Tag Archives: Self-Awareness

goal-setting VS. wishful thinking

Just a few thoughts on a few differences I’ve noticed between goals (GS) and wishful thinking (WT).

  • GS: INTEND to achieve
  • WT: HOPE to achieve

 

  • GS: Belief that you CAN
  • WT: NO belief that you CAN

 

  • GS: Uncertainty re HOW => Possibility
  • WT: Uncertainty re HOW => Impossibility

 

  • GS: Emotional ATTACHMENT
  • WT: Emotional DETACHMENT

 

  • GS: INVESTMENT of daily effort
  • WT: SQUANDERING of daily effort

 

  • GS: RISK = MISSED accomplishment => DISAPPOINTMENT
  • WT: RISK = NO accomplishment => FAILURE

Hope this can offer some clarity if the lines between the two have been a bit blurry.

secret ingredients

I think we as human beings require two key ingredients in order for us to cultivate our courage: hope & determination. And for me, here’s what they boil down to.

Hope: Belief in possibilities from WITHOUT.

Determination: Belief in potential from WITHIN.

If we can cultivate and maintain both of these in our lives, it seems to me that we’ll always be able to find the courage to live at our best.

“Maturity is to not hide one’s strength out of fear, and consequently live below one’s best.” – Dag Hammarskjold

 

keeping busy

If you feel so “busy” all the time, it’s probably because you are. But consider this:

Keeping yourself distracted by doing things that you find COMFORTABLE delivers very different results than investing in your Self by doing things that you VALUE.

acceptance

Our lives are full of demands and requests. They can come from anywhere: home or work, from others and from within our own minds.

But no matter where they originate, the critical point is how we choose to respond to them. Because how we choose to respond has a profound impact on how we are treated by others, and most importantly on our own self-respect.

So when faced with a demand or request, you can choose ACCEPT it or to ACQUIESCE to it.

To ACQUIESCE means to give in to a demand or request, and subsequently to something or someone.

By allowing yourself to acquiesce you effectively merge – without challenge or evaluation – into someone else’s context. As such, you run the risk of ceding your will, initiative or control. A further risk is that you might eventually experience your will – or sense of self – becoming inexorably eroded from repeatedly compromising your value system or principles.

To ACCEPT is to make a proactive choice to adapt based on your own considered evaluation and judgement.

The key to doing this effectively is making the effort of will to pause while the request is sent to your mental think-tank for evaluation and consideration. This gives you the freedom to either deliberately accept the option as consistent or consonant with your value system, or consciously reject it because it isn’t. Whichever you choose, exercising your will in this responsible manner – guided by your thinking, not your feelings – will give you positive control over whatever choices you are presented with in life.

The Bottom Line:

Free will notwithstanding, circumstances are not always ideal, so at times the choice between acceptance or acquiescing may seem to be determined by the nature of a particular circumstance. Such is life. But as long as the choices you ACCEPT are in the main deliberate ones for which you confidently have a reasonable rationale, you’ll stay aligned with your values while exercising your potential and freedom of will, which is always a good thing.

mistakes

Obviously we all make mistakes. And as you are no doubt aware, it is not the mistakes we make that really matter, but how we deal with having made them. So here is a piece of easy-to-remember advice on how to deal with your mistakes in a useful manner. It is a simple 90-10 Rule.

Whenever you make a mistake, the best & only truly worthwhile response is to immediately offer an effective remedy to it. 90% of your immediate effort & attention should be focused solely on the prompt execution of this. The remaining 10% of your attention can then be spent on an apology for your mistake, if you wish.

Look closely, and you will see that people often do just the opposite – they spend 90% of their immediate effort & attention on apologizing, and seldom spend not even the remaining 10% on a remedy. While this strategy may help assuage the conscience of the responsible party, in fact it helps no-one and nothing.

So give the 90-10 Rule a try when next you make a mistake. You’ll be a better person for it.

freedom

We all want “freedom”. Or claim we do, anyway. But achieving it is entirely dependent upon whether we choose to push away from what we don’t want (FREEDOM FROM) or pull ourselves towards what we do want (FREEDOM TO).

FREEDOM FROM – this desire is rooted in the types of emotions associated with failure, e.g. ”Don’t miss!”

As you can see, the DNA of FREEDOM FROM is really avoidance; we want to feel free of some negative force or set of conditions. The emotional factors in play here are primarily doubt and fear, because these are the things we are pushing away from in our quest to obtain freedom.

FREEDOM TO – this desire is rooted in the types of emotions associated with success, e.g. ”Hit it out of the park!”

The DNA of FREEDOM TO is the expansive spirit of reaching ahead; we are driven by confidence and determined self-reliance to achieve. The emotional factor in play here is primarily a powerful belief in oneself as the vehicle through which to obtain freedom.

The Bottom Line: 

Defaulting to FREEDOM FROM leads only to feelings of futility, because the harder you try to push away from the doubts to which you are clinging, the tighter your grip on them – and theirs on you!

On the contrary, choosing FREEDOM TO pulls you ever forward, and so it alone can lead to an independent spirit, the only true source of freedom we can experience.

As always, the choice is yours, so pick one you’ll be happy living with.