The Mind as per Zen is a highly conditioned abstract organ of a living organism and has its own process. It is a space through which our thoughts move. However, the mind is also continually acquiring and conditioning old and new imprints that become a consistent part of our behaviors. Zen dwells on the process of mind and states, and wisdom is all about using the mind to create positive outcomes else the mind uses us. It is thus vital to channelize the process of mind to our advantage.
Ancient Zen scriptures have put a tremendous emphasis on disciplining the mind through a set of behaviors. This brings us to the realm of the modification of behaviors. If we work on our behaviors, we can change mindsets. However, a sense of purpose is a key driving factor for both behavioral modifications as well as a change of mindset.
“Effectively Managing Mindset” – Is all about rewiring a mind for new successes, as it gets conditioned over the years owing to past achievements. This hardwiring is thus a result of our past that blinds us to the inefficacies of our current habits. Wisdom is all about changing behaviors which no longer work for us.
A human being develops habits by continually practicing his or her behaviors, values, and beliefs, which are molded over the years. But it is important to note that these beliefs can undergo a process of change. These changes can be immediate or can be over some time and are purely dependant on motivators for change. People mostly change mindsets through self-inspiration when they discover their sense of purpose, or when they encounter life challenges, or they align with a Mentor in life. Some, unfortunately, don’t change at all.
So let us understand the process of change of a mindset. Firstly the mind is conditioned, which reflects through hardwiring of neural pathways in the Brain. It believes and sees what it wants to. The mind can also get influenced easily when it is in a heightened state of emotion. This intensified state can be created through controlled situations, in which the subject experiences the effect of his or her behaviors instantly, which, thus induces a trigger of change in the belief system. A mind thus undergoes a shift in conditioning only when motivators are triggered, or pain is experienced. A controlled environment of awareness and assessment is the key to changing mindsets. Let us discuss how the change in mindset can be induced:
- A discovery of “a sense of purpose” is a starting point for any work on mindset change. Our behaviors are aligned with the “past state” that created a historical success. The key question is, why would someone become ready for a change unless there is an inspired goal. So start with a “personal, inspired goal.”
- Do not start work on mindset change immediately; work on behaviors instead. Behaviors are easy to change and a powerful way of firing new neurons and forming new neural pathways and, thus, productive habits. It is therefore critical to identify the correct behavior for the desired change in line with the sense of purpose.
- Determine behaviors which are ineffective by giving or taking feedback through measurement dashboards. Deploy the framework of people analytics. Numbers are facts that show us the mirror. A mirror is a truth of how we look.
- Work on 2-3 behaviors at a time. Understand that it needs a lot of awareness and courage to work on behaviors. Track the change of behaviors through stakeholder feedback which, feeds into the people analytics dashboard. A measured shift of behavior is a descriptor of the tangibility of success. Be gentle behaviors are a part of our Persona.
- Keep noting small successes that the new behaviors are creating and be patient. Rewiring takes time and discipline. Appreciation of a positive change reinforces the new behavior. It is also essential to provide a supportive environment for the change of behaviors to become new productive habits.
- As we feed new successes to beliefs; the belief system changes and provides the necessary energy triggers for reinforcing new behaviors under development. While developing new behaviors, we must accentuate the use of inherent strengths as a support mechanism.
- Once a success behavior becomes a new habit, belief system changes, and so mindsets also change. The journey then starts all over again.
However, what do we do with people who have no motivators for any change because they have no sense of purpose? If a person is utterly content with the situation and has no motivators, it is best not to work on the individual or wait for life to create an opportune moment. Also, an individual who just “wants” to do well but does not want to manifest it in reality through effort, is a difficult proposition. A dream needs to be backed with action. The point is mindset change is always internally inspired by the experience of success or a failure or a strong sense of purpose. It needs immense courage and discipline to form new “success habits.”
A quest for Personal Mastery is essential for behavioral modifications and, thus, the change in mindset. Knowledge plays a vital role in the constant evolution of a mind. People who stop investing in learning create a dull mind; as neurons must continuously be fired by experimenting with new experiences and learning. Learning creates the acceleration for behavioral modifications. As people move into positions of power, they stop flexing and thus stop generating new neural pathways. This is living life with an obsolete mind.
Are you and your organization investing in a sincere effort to transform behaviors? If you are, then your teams would surely perform even in the most trying times. Afterall an organization is nothing but an outcome of collective behaviors that reflect as mindsets. We live in a world of cause and effect. What we are in our life is because of our behaviors!