Conceptually understanding the Cycle of Self is key to maximizing our potential. It explains our “why”. Why we believe what we believe, why we think what we think, and why we do what we do. We can leverage Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle to help illustrate the “why”, “how” and “what” of mindfulness. Simply put, Sinek’s Golden Circle is based on the principle that great leaders take an inside out approach. Starting with the “why”, then the “how”, before getting to the “what”. More commonly leaders focus on the “what”, which does not motivate or inspire us to act. The “what” informs people with rational, logical information but it is the “why” that ignites purpose, emotion and instincts that motivate us to act.
By applying the same inside out approach to ourselves we can mindfully design our life experiences. Starting with our “self”, then tuning into our “awareness”, before trying to “change” ourselves. Most of us set goals to change or add habits without understanding why our habits exist. Few of us examine what false beliefs we have that are keeping us stuck. Trying to change ourselves without understanding our motivations assumes we are rational and logical, but the fact of the matter is we are not. We are human first. That is why most New Years resolutions fail, along with all the other attempts we make to start or stop our habits.
My last post examined “self”. But how do we move beyond conceptually understanding the significant of self? We do this through “awareness”. Awareness is tricky business. It has cyclical complexities similar to the Self Cycle. It takes discipline to become and remain aware and it takes kindness to ourselves to own ourselves with empathy and without judgement. And we need to accept ourselves as we are, unconditionally, with the discipline to pay attention to when we act on our false beliefs. And when we do, we must be kind to ourselves. Meditation, yoga, golf, walking; essentially any activity that brings us closer to nature and our spirit will help us mindfully navigate through awareness.
Then as we become aware of the parts of self that do not serve us, the parts that get in the way of what we want, we can begin to explore how to create meaningful change in our life. Our “self” + “awareness” will inspire our intent. And our intent will take lots of practice. Quite frankly we will fail (many times) before we succeed. Which is why we need to reward ourselves each every time we succeed. This will reinforce the value of our new habit(s). We must keep reminding ourselves or our intent, with discipline, kindness and acceptance, trusting our beliefs and thoughts will design the experiences we desire.
This journey will feel a lot like taming a wild horse. We need to have patience with the parts of ourselves that like to run free, fast and wild. But we will also need focus and concentration to have the discipline to resist distractions that are not aligned with our beliefs and intentions. This is a life long journey, not a destination.