Thursday, March 11, 2010

Personal Development for Smart People: Aligning with Oneness, Authority, Courage and Intelligence

This article is part of my series on Personal Development for Smart People. If you are new here I recommend you to first read my introduction to the book.

In this post you will find some of my notes on improving your alignment with the principles of oneness, authority, courage and intelligence.

Experiencing Oneness

  • view the world through the lens of interconnectedness, see yourself as part of a larger body
  • spend time in nature
    • recognize you're part of nature
    • just be among the plants and animals
    • quiet your thoughts and pay as much attention to your senses as possible
  • physical contact
    • put yourself in loving physical contact with another willing person
    • imagine your consciousness expanding to encompass the other person's body
    • know you're one
  • perform an act of kindness for a stranger

Increasing Authority

  • triage
    • only put effort in projects that will have a significant impact when completed in a timely matter
    • Ask yourself : Is this the most important thing for me to do right now ?
    • make a list of these projects and goals and keep it at hand
    • review the list everyday
  • experiment
    • test things to increase you predictive accuracy
    • go out and create your own knowledge
    • find out what works best for you
    • test your ideas, don't dismiss any idea until you've tried them
    • run quick tests and discover the answers for yourself
  • teach someone else how to perform a task you're very good at.

Building Courage

  • education : educate yourself to diminish your fear
  • commit in advance :make a commitment to face your fear
  • identify an opportunity that you know is worthwhile but that you've been afraid to pursue, and go for it anyway
  • do one thing today that scares you

Living Intelligently

  • assess your current alignment with the seven principles, ask yourself relevant questions (see book).
  • cultivate an intelligent microcosm
    • add a new activity where you'll do your best to stay aligned with truth, love and power from the beginning
    • goals is to avoid introducing problems of misalignment
    • don't expect perfection
    • do the best you can, and let that be enough
  • call someone you know, and do your best to communicate as authentically as possible during the entire call

As you might have guessed is this site my new activity to help me align with truth, love and power. At the moment I think it works fairly well although I have some issues with true commitment to changing myself and my life. I feel some internal resistance to commit myself and effectively doing the proposed things to improve my alingment with the principles. I guess it will all take some time but this can't be an excuse for not doing a lot now.

My current alignment assesment

In the book you will find some questions to help you with your current alignment assessment. Below are my answers to most of these questions.

1. Truth

  • I feel compelled to hide things but I force myself to confess things I'd rather hide.
  • I I continue my current course I predict that I will continue my regular life with some bursts of courage, excitement and focus interpersed with periods of wondering what I'm doing here.
  • I think I still deny some parts of my situation, I don't have the courage to really change things so I rather deny it instead of always being confronted with it.
  • I need to learn to focus on my most important task and to continue until its finished. Best way to learn this is to build Power and to connect with myself to uncover my true passions.
  • To become more truthful I'm going to do a media fast to give me time to focus on my truth.
2. Love
  • I take some to connect with myself and others but not enough. Sometimes I feel disconnected, sometimes I feel great.
  • Most of the time I don't project a false image of myself.
  • Unconditional love is hard for me but I believe I'm on the right path.
  • I can excercise and improve my social skills by trying to connect more with people and not turning down opportunities to get to know people. I'm rather shy but I try to overcome it as much as possible.
  • I can become more loving by stopping to judge myself and others.
3. Power
  • I don't accept complete responsibility for everything in my life. I have a tendency to make my girlfriend responsible for my time usage which isn't fair because she gives me a lot of time to do what I want and I waste this time regularly.
  • I really want to contribute something to this world. I already contribute a little bit through my job but this is a very local effort and I would like to contribute more to the rest of the world and make a small but not insignificant contribution towards a better world.
  • Most of the time I distract myself because iI don't have a clear vision of what is most important for me.
  • I lose a lot of time with all those small ideas that I do some research for or start materialising while never finishing them. These experiences have learned me a thing or two but they definitly have uncovered my inherent lack of power to get myself to the finish. Once something becomes a bit more difficult I don't accept the challenge but move on to something else.
  • I can build self-discipline by having clear goals and keep myself from switching to another goal.
  • By continuing to work on this blog and also fighting my habit of surfing all around the world when being bored I believe I'll become more powerful.
4. Oneness
  • We are all connected in this world but like individual cells in a larger body we all only truly connect to the things that are close to us.
  • When I feel good I can tune in to the joys and sorrows of others but I have a tendency to shield myself from the rest of the world.
  • I believe I am a fair and compassionate being.
  • I am not contributing to the world in a meaningful way at this moment. But I am well aware of this now and changing this.
  • The understand the concept of unity but my thinking and actions aren't alinged enough with it. The concept isn't a part of myself yet.
  • To experience more oneness I can try to recognize the interconnectedness of this world, think less from my viewpoint and more from the viewpoint of the world and spend more time in nature.
5. Authority
  • I don't take real command of my life in the sense that I very often ask myself the question: what would the people I know want me to do.
  • My actions are scattered over a lot of stuff. I have a clear need for focus.
  • When I come at the point where something takes to much effort or another interesting thing gets my attention then I change my focus.
  • I'm not confident to achieve my goals because I hardly achieve any of them, except for my exercising goals.
  • To avoid wasting time I can plan what I'm going to focus on for a certain period, and then adjust and replan once this period has elapsed.
  • To increase my authority I should just do what has to be done to achieve my goals.
6. Courage
  • I am not very courageous.
  • I am still looking for a path with more heart. Only thing I can do now is to continue exploring different paths until I find the right one.
  • I noticed how much I lack initiative so my goal is to quit waiting mode and take initiative.
  • On some days I pursue the direct route but on other days it's more like a manipulative one.
  • To train myself to overcome fear I can take more initiative and go out and do things I fear a bit like meeting new people and things like that.
7. Intelligence
  • I don't live in alignment with truth, love, and power yet.
  • My interactions with others are authentic
  • I am still exploring the message and medium for my creative self-expression but I believe I am on the right path.
  • There is no continuous flow towards the fulfillment of my dreams because I keep switching from one goal to another.
  • To improve myself today I answered the of this current alignment assesment.

I still have a lot to do to get myself aligned with truth, love and power but I do believe I will get there in the end.

Next post in this series is about applying the different principles to Habits and career.

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