Have you ever noticed that when some very successful person steps off the hamster wheel of the driven life they have created, it is usually because they have had some epiphany, crisis or illness that makes them re-evaluate how they live their lives? Suddenly, they have seen how fruitless and unfulfilling the rat race to the top is. It makes headlines. It is analyzed and parsed as the pundits and op-ed writers try to figure out if those folks have had some kind of a breakdown and what made them lose it.
It makes me smile and usually I do a head slap as well because the world’s sense of success has never really appealed to me. The driven-ness of business gives me a major cramp in my brain and the need to have the most toys at death seems like folly since you can’t take it with you.
However, I also understand that I am in the minority on this. If I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have a business working with stressed out people who desperately want to have some work life balance. It would be nice if we could all be like the new Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, and make it terms of our employment. But most of us don’t have that kind of power. Too bad really. (Secretly, I hope the new Speaker has started people thinking in new ways; but I seriously doubt it, and based on his voting record, he only seeks this for himself).
We really have created a self-fulfilling prophecy that our stress will continue as we seek the elusive market share of life.
And two psychologists have just published a book on this very topic.
Dawna Markova and Angie McArthur have just written a book that has helped me to understand my frustration (and reassure me that I am not alone). In their book, Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking People Who Think Differently, they suggest that we have been trained to think Marketshare rather than Mindshare. Marketshare thinking is marked by scarcity thinking and whoever has more is better and successful. Mindshare is based on sharing of ideas and building collaborative relationships as key to value in life.
They explain that Marketshare uses power to win, perceives differences as deficits, thinks in terms of right vs wrong, have vs have not, keeping up with the Joneses and who has more wins. Mindshare focuses on connection, differences as resources, what is possible, sharing that creates more, interdependence and value measured in ideas.
Transforming our thinking from a Marketshare to a Mindshare will take a lot of work for some and not so much for others. Mindshare requires attention, intention and imagination. When they work together there is an unstoppable power unleashed that benefits all instead of the one.
In a day and age where the stress level created in the need to survive and not just to be “successful in terms of wealth, power, and influence”, it might serve us all well if we paid attention to the possibilities inherent in the switch from the market model to the mind model.
Trying to get people to stop and take some time for themselves in order to lower their stress is met with a Marketshare mindset. Stopping means falling behind. Falling behind means that someone will have more than I have or be more successful. Falling behind is frowned upon and unacceptable. Falling behind is deemed wrong. With all these preconceived notions in our very DNA it will be next to impossible to tame the stress that is killing us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
However, making the switch to Mindshare just might save us, our planet and create a life worth living making us all stronger physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.