Whether you act as a change agent in your organization or in your personal life, to be effective, memes will need to be confronted and replaced. The very nature of change is a shift from the way it is to the way it could be. All internal and external culture change requires a certain turn of mind, a new way of seeing and thinking about what you see. A meme replaced with a new thought pattern. Sometimes bigger, more inclusive, than the last in thought sometimes the meme is flipped on its ear to see the tender bottom. It is about attitude. It is contagious. Here are a few ideas to make yours worth catching.
Common memes that can hinder fulfillment and contentment:
2.1 The meme that getting your thumb slammed in a car door is just a bad deal.
2.2 The meme that we are separate from nature
2.3 The meme that support means love and challenges are not worthy of love
2.4 The meme that someone is happier than you.
Lets pick up on the first one as an example – The meme that getting your thumb slammed in a car door is just a bad deal.
Meme Buster Prespective
I dropped off some of my leadership program clients. We had just finished a 5 day wilderness canoe trip. While Matt was getting out of the car door slammed shut on his right hand thumb. He yelled for his colleague to open the door for what must have seemed like an agonizingly long 5 seconds.
The edge of the door caught him just across the white part of his thumbnail just missing the potential crush of bone. It’s sore and bruised and he will likely loose the thumbnail in the weeks ahead. Just a bad deal. Not much fun, agreed? What could be the benefit of this?
But is there such a thing as something being all bad with absolutely no silver lining? Is there any experience that doesn’t have at least two sides? What if there is a benefit when bad things happen to good people?
Matt is a chain smoker. He hates it and feels ashamed of himself and has tried lots of times to quit. A few days ago I checked in with him to see how he was doing and he related an amazing breakthrough. It seems that he is really right handed. He does everything with his right hand including flick a lighter. As it turns out it is such a painful nuisance to light up that he is down to 2 smokes a day. He is feeling confident that his digital agony has shocked his system into a new and sustainable and healthier habit. When his door closing colleague dropped into his office to again apologize, Matt told him the story and actually relayed that he was grateful for the mishap because of how it helped him on the quit path.
The new meme is that there is no thing, event or experience that is all good or all bad. Rather, these things are good and bad in equal measure. Sometimes it takes something startling to shake us up to see the benefit. Sometimes it takes time to distance from the trauma to be able to answer the question, “What’s good?”
I am not suggesting its easy. I only know it exists in each and every experience. When we can see the balance we SAVE OUR ENERGY and react less and change is easier to embrace.