What happens to a problem-solving mindset when we evolve beyond problems?
Recently I’ve been watching the TV series Alone which puts ten people alone in the wilderness to see who can survive the longest. In season two the surprising thing is how many of the contestants manage to reach a place of steady survival, only to quit once things become stable and routine.
They are very good at solving the problems of survival in a difficult environment: obtaining food, water, and shelter. But once those needs are met, the problem-solving mindset fails in the face of “monotonous” daily life.
Or perhaps we could say that their powerful problem-solving mindset successfully solves the remaining problem of loneliness and boredom by sending them home?
I used to identify with a problem-solving mindset too.
But lately I’ve felt a new state or way of thinking emerging, one which is no longer oriented to problems or difficulties but to receiving something great.
I don’t yet have the words to describe it, but that’s exactly what makes it so tantalising and fresh.
And the best part is that my usual way of thinking has the ability to bridge the gap between where I am now and where I want to be. My mind has the ability to translate this fresh new idea or state of mind into reality.
But not if I set out looking for problems to solve, obstacles to remove, or difficulties to overcome.
This new idea or perspective I’m reaching for is purely positive. It’s as if I’ve spent years climbing mountains and finally arrived at a spectacular hidden valley.
If we stay in a strictly problem-based mindset we cannot appreciate the grandeur, freedom, and lightness of receiving something purely positive.
But by knowing and sensing that this purely positive, fresh new perspective is there, within reach, we need only move toward it, learning the shape and the feel of it, until it becomes the measure and the touchstone of a new way of living and thinking and being alive.