‘We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all of our exploring, will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time’.

- TS Eliot

The search

I’ve always been interested in what makes people tick. Interested in how we can have optimum experiences, quality of life and a sense of achievement; how to help people feel better and do better. I’ve been looking for answers to life’s big questions: Who am I, Why am I? What’s it all about? But also life’s smaller questions like how do I….get the kids to tidy up after themselves, ensure a steady income stream instead of peaks and troughs, do really great work, stick consistently to a health plan, feel like I am doing ok.

When I was about 21, I was pretty sure I had a handle on and knew everything (oh the arrogance of youth). I was living on my own, had a decent job, was engaged at the time and had just attended some training put on by my employer IBM by a man called Lou Tice about how we can create anything we want if we believe in it enough. I think I listened to a week’s worth of Video tapes entitled: ‘I can do it!’ I now believed I had a feel for how life really was. (I’m sure I tried to educate anyone who wanted to listen and even if they didn’t). If we could just get our minds to work positively, we could do anything. There were no limits. Anything was possible.

I thought I would travel the world and be an adventurer, I would have a great career, meet Mr Right, have a family — I thought life would turn out somehow if I just followed my dreams and put in the effort — I thought I was invincible somehow.

All of that turned out to be more or less true actually (apart from the invincible bit), however what I hadn’t factored in at all were life’s peaks and troughs — I had only imagined the peaks. The troughs — well that was another story… If you have the ‘restless gene’ — the thought of ‘lets get away from here to somewhere else, something else’ — thinking that thought will lighten your heart — especially if here/now seems a bit trough-like. Just take a plane, bus, car, train, mind-altering substance or even online portal to somewhere new — a new experience, new people, new places, new ideas — it will make it better. (for a while).

So for me, restless seeking became a habit. Seeking new places — to revive and refresh me, seeking new communities — to be part of and thrive in, seeking new philosophies — to sustain and enlighten me, seeking new houses — to make me feel settled in and happier, seeking new people/experiences — to entertain, distract and engage me. But there’s that old saying ‘wherever you go, there you are.’ And travellers know that better than anyone.

When I reflect back on it all I think I was looking for a feeling of home. Ok-ness , belonging, something to fill in ‘the missing’. Peace. And I was definitely looking for something outside of me to provide that feeling. A place, a job, a community, a house, a life partner, a family unit, a career, a health target and an amount of money in the bank. A personal development tool, technique or process. Something else.

In the interest of learning how to create this perfect life for myself and others — I tried a lot of things. Saw a lot of people, went to a lot of seminars, did a lot of stuff. Spent a lot of money. It all worked for a bit. Some of it for quite a long bit. I trained as a Leadership Coach. I truly wanted to make a difference to people — I worked really hard on fixing myself and other people to help us all be the most perfect version of ourselves that we could be. I had the best of intentions. I gave it a lot of time, energy and love. All I had. It was my main focus.

The problem was, even with all this trying and hard work and even with some great external factors in place and the odd breakthrough — I still had peaks and troughs and so it seemed did the people I worked with. And when I was (or others were) in a trough, it felt bad, there was a lot of over-thinking about it which tended to lead to an even more trough-like existence.

All of which was a bit demoralising.

The insight (or what makes us all tick)

And then about four years ago, I came across an understanding about the human experience that made so much sense and it truly felt like coming home. It’s super, super simple really. So simple, it might seem like you’ve heard it before (you have) and you already know it (you do) but don’t think that hearing it and knowing it intellectually means anything (it doesn’t) until you truly see it for yourself. And here is the paradigm shift in understanding that I came across:

Our experience of life is created 100% from the inside-out.

This has been a gamechanger. Understanding the principles behind what creates our human experience and seeing for myself the following:

  • All of our experiences both good and bad are 100% created from inside of us, in fact our mind can only work one way — it projects reality rather than records it.

  • There is a built-in design for success our minds can naturally tap into

  • The more we realise and understand for ourselves how our experience happens, the more we thrive personally and professionally,

And knowing that this is true for us all — and it’s what makes us all tick — well, that has changed the whole game for me. For more on exactly how this insight has been life-changing for me check out.

Part 2 What makes us all tick — the big insight

Part 3 What makes us all tick — how one simple understanding changes everything

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About Elizabeth — As a State of Mind Leadership Coach with over 20 years experience, Elizabeth Lovius helps business leaders discover the source of leadership wisdom and be real, more human and true to who they are.

Elizabeth supports business leaders to collaborate and have real relationships of unity, appreciation and accountability that lead to real business results.

Elizabeth’s clients include: Hewlett Packard, IBM, itsu, ITV, Charlie Bighams, CookFood, Pret a Manger, the English RFU and WPP group.