“Thought is the source of all of our experiences: every decision, action/reaction, opinion, mindset and belief…and every feeling too.” One Solution
The mind is an inherently powerful thing. Everything in this world is a result of thought, at least according to Mara Gleason, and Eirik Grunde Olsen. Mara is a co-founder One Thought, which offers entrepreneurs, leaders and organisations a new understanding of the mind which brings about a new reality of working life. Eirik is the founder of NorthMind, the largest Scandinavian company based in transformative principles of the mind. The two have gone through transformative and life-changing experiences that changed the way they think about human thought. They have now both moved on from One Thought and NorthMind respectively, and are using their experience and expertise to establish One Solution. The first One Solution conference was hosted in Oslo, Norway, and their second will be in South Africa, and it promises to teach South Africans about the relationship between the thought, how we feel, and how that translates into action.
The conference will take place on 19 and 20 March 2017 in Cape Town. Through a series of plenary presentation, panel discussions and question and answer sessions by speakers covering a range of fields, the conference aims to explore a deeper understanding of how the mind provides one solution to all global problems, as long as it is acknowledged as the root of all action, experience and change.
We caught up with Mara and Eirik ahead of the conference to discuss their principles of the mind, One Solution, and what to expect from the conference.
So, what sets One Solution apart, say, from other self-help programmes?
E: One thing that is similar in terms of personal development is that it looks at the mind and what you can do with it for yourself, but what we’re trying to do is make the statement that absolutely everything you see in the world, even where we are sitting right now was created from the mind. These things on the walls wouldn’t be here unless somebody had a thought. And it’s the same thing with everything we see in the world. If you look at the problems the world has, wars, inequality, they also came from the human mind. When looking at global issues we feel like people aren’t really acknowledging the mind’s role in the state of the world or the state of the country. The ‘result’ we’re living in is a side effect or a symptom of people’s minds, so once their minds change the actual world changes. So If I have a new thought I might create something different. It can go from war to peace, from hopelessness to hope, from inequality to equality, as people make the shift in their minds. Until we acknowledge that everything we see came from the mind, we are just rearranging what has already happened, we’re not going to the source.
Are you equipping conference attendees on Sunday and Monday with tools to help them think differently?
E: That is where it differs in terms of personal development. We’re not really giving them any tools or things to do, but we’re explaining to them how the mind works, how the mind creates everything. For a lot of people that gives them hope; they look at the world and it doesn’t seem like everything’s going to hell. It’s not something we teach them to do, it’s more of a realization that happens from hearing it. Because a lot of people aren’t aware that we’re innocently victims of what we think is true, what we aim to do in all of our conferences and in all of our video communications is to wake people up to that link between personal understanding of the mind and the potential for global change. The agenda is full of speakers from a really wide variety of fields, like mental health and addiction issues to prison reform and criminal justice education. What we found in the last conference that we did in Oslo was that as people sat there and learnt about the mind for themselves, not only did they get that personal transformation message, they also felt like ‘Oh my gosh…I have so much greater freedom to think differently in my life than I do now and I feel like that makes me a part of global change.’ They left feeling more hopeful about the world and their ability to participate in the world. They stop feeling separate and passive, and they start to click into a feeling of ‘engaged participant’ in world issues.
And what led you guys to this realization and this mission?
M: For the last 10 or so years we’ve been working with individuals and organizations, and then suddenly it kind of dawned on us as we saw the profound transformation that happens just when people see that it’s not ‘the world happening to me’, that ‘it’s the world coming from me.’ We realized that we would like to focus on that and that’s why we call it One Solution; it’s a new understanding of how the mind could really solve all the world’s problems.
Why Cape Town?
E: This is our second conference and the reason we are having it in Cape Town is that Dana and Stacey, who are colleagues and friends of ours came to the conference in Oslo, and they were like ‘you have to come and do this in Africa. Africa is so right for this right now.’ Social change can’t occur until people’s thinking changes. There’s been a lot of change in Africa but there is still much more needed, but people have to get outside of their boxes and thinking in order to move forward.
How does your philosophy apply to people dealing with structural challenges, like poverty and financial issues? How do they access that kind of thinking? Is it not a bit like something that can be accessed by people who already certain financial or educational privileges?
M: That’s also why we are really interested in going for this bold of a statement, because it does seem almost too good to be true, and I totally wouldn’t get it If I did not see it with my own eyes. But that was one of the things that started to really turn inside of me as I was doing this work. I was working with people from every walk of life. I spent a day in a maximum security prison with gang members who were serving long term prison sentences, some even on death row; I’ve worked with physicists who were designing technology for new rocket engines, and people with severe drug addictions; what we found was that it’s all universal. We are creating our world from the inside out, it’s not conditional, not cultural, and not racial. It’s a universal truth. Anyone who learns that gains freedom. If you actually look at the most compelling examples of this throughout history, you’ll see that it is the people who came from the worst circumstances, like a Nelson Mandela or a Viktor Frankl or these people who were in really truly imprisoned circumstances, but had a freedom of mind and a hope. I think when people come to a place like South Africa and they see the disparity of wealth, they might wonder where to even start? You have to start with an idea. It’s totally free for you to have an idea despite what the system currently looks like. Everything we see in place right now is just what people made up in their thinking so far, and we can make it up differently. We want the participants at the conference to realize you make change happen. People are waiting for the world to change, or for someone else out there to change it for them. However, we really want to empower everyday citizens to see their own participation in global change.
So then how do you make the information accessible to everyone who can’t attend the conference?
E: We are a foundation but we don’t really run like one. What I mean by that is that we’re trying to plant an idea and a new direction for people and we want to make it accessible and free. The conference is one way of doing it, but the mind can create a million ways of doing it. Thanks to internet, we can do a lot of stuff for free in terms of articles, videos, and clips that you can listen to – that is very accessible.
Would that be through the one solution website?
E: The website or the YouTube channel. We’re also creating a vlog, where anyone can access and follow, and basically learn by following. We’re also gifting tickets to the conference. So the people who paid for a ticket are actually helping to pay for those who can’t.
Visit the One Solution Cape Town Conference website to book tickets and find out more.