A new way of seeing

One in six people suffer from mental illness. Students struggle with studies. And our failure to get in touch with our true brilliance makes it seem like artificial intelligence (AI) could be a real threat.

I’m a CIMA student and Certified Transformative Coach. One student who learned for me went from 95 (marginal fail) to 132 out of 150 in the infamous CIMA P1 management accounting exam. But I don’t teach accounting.

Instead, I talk about the human potential to overcome challenges. This article aims to give you hope that there is a better way.

Hidden intelligence

Our health is within us. We have an innate ability to learn through insights also called ‘light bulb’ or ‘aha!’ moments. Learning our mother tongue and how to walk comes naturally.

We have a natural ability to recover from setbacks. Your emotional reaction to an exam fail will diminish within days. New ideas for solving issues come too. We take that for granted but it’s our health and resilience.

This ‘inner wisdom’ is a tailor-made solution generator. Throughout history moments of progress occur, with someone seeing something in a radically new way – for example, the discovery of gravity (Isaac Newton), the invention of the light bulb (Thomas Edison) and entrepreneurial breakthroughs (Bill Gates and others).

This isn’t just the intellectual mind. These are jumps in consciousness. In the US, my colleagues at Insight Principles help employees solve ‘unsolvable’ multi-million-dollar business problems.

This is humanity’s birthright. We all have a built-in connection to wisdom, and it does these amazing things for us. As a Transformative Coach I help people to see that innate resilience, learning ability and wisdom.

AI has no equivalent. No matter what AI does to our profession, I’ll rely on insights to give me a new way of life.

What obscures it?

What is it that stands in the way of a more insight-rich experience? It is a misunderstanding about how the mind works. It is just assumed to be true but both neuroscience and physics disagree with it. It is the belief that outside events directly affect our feelings and experience of life (e.g. exam failures).

It is, in fact, thought that creates our experience of life. Our thinking and emotions react so fast we are conned into believing it is the outside that is causing our reaction. Overthinking results as we try to control the world so the thing we wrongly believe could hurt us doesn’t happen.

Einstein’s protégé David Bohm said: “Thought creates your world and then says I didn’t do it.” Getting insights into how the mind really works reveals the fallacy.

Tony was angry and convinced his employers were incompetent. He came to my first public talk. The next day his world changed. Overnight, he had had an insight into the role of thought and it changed him permanently. No longer did he hate work. Two talks later he lost decades of depression and anxiety.

Tony had been holding tight to his opinion that he couldn’t be happy without his employers changing. He had been heavily over-thinking trying to find a way to change them. When he learnt his thinking wasn’t reliable a breakthrough happened.

Just three minutes of over-thinking causes signs of mental illness. Thirty minutes and you start switching on disease-causing genes and turning off healthy genes. Inflammation results. Symptoms will depend partially on those genes, and possibilities include depression, anxiety, heart attack, asthma and schizophrenia.

This new understanding of the mind reduces all that mental strain.

CIMA’s P1 has a 52% first-time pass rate, with 60 multi-choice/calculation questions from across the syllabus. Time problems are common for those who fail, but not for those who pass well.

I love accountancy. Exams are a fun challenge to me (my thinking creates my world). I put in the hours. I aimed for insights. I dived into the material, played about with the formulae. I took clean breaks when I stopped thinking about P1. I was rewarded with an everdeepening understanding. I was quick and intuitive in the exam and got a good first-time pass.

Contrast that with fearing the exam, rote learning and being slower. Failing, trying to recover with question practice. Getting bored. Hating accountancy. Blaming P1. It is a hard exam, or do we just think that?

Insights and the role of thought go to the essence of who we are.

• Imogen Caterer’s website helps accountancy students have a richer life in study, work and free time. Go to www.LearningLife.club