“I think, therefore I am” only tells half the story
Mindbody training is the future. Ligia Koijen Ramos and Peter Koijen from In2Motivation, an Amsterdam-based personal and professional development company, explain why.
As a philosopher, I believe I have the right to say: Descartes is the father of modern stupidity. In our company, we have trained more than 3.000 people per year over the past ten years, and we can easily say that people are more than a combination of mind and body. If one is are aware of the profound connection, things can start being very different in day-to-day life.
Not just a mind and a body
Normally, we like to say that we are a system, not just a mind and a body. The idea of a system is that everything is connected with everything. A lot of people don't know that we have a muscle that connects the end of our foot to our tongue. Modern anatomy is “discovering” very interesting things by just changing the way we look at the human body or system.
In the oriental tradition, it is very common to use this idea of connection, and even traditional medicines like acupuncture and Ayurveda work with the principle that everything influences everything. They didn’t have Descartes, and that made a difference!
“I think, therefore I am”
René Descartes was a modern philosopher whose most famous quote “cogito ergo sum” can be translated as “I think, therefore I am”. This simple idea put thoughts at a totally different level than before. This belief is being passed on in schools, universities and in daily life.
We can find people working on their bodies. We can find people working on their minds. But it is hard to find people working on their bodies and mind at the same time. Yet, we know that one movement can have a positive impact on the whole system.
The above principle is valid for individuals, but also for companies. We see a lot of companies providing body work, and lots providing mind training, better known as technical training. But if we look for companies that provide mindbody training, the list is pretty short. Mindbody training is a type of training that provides change in the system.
Practical examples of mindbody training
Here are some practical examples:
I have worked with people suffering from obesity who have undergone a gastric bypass. This meant that they needed to drastically reduce their amount of food intake during every meal. This was one of the physical challenges. But another challenge, which some of these patients were not prepared for, was the mental change. They had to start “thinking skinny”, losing the identity of having extra weight. My role was to promote this change in the same timeframe as the physical change, which for these patients was as short as 30 days.
~ Ligia Ramos
I faced a challenge when working with high-performance athletes. They were very strong physically, but for some reason, the results were yet to be seen. The impact of a two-hour coaching session and the use of all the resources of the system made all the difference in the next competition.
~ Peter Koijen
Another example is working with children with a high IQ, and one in particular comes to my mind. She was a very smart girl who had panic attacks during every written test. Every time she took a test, these attacks got worse. The parents decided to do something different, so we met for a coaching session. The “only” thing that she needed to be taught was how to breathe in a different way every time she had a test or exam.
~ Ligia Ramos
Are you ready for the future?
There are so many other examples. We really believe that the future lies in mindbody training: training for the system. And we are ready for the future! Are you?
Co-authors Peter Koijen and Ligia Koijen Ramos are life coaches and motivational speakers at In2Motivation, offering personal and professional training courses to optimise individual and group motivation and performance.