Behavior exists in the realm of time because it requires action, but mindset exists in a timeless realm of thought. We can change our mindset in a split second.
I recently had the opportunity to participate in some trainings by the Arbinger Institute. These trainings were hugely impactful on me, in both a professional and personal sense. They have published a number of books that include the same basic principles, such as Leadership and Self-Deception, The Anatomy of Peace, and The Outward Mindset. The foundational principle is that mindset drives behavior.
At times, it is easy for us to remain unaware of this truth. We often see problems that arise and look to address them through behavioral changes. This will never be successful in the end because any behavior can be performed with any number of mindsets.
In my latest training, a fascinating point was raised. One of the aspects of behavior is that it is necessarily linked with action. As such, it exists in the context of time. All action takes time, both to enact and even more to modify.
On the other hand, mindset exists in the context of thought. The implication of this is that time is not a factor. In the realm of thought, changes can occur instantaneously. Often, small and subtle adjustments can develop imperceptibly over time. We sometimes are completely unaware of the final nudge that pushes us to reconsider a previously held belief and change our mind. But that actual change of mind can occur in an infinitesimal moment.
Confusion can arise because time enters into the picture in the implementation of any mindset change. Although a shift in mind can happen instantaneously, the behavior that results from the shift will naturally occur over time.
Furthermore, even when our mindset changes, we often fall back into previous ways of thinking. It is to be expected that we will have to make repeated efforts to change our mindset when we realize that we are no longer acting in ways consistent with our previous adjustments.
As we approach our lives, it is important to remember that underneath behavior sits the foundation of mindset. Our thoughts and beliefs shape us in many way, both large and small, overt and imperceptible. When we realize that our mindset needs an adjustment, we can take comfort in the fact that this change can occur in an instant, even though it could take the rest of our lives and repeated efforts to put that change into practice.