Okay, think back…no farther back…all the way back to biology class in Junior High. Remember when we learned about an ecosystem? You remember, that ‘community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment all interacting as a system?’ (Okay, maybe not. That’s why I included a definition here to refresh our memories. Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.)
Well, what was the most important aspect of the ecosystem, the component that drove the entire ecosystem? What determined what would/could thrive, survive, or die there? The climate. Climate is the long-term pattern (and extremes) of temperature, precipitation, wind, atmospheric pressure, etc. that impact that environment and create the conditions in which life survives…or doesn’t. (Weather is the short-term version of climate. And thus ends our biology refresher for the day. Again, don’t worry I had to look all that up, too.)
The climate of an ecosystem determines what thrives, survives, and dies within that ecosystem. And the make-up of an ecosystems changes over time as the climate changes.
Now, let’s shift from a biological ecosystem to a personal ecosystem; to our life and our sphere of influence. Think about all the people, events, activities and accomplishment in our lives. What has the greatest impact on our relationships, our health, our achievements, in fact everything in our lives? The answer is our thinking!
Our thinking impacts our lives just as climate impacts an ecosystem. Our long term pattern of thinking determines what ideas, beliefs, plans, behaviors, etc., thrive, survive or die in our lives. Two people can have exactly the same event or opportunity in their lives, and they will think about it, and therefore, act upon it in completely different ways.
Take the example of an employee being offered a promotion into management. One person might see it as the weight of more responsibility/work, taking on all the problems of other people, more pressure, having to do all kinds of things they don’t know how to do…and what if they fail? Another might see it as a wonderful opportunity for more responsibly, the chance to help more people, to lead them to a better place…and think about how great it will be when they succeed!
Same opportunity, but different people with different thinking. The promotion opportunity dies in one person’s life (because of their thinking), while it thrives in the other’s.
Most of us rarely take the time to ‘think about our thinking’…and its impact on our lives. But what if we did? What if we took time to think about how our thinking impacts our lives and those around us? Do we have in our lives what we really want? What if we intentionally changed our think? What could that do for us?
Could we have more happiness, joy, sense of accomplishment and purpose if we started thinking differently? Well my answer is an emphatic ‘yes’.
So let’s all decide to change the climate in our personal ‘ecosystems’, and let’s just see what can grow in this new ‘fertile, warm and rich climate’ of our new personal ecosystem.
Question: Where, in your life, does your thinking kill-off ideas or plans that could actually be a great benefit in your life – if you just thought about it differently?