Right now as you are starting to read this blog, there is an internal conversation going on in your mind. Your mind is perpetually in a conversation. Without you even trying, your mind makes meanings out of everything. It is automatic and you don’t even stop and think about it. The meanings that you make significantly affect the way you be (your being). And the way you be determines the way you respond or react to situations and circumstances.
Consider the last time you made a call and that the person suggested that s/he would call you back. You waited and waited for that call but that call never came. What meaning did you make at that time – that you are not cared for; the person doesn’t respect you; that person is arrogant; the person is playing games with you; and so on and so forth. The job of the mind is to make a meaning out of everything. And it mechanically makes a meaning out of everything, without you even realizing it. The real reason why the person did not call you back could be far from the meaning you made of it. But you continue to act in sync with the meaning you made. The important thing about the meaning you have made is that it changes the way you feel (your being) and these feelings change the way you interact with the world.
Stop reading this for a moment and think, right now, what are your current internal conversations? For example, your spouse may have said to you that she will not come along for dinner with you at your friend’s residence – what have you made of that statement of your spouse?; or your junior colleague told you that he cannot wait back to complete the task you have given her; or a friend has refused to go for a movie with you; or maybe a young attractive boy / girl has called you to say hello to you. Or anything else for that matter. Stop now and be present to what you are making of clear statements or situations in your life. You are a machine that makes meaning out of everything and once you are done with making meaning, the meaning you have made becomes your truth, on the basis of which you act.
The bad news is that these internal conversations are a part of you and will never stop. The good news is that you have a control over these. Being present to these conversations first is your access to altering these conversations. Once you are present to these internal conversations – you then have a choice to allow that conversation to continue or to alter that conversation.
None of the meanings that you make are better than any others in an absolute way. These are all ‘your’ meanings and not the reality. However, now that you have no choice and your mind is going to make meanings, you have an opportunity to train your mind to make meanings that empower you; make you feel fine and allow you to go through your day with peace and contentment. Generally, your mind naturally produces negative meanings and you then react based on these meanings produced by your mind and considered by you as the reality. Instead of reacting, choose to respond. A reaction is always immediate and normally negative. A response is calm, collected and chosen by you.
Be in control of this and choose your internal conversations rather than be at the mercy of these conversations.
Once again remember, your internal conversation is a matter of your choice – for your own sake be wise in making this choice. It is a far more powerful way to lead your life!
Sameer Dua, Founder Director, Institute for Generative Leadership, India