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September 13, 2022

Context – The Context We Choose Creates the Life We Live

The context we choose determines everything. The context we live in filters the information we receive, it feeds our biases, creates our truth, selects our tribe and sets our direction. Context becomes an internalized system protected by a bubble that defends itself at all costs.

The context we select determines everything. The context we live in filters the information we receive feeds our biases, creates our truth, and sets our direction.

Context becomes an internalized system protected by a bubble that defends itself at all costs. 

I know how to behave in different contexts. When I walk into a church, I step into that context. I know all the rituals, hymns, beliefs, and language. When I walk into a bar celebrating a sports team victory, I know the rituals, cheers, beliefs, and language. When I am in a transformational group, my body language shifts, and I use appropriate eye contact, touch, tone of voice, and language.

The context is consistent. Now, imagine a context that incorporates our identity, beliefs, behaviors, skills, and knowledge. Everything in this system is coherent. We are safe in this context, and indeed, we surround ourselves with others who share the same context. We know we share the same context because we use the same language, which does not need to be challenged or examined. Our thinking fits the context without rigorous examination.

The context creates the struggle. When I am in the context of dieting, I struggle every moment of the day to avoid eating the whole pizza. Within that context, change, even for the better, is a struggle requiring discipline. When I step into the context of a healthy self, there is no struggle within that context. I can feel the hunger, but it reminds me of my power to be strong and make healthy choices. 

Struggle can be defined as pushing against a new belief or behavior from within a context that is defending itself from intrusion.

So, how do we step into a new context that serves us better?

First, we expand our awareness of our current context. Define it clearly, including not only our internal mindset, but our external family, community, language, beliefs, and behaviors. 

Once we have accepted it and labeled it as a context, then we can look at it from our higher and wiser selves. 

Practice stepping into and out of a context intentionally. What is that like? What shifts as you step from one context to another? What mindset is needed to wear a context like you wear your clothes? This practice increases our awareness of each context and its details. 

Next, accept each context as it is. Even if a context no longer serves you, at one point it did. Each context has an underlying positive intention. What is that positive intention?

Finally, with awareness and acceptance, you can now ask. . . 

“What context do I want to create that serves me better?”

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Rich Friesen


Author, veteran broker and floor trader, Rich went from the "worst trainee trader ever", to building one of the most consistently profitable options trading firms on the Pacific Exchange by training his traders using neuroscience. Rich also holds a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology, a B.A. in Philosophy, and is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute in San Francisco along with Master’s training in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

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