In my previous article for the Huffington Post, I interviewed Jamie Smart, author of the business bestseller, Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results. As I stated originally, although the book’s core concepts may seem like common sense – clear your mind to allow for high performance – the business community has heralded the book as profound.
The key concept behind Smart’s book is relevant to business people and to the modern world at large. He writes: “we all have so much going on. A million different projects, to-do lists longer than your arm. We all worry about things – money, deadlines. With all this buzzing around in our heads, it’s often a nightmare trying to concentrate on one thing. What if someone could show you how to empty your mind of all the noise?”
This is a sentiment that immediately resonated with me. Having spent my career working with business leaders to manage and grow their companies, I am no stranger to juggling projects. I am constantly striving to find innovative solutions to client problems while simultaneously trying to achieve my own personal goals.
After reading the book, and then speaking to the man himself, I decided to undertake a session with Smart. When we met I had a long list of the things I wanted to change in my life. By the end of the session, I revisited the list and none of it seemed negative any more.
The course took place over three days at the Grove in Hertfordshire. We had several sessions together per day. The sessions themselves were conversation-based, and there was plenty of time to digest and reflect. Smart describes the changes made during this time as “a transformative approach”.
Of my own journey, he said, “Colin walked into the session with a certain level of thinking or consciousness, and at that level all the challenges and question marks existed. We then worked to find a new level of consciousness and from that an entirely new perspective was formed.”
Smart helped me to realise that what was driving the items on my list was my thoughts - not my actions. As my thinking became clearer, my problems were neutralised. Smart proved to me yet again that thinking is the driving force behind feeling. We project our own world and our own lives.
I must admit that at first I struggled to clear my mind. My voice was raised and my heart was racing as I discussed challenges with a new leadership model our company offered. But under Smart's direction, I was able to think more freely. The result was the concept for a new and much improved model of business, which is now being implemented.
This exercise was transformational. Smart gave me confidence to think differently. By changing my pattern of thought, positive habits were put in place. Smart said, “Colin’s understanding is even stronger now than a week after the session. That's because we initiated a learning curve that will continue developing for the rest of his life.”
Over the course of the three days, perhaps the most valuable lesson that Smart taught me was to connect with others. When I returned home, I found myself listening more closely to my daughter, without being distracted or having my mind on other things. In doing so, I was able to understand her better.