We’ve all had the experience of being stuck on the horns of a dilemma, saying things like “part of me feels like I should, and part of me feels like I shouldn’t.” In this brief video, you’ll get a new perspective on what causes dilemmas, and the source of their resolution.
Last year, I was leading a 3-day Masterclass called “Navigating by Wisdom”, and during the programme, one of the participants (David) raised a dilemma he was struggling with. Here’s how he put it:
“I’m feeling good about it because I can see a positive, positive outcome of this. And then the next day I’m feeling bad about it cause where my mind is I can see the consequences, a negative consequence of that. So, you know, I’m very aware that it is my thinking [but] it didn’t help me in dealing with this situation.”
In the video, I use the metaphor of someone considering robbing a bank to shine a light on the misunderstanding David’s been struggling with (and that we all struggle with when we’re stuck in a dilemma).
I hope you enjoy this video. You can find more videos and other resources relating to this topic here: https://www.jamiesmart.com/books/clarity/chapter17
To your increasing clarity!
When we're in a dilemma, there is excessive confusion. I am quite a decisive person. Even when I make bad decisions, I can live with them and work around them and I try and learn from them. I know people who get paralysed when they have to make even quite small decisions and there are often lots of reasons for that; financial, cultural, sufficient authority etc… If a dilemma keeps me up at night, that usually tells me I have made a bad decision and it's going to be reversed at the first opportunity. And off we go tho the next one… Regards Vince
In the state of clarity there are no dilemmas. Everything becomes so clear and vivid and you know exactly what to do, to say, etc You are in harmony with your own thinking, feelings and you feel like a bird in free movement when you do not need to move your wings.
My imagination of David's question is really "I know it's my thinking, and you told me, that if I have a perspective where I can see it's my thinking (which I do), then I'd have clarity – so how come it's not working like you said it would?" … much of this seems to be about what frame assumptions arrive with the meta-perspective. No one can see the water (s)he's swimning in – so any prescription/description will necessarily lack universality. A basic conception of change is to activate the (so called) problem state, and then do/think something that either leads sequentially to a new state, or restrcutures the neurological already present in relationship to the criteria that 'trggered' the state (more accurately co-arose with the state). In that sense, I think there are literally a limitless number of 'freeing moves' that one can make (classing doing nothing as a 'move') in any given situation, of which the 3 principles happen to be ones that have a fair amount of universality. What they ALL have in common is a shift of perrspective, to a meta-view. Dissociation (like in David's case above) vs.differentiation and integration seems to be the diffeence whether a shift is experienced in the moment. If it was emphasised that the mere act of seeing it is the freeing move to be celebrated, not whether the state chnages to clarity or not, then I think paradoxically, self liberation comes much quicker AND an appreciation and acceptance of all mind states. When i have a dilemma these days, the goal for me is nor ro resolve it. As Kegan puts it (my paraphrase) … A good question is one that is not solved too easily, a good question is one that solves you… if you let it. Anand
In the above, 'seeing it' can be implicit, like in a felt shift (withoutcontent). Put more succintly, for certain people the frame is set up, such that 'getting clarity' becomes the goal, and so the system really hasn't changed significantly from before. i.e. I'll be happy when 'I have clairity' … a level of impartiality of preference (equanimity) between clarity and non-clarity states, paradoxically brings more clarity! Now, that set up does make me smile, in a 'how cruel, but also clever' kind of way 🙂 A
I am struggling with a decision and your video seemed perfectlly timed. I watched with anticipation to see what the answer was. Alas…i am still confused. How does knowing how the "system" works support my clarity? What system? the one in my mind or the one which is part of the should I or should't I choice? Perhaps I need an NLP tuneup!
I'm with Kathy. What system? And what exactly are we to understand about it? How do you go about understanding it then?
I get the whole idea of superstitious thinking, but I still have trouble grasping how to get past it and get the clarity I so long for…
I was also confused by the term system…..what was the system in the context of robbing the bank…….
as I understand it the term, " the system " in this case it refers to how insight and clarity occurs in our stream of consciousness. Insight / clarity comes naturally when we let go of the whole dilemma, the outside-in drama of ' upside versus downside ' … " the system " is self-regulating, a kind of " clarity-percolator " which is never really out of function. The only thing that ever keeps us from drinking from that waterhole is the predators of superstitious thoughts 'n beliefs who – when we let them – ( and we only do as long as we believe that we need something, that there is something outside of us we do not already have ) keep us running and distracts us from resting in equanimity, our natural state of clarity, kindness and joy, which is unborn, before thought, before concept …
This post comes at an accurate time where i am faced with a major dilema on which way to go. I know it can be quite daunting when you want to make important life decisions that have major consequences. Everytime, i face a dilema where my heart says one thing and my head another. That is there is a push and a pull, whether to be drawn in by emotions (heart) as opposed to logical, rational thinking (head). I always tend to look towards my feelings. If i'm feeling worried, anxious and not quite sure, i withhold from making a decision in that moment. Decisions can never be right or accurate from a place of worry, agitation, insecurity or outside in thinking.
When you Step back from the whole issue and not bother thinking too hard on figuring out the solution. You will notice your feelings will change when your thinking subsides. The idea is to reach a stage where all the internal and external chatter subsides so you can hear your inner voice which is always guiding you in the rigth direction.
Notice your feelings. When you feel light, clear and at ease, you will know the right reason for making that decision and whatever the consequences you will have the confidence to face it because you have made the decison from a deeper place of knowing. I intend doing this to overcome my dilema. In my heart i know what i want it's always the head that gets in the way. I hope to see things more clearly and trust the answers and solutions will come that are right just for me.
Jamie, Its wonderful to observe on your video your demonstration of how 'Transference' manifests itself in action. As a Health Professions Registered Counselling Psychologist I recognise that what you're talking about in relation to Bob'-the-(potential)-bank-robber's need for 'Clarity' is the phenomenon that Freud and Jung understood as 'Transference' . This was based on a more scientifically-focused explanation to Breuer's discovery of hypnosis as a therapeutic technique. Another word for 'Clarity' that is fast obtaining an evidence-base is Mindfulness practice … and also a pinch of CBT, I'm sure… Its heartening to see a reconnection at last, between NLP and its therapeutic roots.
if we want to explain the concept of clarity from the perspective of NLP certainly stay trapped.
I think clarity has to do more with stop feeding the beast, than to stop having negative thoughts.
"Support the things that support you and discard the things that don't"