Changing our Approach to Change

Browsing the web, there are now hundreds and thousands of websites and articles about how to live a green life. No meat, no trash, second hand, organic dish soap. Endless sources. Endless knowledge.

But as it is with eating a healthy diet, we don’t always act as we know we should. We have all the knowledge in the world. But still. Not much changed.

Science has done so much research about the WHY. It’s often referred to as the mind-behaviour-gap.

The thing is, we often approach sustainability under the same conditions that we approach any other life goal.

Let’s take two cliches. The capitalist and the environmentalist.

Both parties seem to live in different worlds. Both want change. Both want their ideas to be recognized. Both want the world to be better when they left.

There are three questions to ask yourself to check your approach for change.

  • What is success to you?
  • How do you make it happen?
  • What do you do when you achieved it?

For the capitalist the answers are as followed:

  • What is success to you? Changing the way the company works (while making a bunch of money)
  • How do you make it happen? I work my ass off and do what it takes.
  • What do you do when you achieved it? Strive for more.

For the environmentalist the answers are as followed:

  • What is success to you? Changing the way we care about the environment.
  • How do you make it happen? I work my ass off and do what it takes.
  • What do you do when you achieved it? Strive for more.

Different goal. Same mindset. Same strategy.

Success is not measured in money, but in how eco-friendly you act.

At first sight, the capitalist and the environmentalist seem to have two opposing ideas. Actually, they are not.

Mostly, the desire to act sustainable comes from the same mindset as the desire to have a great cooperate job. The one person thinks sustainability is hip and worth it, the other person thinks a management position is hip and worth it.

Both want change.

Both follow the same hedonic treadmill that keeps us and the world spinning.

They might have different goals, but the approach, the how, is the same.

But where has it gotten us so far?

Albert Einstein once said that we can’t change things by the same kind of thinking that created it. That’s what we are trying though.

We are acting like the fly trapped in a bedroom. Frequently flying against the window, banging its head, although the window next to it is wide open.

We need to find that open window to make change happen.

Recent research shows that we can change our beliefs and that in turn changes who we are and how we do things.

In order to get our of the treadmill, we need to start thinking radically different.

We need to adopt a mindset that allows…

…collaboration instead of competition.

…love instead of hate.

…compassion instead of judgment and anger.

One of the greatest spiritual teachers of our time, Eckhard Tolle, puts it this way:

“All problems are illusions of the mind”.

Every anger you have, every grudge you hold, every negative thought you have about a situation, is something that you made up by yourself.

And that, in turn, means, that you are free to change it anytime you want. The reason that you don’t is because you don’t choose to.

If you really want to make change happen, change your “how”. Start from within.

Time to act on it. Now.

researcher & author for eco-living. merging philosophy, psychology & personal development with ecology. jessicaboehme.com https://amzn.to/3jDqyFH

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