, Inc.