Thursday, 16 December 2010

The Three Lenses

A recent conversation:

Me: "Have you ever heard of term pronoia?"

Cynthia: "No... oh... wait a minute.... is that when kids look really old when they're actually really young?"

Me: "No?!.... Ah... .... that's progeria!"

Cynthia: "Oh yeah! Progeria... then what's the other one?"

I find it amazing that everyone uses the word 'paranoia' on a daily basis - whereas its positive nemesis 'pronoia' is all but redundant from the English language.

Pronoia is the flip side of paranoia. Instead of everyone being out to get you, with pronoia you believe that everyone is secretly conspiring to contribute to your success. You believe that everyone is working behind the scenes to make your dreams come true, pulling your plans together and working to make your day! You shake off any setbacks and shrug off any problems - because the world is working in your favor and you realize that whatever challenge you have is just a temporary glitch in the matrix!

We have a chance of viewing all we see, hear and feel through 3 lenses: The Paranoia Lens, The Neutral Lens and The Pronoia Lens. Of course we actually NEED all three!

But the quality of our life comes from where we choose to use each lens. The paranoid lens always imagines the worst possible scenario. When looking through it we feel that people are out to ruin you, they are conspiring against you and basically we're all doomed. But, a little paranoia when planning for a big event or some adventure travel actually gets us thinking about contingencies and makes our plans a little more bullet proof.

When Donald Trump sized up a business deal, he'd ask himself: 'What's the worst that can happen?' He'd look through his paranoid lens and see the most awful outcome possible. If he felt that he could handle the worst and the deal was good - then the risk was worth taking. Use your paranoid lens as a thought process to manage and prepare yourself for life's surprises! But don't 'live' there.

The neutral lens sees life in black and white - objectively and pragmatically, without either positive or negative emotion attached to it. This is how you should view your bank statement, how you consider an offer, how you step on the scales or how you fire an wayward employee. Getting emotionally involved in these situations will not help you get to the right conclusions. So throw all emotion out of the equation and look through the crystal clear lens.

Pronoia - you should habitually live in a state of pronoia. This is where you should be on a day-to-day, hour-to-hour basis. The other two lenses are like reading glasses... pull them out when you have a special use for them! But pronoia is where you should train your brain to be. Why? Well... life as a pronoia-ist is pretty amazing: you wake up in the morning and you say 'i'm going to have a great, fabulous day and things are just going to go perfectly.' You bounce out of bed. You get up pumped and excited about your life. You go about your day with an energy and a vibe that others just thrive off.

And.... most importantly - you give permission for others to do the same. People see you and feel your energy. You give them the green light to cast off their cloak of doubt, throw aside their anxious negativity and become more than they were. Pronoia is infectious and it truly adheres to the saying: 'be the change you want to see in the world'. Would there be wars if everyone lived in a state of pronoia?

Where to start:

If you're not a natural Pollyanna - you're going to need to train your brain. The first step is to start changing the way we feel about negative material - you need to find out where/who/what is feeding your negativity. It can be the news, partners, friends, sad music, tv, choice of magazines/ website, etc. If pictures of supermodels in fashion magazines you buy make you feel ugly and inferior, you need to say 'thank god i'm not a supermodel, working 18 hours a day living on lettuce leaves and only known for being a stick insect is not the kind of life for me. I'm so glad life decided i shouldn't look like them'. Flip your lens and remember it's all a conspiracy! IN YOUR FAVOR! :-D yay!!