When we’re mired in our thoughts, revolving around self-doubt, competition, or project mentality, we don’t actually see others, though we may interact with them. Really seeing others takes turning our fixation inside out. Considering another person and how they may feel in the context of what’s going on, we open up. Suddenly we notice the way they’re sitting. We’ve been determined to communicate our thoughts, but suddenly we see that our tone of voice is berating. We’ve been annoyed by their bouncy distraction, but suddenly we realize that it’s been raining for a week and today it’s sunny–they feel energized. With a slight shift we become inquisitive. We acknowledge that other people’s experience arises in context. It’s made up of many ingredients and elements, many of which are invisible to us. In addition to whatever is happening in the slice of time they are encountering us in, they are also living the whole vastness of their lives.
Project mentality is when we either don’t remember that, or when we don’t care about it because we have things to get done. This is not to say we should always set aside our projects and just have endless process groups. We do have things to get done, and we may decide to push ahead, even on the sunny day. What is important is that we release our fixation and jump into the lake of others. This inner shift may or may not change our plans, but it will dramatically change the feeling in the way we carry them out.