Sometimes you have to break the world. It might seem like an abstract idea, but the world appears the way it does to you, , because of the beliefs you hold about it. Unfortunately/fortunately, that doesn’t mean you can necessarily change the world in an instant, because changing your beliefs, really changing them, is rarely so easy. If you’re feeling stuck in some way and craving a shift in your life, then I encourage you to read on and allow today’s reflections to mess with your thinking a little. We're going to talk about beliefs around health and medicine, but know that you can extrapolate these concepts to almost anything. Let’s not break the world today, but let’s rattle it. Grab your openness, your compassion and your curiosity, and let's see what happens when we reflect on those beliefs that create your world.
ONE MINUTE INSIGHT
Pick one area of life from the following list:
Diet / movement
Physical health / genetics
Mental / emotional
Family / relationships
Financial / wealth
Career / professional
Write down one thing you believe to be true in the context of that realm of your life. For example: Diet / movement - “It is worse to eat sugar than it is to eat fat”, or “I need to have at least four hours in the gym each week to be able to get and maintain a six-pack.” Ask yourself the following questions about that belief: ▶ Is it true? ▶ Can you categorically state that this is true, beyond any doubt? ▶ What would be the consequence if you were no longer able to believe that belief? What did this reveal to you about the blocks with which you build your world (i.e. your beliefs)?
DEEPER DUE DILIGENCE
Please remember, I’m not attempting to rattle the world to trigger you or to say what is “wrong” or “right”, because frankly, I don’t know. I’m showing you how we can rattle the world to create possibilities where illusions otherwise suggested that there weren't any. And I'm doing that because I believe in a big, expansive, healthy and meaningful life for you as much as I believe in it for me. One where we all have maximum ability to respond (response-ability) to life and create it in a way that feels good. With that, let’s rattle. It feels most powerful (and a little edgy) to take the world of medicine as an example. Most of us know someone who is sick for some reason or another, and may have been told that a full recovery is not possible. What a painful experience to go through, or witness in someone you love. If you’ve been reading with me for a while, you may know that my Dad died of cancer at 61, when I was 19. After many thousands of hours reviewing his story and anything that might remotely connect to it or inform it over the last decade, I have arrived at the belief that his early death was at least partly due to his emotional state and capacity to metabolise the stress that his life caused him. That might sound a little fluffy if the belief you hold is that cancer is genetic or tied to things like chemical exposures, and I respect any belief you hold. For me, clearly a belief revolving around genetics doesn’t feel good, so I acknowledge some bias against that. I’m not going to elaborate specifically on why I have arrived where I have, because as I said the purpose of today’s due diligence exercise is not to convince you. It’s to inspire a curiosity in you that can see beyond limitations. With that, let’s talk about a fascinating snippet I heard on a credible podcast recently. The story goes that during an offline conversation between creative genius and record producer Rick Rubin and the Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of California San Francisco, Edward “Eddie” Chang, Rubin asked: “If you went to medical school today, and you learned what was in the textbook, what percentage of that information is accurate and what percentage is not?” Chang said: “Maybe half.” (Quoted from the Huberman Lab podcast - Rick Rubin: How to Access Your Creativity) Host Dr Andrew Huberman confirmed that he’d had a similar conversation with the Chairman on a separate occasion that arrived at the exact same conclusion. These are some of the best of the best in academia. Given their positions, I doubt they’d make such an “outrageous” and possibly compromising suggestion if it wasn’t remotely “true”. Can your mind even conceive of the impact of that estimation? Even if he was out by half again, and actually 75% was true, that’s still massive. It can feel a bit scary to imagine the implications of this. But it can also feel rich in possibility! I’m opting for the latter. Since I left my finance career four years ago after studying clinical hypnotherapy, I’ve been exposed to too many miracle medical stories to count, either before my own eyes or hearing them from my colleagues in the personal/alternative transformation industry. Whether it’s overcoming cancer, beating MS and climbing Kilimanjaro after being almost immobile, or curing incurable skin conditions. Even conceiving a baby after being told such a thing was inconceivable. My goodness I can't explain in words the joy on this soon to be parent's face after they found out the impossible was happening! When you start looking for them, you’ll find a lot of “exceptions” to the “rules” for how things are “meant” to work. And wow, it is mind-blowing. It’s cage-rattling. And sometimes world-breaking. Because these ideas are not widely accepted and existing paradigms actively challenged, I’ve often felt like I am a little mad, or even plain wrong. And as a result, I haven’t dared to talk about such topics openly. But in the last couple of years the field of “science”, which often drives our beliefs about the world through forming and testing hypotheses, has been so stretched out of shape and dismembered, that I feel I’ve been left little choice but to question the main narratives more deeply. It’s reassuring to see that even some of those inside of the science world, those still practising the art of science, are on the same page as me. Do you relate, or is it actually the case that I am a bit mad and am simply finding voices out there which are self-validating? Anyway. I digress. Earlier this week Google released its long awaited answer to ChatGPT: Bard. In a blog post authored by the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai, he acknowledged that many questions do not have one simple answer, but are multifaceted. Hence, he presents AI as a tool to help consider different possibilities and see the big picture. If AI is learning nuance and flexibility in thinking, then I’d suggest you’re going to need an even better grip on nuance in order to maintain your edge over it, or even your ability to receive its insights (that is… if you think that’s necessary given the way AI is shaping the future, but that’s a whole other topic). I’d assert that it’s time for us to evolve our ability to question the world around us as necessary, both in the sense of what is and what could be, and resist the black and white thinking that the ego loves. I’d assert that it’s time to become the chief scientists in our own worlds. Call it critical thinking. Be poetic like me and call it “breaking the world” that is our self-limiting beliefs (if you're human, you have 'em!). Perhaps channel your inner Elon Musk and start believing that things like life on Mars really are possible. Everything must flow from belief. It doesn’t have to be rock solid belief, but you must create room for a new possibility if you want things to shift beyond the reality you think can happen. The tool we use to create new beliefs is thought. Thought → belief → feeling → action → outcome → thought… Did this week's edition get you thinking? Here's another Rick Rubin anecdote that was shared on the podcast and stood out for me: “It’s all lies. Back to nature.” It reminds me of something one of my mentors Marisa Peer used to say, “Tell Yourself a Better Lie”, which has since become the title of her most recent book. Her logic is that we’re all constantly lying to ourselves anyway, so we might as well tell better quality lies that lift us up. Makes sense to me.
MORE TO MUSE ON...
What I'm listening to: Andrew Huberman and Rick Rubin (the creative genius behind names like Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Rage Against the Machine) riffing on tapping in to creativity and challenging ways of thinking.
What I'm writing about: the three levels of King energy that help us (re)build the world... the Sacred, the Earthly and the Inner King. This is my mythological exploration of how we might reclaim our personal power. Especially men, but true for all.
When I'm working with clients, I'm (almost) constantly inviting them into new possibility. It's not always comfortable. But that's where something different can happen compared to what has happened in the past. Be gentle with yourself as you edge your way into the unknown. And please, don't settle for answers that don't sit well in your gut. It may be the very thing that is not questionable in your world. Thank you for staying with me, I know this was a big one to digest. I know I've left some holes.
Fill them as you please, and feel free to share your thoughts and/or questions here.
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