I was speaking to a manager recently; he mentioned that he had been researching ‘burn-out’ on the internet and believed he ticked most of the symptoms boxes. His question was whether he should therefore be going to the doctor and seeking help, with the possible outcome being medication.
Fortuitously, we were on an executive retreat at the time exploring our innate well-being and the role that thought plays in our experience of life. As I saw it he was standing at a fork in the road; one way involving him sticking with his outside-in misunderstanding of our psychological world, with the assumption that his circumstances (job, health, happiness, colleagues, etc.) were to blame for his low mental state. In which case seeking medical help might make sense to him. Or he could take the other fork in the road and embrace a ‘road less travelled’, realising for himself that our human psychological system works in completely the opposite way – his low mental state was causing the circumstances to look stressful. And in which case he certainly wouldn’t need outside medical intervention. He needed to see the role of thought, rather than the content of his thoughts and to trust that he already had an infinite potential for well-being.
Over the next couple of days on the retreat his mind settled. He saw for himself that his feelings of stress and burn-out were only ever come from his thinking and never from the circumstances. Our experience is 100% created by thought, from the inside-out. He experienced this in a powerful way and several weeks on is reporting the following on-going benefits – “A better understanding of others and their motivations; the way I react to a situation is totally within my control; I am stronger and more resilient to outside issues; I notice and appreciate more of the world around me.”
The really great news about this understanding is that once we realise this for ourselves, it makes absolutely no sense to us to keep thinking in that stressful, burnt-out way. The switch to well-being happens immediately as soon as we see it; it’s that powerful.
So in answer to the question “can you choose well-being?” I believe we do have a choice but the opportunity to make that choice comes when our minds quieten down, we get into a reflective space and we recognise that we’re standing at a cross roads. This can happen at any moment. However, we don’t see it as a choice when our thinking is revved up and we are caught up in the drama of our lives. For our consistent and long term well-being we can make the choice to live in an inside-out understanding and then the question of which path to take is no-longer relevant. If we go too far down the outside-in fork in the road we lose sight that we have a choice in the first place!
Do you believe that we have the choice of well-being over burn-out? If you would like to explore this issue in more detail please get in touch and I will point you towards a priceless understanding of the human psychological system.