Living and Giving

“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them” – Arie de Geus.

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Arie de Geus said, “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”

Facing a tough time at work?  A challenge in your marriage?

What got you there

is not going to get you out of there. 

 This isn’t just about changing your mind.

This is about a change of consciousness. 

If you do a  Google search for mind you’ll find:

“the element of a person that enables them to be aware of the world.”

Be aware. I love that.

It’s not just accept this random thought that comes to me.

My mind is precious, and I can gear it to be “aware of the world.”  

That means being attuned to what is happening in my relationships, the interchanges, the dynamics. 

It’s not just going through the motions to be a great coworker, wife or neighbour.

It’s about being aware of the world around you, being intentional and giving accordingly.

However, our mind can equally cause us to be distressed, annoyed, or worried.

Wow. All of a sudden our mind becomes our enemy. 

We let it get us worried.

We react or come from fear… and it’s not anything that made it be so, it’s just that our mind can become distressed/annoyed/worried, just because.

Yet consciousness is different. 

It’s “the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.”  

And then it goes on to say that it’s “especially something within ourself.”

Now that’s different!

That’s not just being aware, but also being awake

It means be alert to what your mind is telling you. And be awake to what is happening within yourself, or in other words, the still small voice.

So our mind can effect us, both positively or negatively. Consciousness is the state of being awake to ourselves, to our world, and the people we affect.

So as Arie de Geus says, “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.”

That means in whatever situation we are facing, we need to rise up to a new consciousness. A new way of thinking. A new approach!

And sometimes, that problem you think you have — isn’t even a problem!

So sometimes we need to take on a different consciousness. Don’t let your mind worry you!

Arie de Geus wasn’t letting his mind be worried about not being able to swim.

His consciousness was “I am awake to the world! I want to be on the sea and experience the freedom, joy, mystique of nature!

His consciousness ruled, not his mind.  So can yours today.

Now imagine a world…. where our your mind is positive, and for the good. The dictionary of the public mind says it’s a “group  embodying mental qualities,” and consciousness is also “knowledge that is shared by a group of people.

In essence your thoughts don’t just affect you. They affect the world.

Each thought contributes to a positive group mentality! 

Adopt a positive consciousness today, and your life, and those are around you, will reflect that positivity.


De Geus was born in Rotterdam in 1930. He joined Royal Dutch/Shell in 1951 and remained there until his retirement in 1989. During his tenure as head of Shell’s Strategic Planning Group, the department made important advancements to the ideas of portfolio analysis (i.e. Directional Policy Matrix) and scenario planning. Other key members of the team were Kees van der Heijden, Peter Schwartz, and Pierre Wack.
After he retired, Mr. de Geus was a visiting fellow of London Business School and has worked with MIT’s Center for Organizational Learning.
A popular quote of his: “The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.

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