Wealth Creation Ideas #4
L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
When I began modeling first-generation rich millionaires, I discovered something that seemed to violate my understanding of the importance of “balance.” And for a couple of years, I really didn’t know what to make of it. As a psychologist, I had been trained to think about things in terms of “balance.” In the field of coaching, the “wheel of life” has been used for years to portray the various dimensions of life which need to be “balanced:” health, work, relationships, spirituality, family, relaxation, etc. More recently many books and coaching has made “work/life balance” their speciality.
Yet there’s a strange paradoxical problem with “balance.” If we focus too much on balance, balance itself can become imbalance. This is especially true if we treat the facets of life like work, fun, hobby, etc. as if they are separate and we’re not allowed to mix them. I began to realize this as I was modeling those who became first-generation rich millionaires. One of the characteristics of those who found a pathway to wealth creation is that they blurred the line between work and fun. Leaders in all kinds of fields, creative innovators, and pioneers in new developments commonly say that they haven’t worked in years, for them everyday that they are fully engaged in what they do that so happens to make them lots of money is just fun.
It’s interesting what happens when we mentally dichotomize work and fun, that is, put work and fun into different classifications or categories (boxes) and treat them as opposites. When we do that, and then operate as if they were polar opposites of a continuum, we begin to feel the need to balance them. If we don’t, then we can feel torn by them as we over-emphasize one to the exclusion of the other. When we are at work, our mind goes to wishing we could take a vacation and go on a holiday. When we’re on holiday, we torment ourselves with apprehensions about all the work we have to do when we get back.
Yet there’s another choice. Rather than treating these as opposites, dichotomizing them and turning them into an area of conflict in our mind-and-emotions, what if we created a synergy out of them? Thinking about things as opposites along a linear continuum is actually a lower and more primitive kind of thinking. It’s what we call linear thinking. When we rise above that kind of thinking to non-linear, systemic, and holistic thinking, we are able to create new levels of synergy so that new emergent properties arise, things that are “more than the sum of the parts.” These new gestalts then contain a higher level integration than “balance” ever could.
∙ How do we shift to this non-linear kind of systems thinking?
∙ What do we specifically need to do in order to stop the dichotomizing and see the supposed opposites in a more synergetic way?
One way we can do this is through using the Meta-States model. This revolutionary model uses our natural self-reflexive consciousness to step outside of the box of linear thinking as we step back and jump a logical level in our mind. This meta-stating means bringing one state to another to set one as the frame of the other. In the case of work and play (or fun), we could meta-state play with work so that we set work as the frame and the higher level class or category over play. Doing that leads to working at our play, which doesn’t strike me as any improvement at all.
Yet what if we meta-stated our work with play? What if we created the new frame of playing at our work, playful work, or enjoying and having fun at our work? Yes, now that does sound like an incredible improvement, a revolutionary one in fact. What would we feel if work was framed, felt, perceived, and experienced as a member of the class of Play? What if we woke up every morning and couldn’t wait to get to work because it was so much fun, brought so much joy, and energized us the way that play does?
The synergy of creating this new complex state of joyful work would not be a “balance,” of so much time and effort devoted to “work,” then we get a break and can go “play.” That would be such a very different world than living in the universe where we felt our work was play and couldn’t believe that we actually get paid for it!
As we meta-states these “opposites” we create new gestalts. We create a synergetic matrix that puts things together in a new and dynamic way. When we do so we move beyond “balance” to synergy. Now we are no longer talking about mere balance. As a form of linear thinking, balance implies going to the midpoint, fifty-fifty, half and half, a compromise between two choices. When we go beyond balance to synergy we move to a rich and full mixture of the seeming opposites and the emergence of new qualities.
Now you know why we emphasize that there are three kinds of states (primary, meta, and gestalt) and why we do so much “gestalting” of meta-states in our Meta-State trainings, especially the Wealth Creation training to create such gestalt states as “passionately enjoy work,” seeing and seizing opportunities, loving problem solving and adding value, etc. So when will you join a Neuro-Semantic training and experience such synergy?
Author: L. Michael Hall is a psychologist, entrepreneur, runner, writer, researcher, modeler, and many other things who lives in the Rocky Mountains and travels all over the world. www.neurosemantics.com P.O. Box 8, Clifton, CO. 81520 USA