Look at yourself from a distance
Most of the time we think in automatic mode. Our brains are the result of many conditionings that go back to our childhood and the education we received. Beyond this conditioning, we tend to follow the same thought processes in order to act quickly.
If efficiency is a valued value, it can also play tricks on us if we realize that we always obtain the same disappointing result. This is why it is necessary to stop for a while and observe ourselves from an external point of view. If you were your own coach, what would you say?
It is easy to advise others because detachment generates clarity and rationality. The opposite happens when we try to judge ourselves. Our vision is completely altered by the fear of losing our self-esteem and the feeling of powerlessness that can overwhelm us when we try to take control of our lives.
While it is difficult to do this exercise, it is necessary. When you periodically do an extropection exercise (external psychological observation (based on expression, behavior*, etc.)), you have the opportunity to really “get it right”. When you look at yourself from a certain distance, you can really analyze your results coldly and put them in perspective with your intimate intentions and motivations that you know. Is there a disconnect? What can you correct in your efforts or eliminate in your schedule? Why observing yourself from the inside and the outside provides you with insight that will fuel your progress if you continually strive to put them in perspective.
How many times have you asked yourself about your values?
A deep dimension of your being is made up of your values because they condition many of your choices and actions. Can you simply list the ideas that motivate you and that you would like to live by? Classify these ideas and find examples that illustrate concretely how you have materialized them in the past. Here is a list of values that might help you get started:
Sense of justice
What is your identity? How do you perceive yourself? Do you know that there is a direct correlation between what you think of yourself and your actions (and therefore your results)? If your self-image is not positive, how will you change to truly love yourself?
Loving and respecting yourself are essential conditions for happiness, let alone success, if that is what you are looking for. As long as your identity is stunted, you will not be able to achieve great things. This is why you need to invest in yourself, to improve your perception of who you are. First, define a value that you cherish, such as courage. Then, you will have to act in such a way to illustrate this value. When what you think, what you say and what you do is consistent with this value, you will mechanically gain self-esteem. Be patient, this is a long process, you don’t change your identity overnight. Do not be afraid to focus on one value at a time. Even if you focus only on developing your courage for months, you will reap the collateral effects of this work. If you are more courageous, you will tend to tell the truth more and put in more effort, so you will simultaneously work on your sincerity and effort. This is why it is important to identify a cardinal value. It is often the case that the same value (whether positive or negative) can be the root of other values and behaviors. For example, someone who is effortful will tend to tell the truth more often than someone who is lazy. Conversely, someone who lies will tend to cultivate other defects such as laziness. Indeed, lying is often used to avoid an unpleasant situation, making an extra effort is part of these situations.
Catching ideas like butterflies
To change and improve, you need to find inspiration. Inspiration is not always found where you think it is. We often think that new ideas come from a conscious effort of concentration and deep thinking. This is not the case, or at least it is not always the case. New ideas usually germinate where we don’t expect them. During a walk in the woods, a relaxing hot bath, an exhilarating read, a contemplation of a moving landscape (as seen from your comfortable train seat), you can discover nuggets of ideas like butterflies in springtime, that is to say without any real effort.
Envy can show you the way
If you’re not clear on what you really want to do with your life, try to observe for a moment the envy you have for someone or some situation. While envy is a sin that is most often repressed, it also serves as a guide to what you truly desire. When you envy someone, it is ultimately because you tell yourself that you would like to be in that person’s shoes. Delve deeper into the reasons behind this feeling and you will come to know things about yourself that you did not know before.
Acting on the knowledge that you are mortal
Do you often think about death? Do you imagine yourself six feet under the ground eating grass by the roots? If not, you should try to do this more often. It will help you make better decisions today. Why do this?
Because you will both gain knowledge of what really matters while unmasking the trivial and trivial in your life. If you’re going to die in a month, there are dozens of things you’ll stop doing while starting to do others. This reminder will give you clarity and intensity. This explains why it was not uncommon to find a real human skull in a room, usually near the library in the 18th century, as an immediate reminder of the impermanence of life.