The greatest obstacle to change and possibility in your work and your life is that you are trapped inside your worldview – your underlying mental frame of reference for the world, and your belief system that drives the decisions you make and the things you do.

The greatest worldview of all is the map of the world. It represents everything you have come to believe about how the world looks, how the world is, and how the world will be. It’s endorsed by National Geographic (and they do know their shit after all), and it hung up on the back of the classroom wall when you were a kid at kindergarten. In reality, this is only a representation of the world (albeit one which we are universally agreed on). There are many different maps and ways of viewing the world. But you forget that, assuming that “this is it” as you go about your daily business.

And this worldview is constantly reinforced every single day of your life. If you are a designer who works at a hip agency, and spend most of your time with other designers and creative types, this will condition your expectations and shape your worldview. You will feel that you need to have a relatively high salary that can afford lots of cool clothes, live in a relatively expensive house in Newtown or Bondi, eat in the same groovy restaurants, shop at the same shops, listen to the same podcasts, take overseas trips to the same Lonely Planet locations, say the same witty things at dinner parties, and think the same things in bed at night.

And since you rarely interact with different people who see the world differently — because you instinctively keep to the circle of people who share the same worldview as yourself — you become trapped inside your worldview. And after a while it starts to feel stale, and boring, and predictable. And you wonder why this is happening.

When was the last time YOU spent an afternoon with a bee-keeper, a mortician, a porn star, or a shamanic healer? Because here’s the thing: the more attached you are to your worldview, the more limited you will be to see new and different opportunities and possibilities – in your work, in your career, as well as in your life.

What you need is someone who sees and can show you what you don’t see, alter your worldview, and open up the new doors and windows of opportunity in the process. It’s time to meet some different people and have some different conversations. Here’s me making the point at a recent talk …

[videopress eItvlArT]

Richard Sauerman
Richard Sauerman
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