by Carl Massy.
But I am here to help make it easier for you. How thoughtful of me (he says as he chuckles to himself).I am told I can’t use emoji’s in the text as it throws out the formatting. That means I am writing as if emoji’s were never birthed into this world.
…Now back to the topic.
This is what I believe to be the key equation to shaping your destiny.
CHOICES = DESTINY
Great choices = great destiny.
Crap choices = crapier destiny (think accidents, illness, getting fired, business going bust, unfulfilling relationships, saying things that you know you are going to pay for later…and not in a good way).
So today’s practical happiness tips are actually about the subject of HOW TO MAKE BETTER CHOICES; and yes this is a topic I have written about before, so please feel free to skip this if you have not made any bad choices in the last 90 days.
The Component Parts of Making Choices (aka: decision making)
The component parts to making great choices, from my experience, are:
- Awareness (aka consciousness)
Let’s break them down a little more…
We live in the information age, with an information overload. We also live in a materialistic world (versus idealistic), where an over fixation on money and power leads large institutions and governments to feed us information that is not necessarily in our personal best interests. Think pharmaceutical industry or food industry. They have us believe things like – you need to stay on Drug X for the rest of your life, otherwise you cannot survive or cope in the world. Bullsh#t!!!!
So…self educate from quality teachers who practice what they teach. Who are authentic, humble, enthusiastic, caring, and truly interested in making the world a better place.
Find ‘quality’ knowledge to help you make more informed and intelligent choices. Right now you only know what you know, and don’t know what you don’t know. Become a life time learner.
‘Be bold. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.’ Paolo Coehlo.
Experience is our most informative (and useful) form of feedback. And when we get feedback, we have a greater understanding of what works and what doesn’t. Experience allows us to take knowledge and apply it in our own unique way, to see if it works or doesn’t. And the experience we gain, from that feedback, is a key piece to making informed and relevant choices.
One thing to note is that not all ‘strategies’ work the same way for all people. So what is relevant knowledge for one person, might not be relevant knowledge for you. To turn knowledge into something useful in your decision making, it needs to be validated in the fire of your experience. Then you are even more clear of how to use the knowledge you have accumulated.
AWARENESS / CONSCIOUSNESS
Now I talk about this a lot. Because I have come to know this fact…
I can have great knowledge and intimate experience and STILL make a poor choice.
Is there anyone else on the other side of my computer who can relate to the same thing?!?! And with the liars, I am just nodding my head as I give you one of those looks. I am looking at you (wink wink).
Awareness, or what I also call consciousness, is the ability to stand with power, presence, open-mindedness, clarity, calmness, focus, and the ability to discern. In sanskrit the part of the mind responsible for this is referred to as buddhi.
It is the ability to hold yourself in the present moment, to make a choice based on your knowledge, your past experience, PLUS the reality of what you are experiencing in front of you, to make a choice that is 100% relevant for the CURRENT situation. NOT a regurgitation of the past – unless that is truly the best choice.
It is the ability to use the best knowledge, and experience, but in a way that is relevant and effective for NOW. You have the ability to create something new, and therefore create a NEW destiny, as opposed to a REGURGITATION of the past, and the SAME destiny.
Want to know what gets in the way of this happening?!?!
Do ya? (I have my smiley face on again)
The (damn, good for nothing) thing that gets in the way
I have toned my language down as my dad reads my musings and he is a lifetime non-swearer. Otherwise I might have used an ‘F’ bomb. Now I am pulling a weird face that I cannot describe easily without talking about number 2’s. Yes. I think I am funnier than I actually am.
Back to the point.
The thing that gets in the way is…. REACTIVITY.
Because we don’t know how, or it is too hard, or we have a long-term behavioural pattern at play, we slip into doing what we have always done. We react in a common way, because that is what we have wired in our brain and bodies. That common way is also called THE PAST. If we go reactive, we are stuck in the past, and therefore don’t end up with a NEW destiny. Ever heard of ‘ground hog day‘?
This means in order to REALLY change our destiny, to a destiny of our conscious choosing (as opposed to an unconscious repetition of our past), we need to overcome our reactive thinking, feeling and behaving patterns. And that my dear friends, is a big topic in itself and is the PRIMARY thing I work on with all of my clients and students. How to become LESS reactive and MORE conscious.
Some of the ways I have found to do this…
This is still number 1 for me. It allows us to reprogram our nervous system, and build up the capacity to create a space between STIMULUS and REACTION. It is in this space that we form a new way of thinking, therefore a new way of feeling, therefore a new way of behaving and therefore a NEW RESULT.
Practice ‘Traditional’ Yoga
There is a good reason I am a partner in a yoga centre (The Practice) focused on teaching traditional, mindful, intentional, systematized and deliberate yoga. As well as a host of other benefits, yoga allows us to become more AWARE, first of our physical bodies, then of our emotions and reactivity, and then at a deeper more subtle level (which comes in handy when you realise quantum physicists tell us only about 0.0000000000001 of us is actual physical MATTER…and the bulk of us is this subtle field of energy, information and intelligence). When we become aware, then we can make more relevant decisions of how to respond in a given situation.
Change limiting beliefs that cause you to REACTIVELY go into a stress response
This is a bigger subject than I have time to go into today. It is one of the key things I teach in my Life Masterclass and when I work 1-on-1 with clients. But here is something that is useful for now. Once you become AWARE of what beliefs are not serving you (i.e. the statements and stories that you tell that cause you to feel contracted or bad or fearful), it is much harder for them to slip past you. You become aware that it is actually a ‘thought’ controlling you, rather than the reality of the situation in front of you.
Have a read of the first (mini) book I wrote on beliefs – Your Beliefs Are Controlling Your Life For Better or Worse – to increase your knowledge.
If you make better choices you will get better results. So your choices = your destiny.
If you work on increasing your KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE and the ability to remain AWARE or conscious when it is time to make decisions, you will have the capacity to make the best choices in the moment.
Better choices = better results
New (high quality) choices = new (high quality) destiny
It is just like mathematics. If you want to change the results, you need to change your strategy. Same strategy equals same results.
Final tip: if the information or situation changes (i.e. new information becomes available), feel free to review and revise your decision.
SO…What now do you need to do?
Want help with uncovering and processing some of your core limiting beliefs? Then get in contact. Just reply to this email or connect with me on Facebook or at The Practice. And for more in-depth training videos on coaching and traditional yoga, check out The Practice Online, which you can access a free 30-Day Trial, by clicking here.