What about the approach to mindset in different cultures?

“In Eastern traditions and culture many find themselves exploring their inner thoughts and reflecting on their place in the world.  Using techniques such as meditation, yoga and mindfulness to go within their mind to examine their thinking – to explore their role in the universe and to uncover their greatness.  This is a rare treat in the Western world – deemed as self-indulgent, esoteric or woo woo.”


In Eastern culture the teaching revolves around looking inward and reflecting on what your place is in the universe.  That every thing happens for a reason and that there is learning in every moment.  It is about the individual journey and what your purpose is about.  For example the Japanese refer to this whole process as ‘Ikigai’ – the reason for being.  In Buddhism there are four noble truths –

1) Dukkha: existence is suffering

2) Samudaya: the suffering has a purpose – linked to attachment

3) Nirodha: there is a cessation of suffering

4) Magga: follow the eightfold path to end suffering (a process of understanding, wisdom, virtue, morality, concentration and meditation)

(Reference: https://www.unhcr.org/50be10cb9.pdf ). The mindset is about inward reflection on the individual journey through the outside world.

The culture in the ‘western civilised’ world is to get a good education, secure a career in a profession and settle down to buy a house.  The desire seems to be to accumulate knowledge, acquire wealth and to blindly trust the corporations and authority with an unquestioned faith.  The potential danger of this way of thinking could lead to an ‘unexamined life’.  Focused on material or object referral – always looking outside of ourselves for gratification, approval or recognition – means the ego is only ever interested in what is happening outside.  Of course there are exceptions and many people do have the capacity and initiative to explore their inner mind and ego – but this is exceptional. 

Maybe an individual will attend some yoga classes or practice mindfulness on a regular basis, but still suffers with thoughts and emotions that cause them to feel sadness, anger or fear.  Practising and learning meditation could result in an individual shifting their perspective and turning inwards to explore themselves and their mind.  However, these skills must be learnt and practised to master the methodology.  Then what? How do you turn that inner reflection into powerful end results and create a life you love?

I have met many hundreds of amazing people that practice yoga, meditation and mindfulness – who achieve an inner alum and balance.  Indeed I practice all of these techniques myself, but the vast majority of people are unable to truly align their purpose to manifest a life using their unique gifts and talents.  A large number of these people are using the mindfulness practice to overcome the stress caused by their career, relationship or financial pressures.

You may have seen people struggling with their inner demons – wrestling with sabotaging behaviour or ingrained thinking; maybe you have witnessed people undermine their own results and not know why they remain chained to a life they feel powerless to change.  I’ve watched people destroy their career or relationships and have personal experience of all of the above situations.  This allegory is described beautifully through the work of Plato, who offers us The Theory of Forms – the ignorance of humanity trapped in the conventional ethics formed by society.  We literally become hypnotised by our ego and unconscious mind to accept that we have little choice and accept that we cannot change our situation.

In the book The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani he refers to ‘Culturescape’ – describing the culture and structure that shape our lives and the world we are raised into.  We learn to accept that certain things are the way they are – the class system, distribution of wealth, the education system, the workplace hierarchy, the ways of governing, etc.  Effectively our mindset is programmed by so many influencing factors and it is rare to nurture the skill of challenging the norm – and even more rare to have the skill to set a new course, dedicated to nurturing the best version of yourself – unaffected by the culturescape.

The book (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind) also refers to ‘Brules’ – the bullshit rules we do not question or challenge.  Allow me to offer some examples:

1) that banking institutions are a safe place to invest your savings.  The global banking crisis of 2008 highlighted the poor fiduciary husbandry within the financial services and banking sector, leaving a bad taste in the mouths of taxpayers left to bail out the reckless behaviour of the echelons of the sector – and taught us to challenge this assumption. 

2) that religious beliefs, a particular book of faith and the teachings of a particular religion are the only truth.  We know from the many religious conflicts and countless wars that the driving force is power, control and dominance. Are these truly the beliefs of a higher spirit guiding followers to kill and destroy.  Surely the higher premise of each religion is to show compassion and love. 

My own mindset is based on a passionate belief that there is a commonality and desire that we humans seek – beyond every religion – that is to identify and connect each of us with the divinity within.  To reach for our higher purpose and contribute to the universe through our special gifts and talents – to manifest and live our ‘bliss’.  This mindset drives me to serve others to connect with their purpose – seeing that every person has a unique gift, that each individual has talents that are distinctive to them.  Every one of us is here for a reason – its our responsibility to figure out what that reason is and using empathy, compassion and deep rooted belief in my clients – in my role as coach – that is how I support the journey each of us is on.  The mindset has such a strong influence over whether we connect to our purpose or struggle on the journey – which is why I spend time working with clients on what influences the mindset and how to manifest a mindset to transform thinking. The balance between holding on to everything we know and hold dear, versus the vulnerability and humility of letting go – causes resistance and ego tension.

The resistance and tension we experience borne from the inner conflict of the acceptance we have no choice, versus the denial of our own inner knowing and the power to rise above the norm, is depicted in the well-formed Led Zeppelin song/lyrics ‘The Battle of Evermore’:  “The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom, And walked the night alone”.  Our journey to discover our own truth can be solitary and in some respects must be travelled alone. The mindset is what sets individuals apart – to follow your heart and seek the truth or be held back by your past; controlled by your beliefs; directed by your judgement; contained by your fear; or inhibited by your pain.”