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by Jayne Johnson

Robert Kiyosaki, author of 6 best-sellers, including Rich Dad, Poor Dad, talks a great deal about context. He says, “What makes people rich or poor is their context.”

A context is a viewpoint, a premise, an opinion, a way to look at something or someone. For example, if a person operates on the premise, people can’t be trusted, that is the person’s context on the subject of Trust.

A context is like a box or container and will draw into it the content that proves the context is right. In the example above, the context that people can’t be trusted will literally draw to the person, like a powerful magnet, people who are not trustworthy. On a more conscious level, this same person may be complaining about how untrustworthy people are and may be frustrated or perplexed by it. By the same token, another person could have the context, people are trustworthy, and they would attract trustworthy people.

A context sets the stage, and the content follows. For example, with a context of, it is easy for me to be financially rich, the content would be an abundance of material wealth. A context can be limiting or freeing; it can imprison you or it can support you.

Anything that doesn’t fit within the context can be difficult to even see. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “you see what you want to see.” What is the reason behind that old adage? It is context that controls what we see.

Have you ever had a discussion with someone who could not see your point of view? I don’t mean that he or she didn’t agree with your point of view; I mean, the person could not even see it. Sometimes a person’s context is so small and boxed in that certain points of view are incomprehensible. To that person, what you are saying is unreal – it is outside his or her context.

Context is the basis of success. Your contexts, i.e., how you see yourself, your family, your friends, your finances, your life as a whole, will determine your content.

On-going problems, obstacles, upsets, failures, etc., are the result of contexts that don’t work.

But it can be a challenge to see, to realize, that a context isn’t working. Sometimes it’s so “natural” to us, so familiar, that we never question it. It’s just there, like the law of gravity. It is affecting us, but we never think about it.

Or, we know it’s there, we know it doesn’t work but we feel compelled to hold on to it even tighter and keep hoping that if we try hard enough, it will finally work.

As the saying goes, it is impossible to solve a problem from the same mind (context) that created it. Within that box are answers that are limited; they are bound by the confines of the box.

A key to being powerful, then, is to make a conscious decision to go outside the context, outside the box. Out there, you see many viewpoints that you couldn’t see from inside. You don’t have to agree with them; it is the ability to see them that is empowering, because your view is broadened and your context is expanded and automatically includes more knowledge and information.

By going outside the box and seeing many more viewpoints, you can assess each one for yourself and choose those that are valid to you. And if you happen to choose one that doesn’t work, you can immediately go back and look at them all and choose again. Your eyes and mind are open. Outside the box, the options are literally infinite!