Saturday, 31 October 2020

A great hour is making every minute count

Center Your Life Around Your Values WHEN OUR LIFE BECOMES A TRUE EXPRESSION of our values we make our greatest contributions to the world. We feel inspired, eager to start the day, and at peace with ourselves knowing that we are fulfilling our greatest potential. The reward that comes from doing the inner work outlined in this article is the courage and confidence to live a life of meaning and purpose--a life that honors your values. By now you should feel more empowered. You should feel centered and grounded in who you are. Your confidence and self-esteem should be stronger and more abundant. You've now integrated the necessary skills to express yourself with power and grace. As children learn language and are told stories, they are taught concepts such as honesty and courage, good and evil, love and hate. From this learning, people develop ideas about what people in the world are like, the events that matter in life, and the meaning of their own thoughts and feelings. A considerable amount of our cultural knowledge is transmitted to us by our parents, but we also get a lot of this knowledge from peers, teachers, and mass media sources. For most children in industrialized nations, television and movies provide scripts of situations (workplace interactions: Game of Thrones; Asians as polite) before the child has firsthand experience with such situations, people, and groups. As a result of these socializing influences, there are interesting cultural differences in people's schemas. For example, kids who grow up in a rural Native American culture that values connections with nature have a concept of animal that is most closely linked to those species that become part of their daily lives (Winkler-Rhoades et al. In contrast, urban-dwelling European American kids asked to list animals bring to mind exotic species such as elephants and lions that populate their picture articles. Although each group has formed a schema for the category animal, the content of that schema differs in important ways, depending on the values and structure of their physical, social, and cultural environment. Rumors and Gossip The point is: we all procrastinate from time to time. Some people procrastinate smartly by moving toward their goals in whatever way they can.

Others seek to escape by doing unrelated activities. Yet others ruminate. Please note, the less action you take, the more stuck you'll become, and the harder it will be to climb out of the rut. As Martin Luther King Jr. No matter where you are in your life, you can always take tiny steps in the right direction. These tiny steps may not seem much, but the momentum you build by taking them can prove invaluable. Exercise: procrastinate smartly Using your action guide, write down all the small actions you could take right now. Congratulations! Now it's time to bring this work out into the world. As I mentioned in article one, our purpose in life is twofold. First, we need to make a conscious commitment to our personal and spiritual development, elevating our thoughts, words, and actions to a higher, more enlightened level. Second, we must move beyond our selfishness and contribute to others so that we leave this world a significantly better place than when we came here. Now that you've focused your energy on your inner work, it's time to orient your outer life around your values so that you can set the stage for how you will contribute your talents and gifts to others. In this article there are three areas that we'll focus on. Life changes To begin centering your life around your values you'll need to reconsider the work you did in article two to see how your values might have changed as a result of your work thus far. Next you'll have a chance to reevaluate the three life changes you chose to make once you're clear about your essential values. Much of what we learn about other people or events comes from rumors and gossip passed from one person to another. But beware.

As people perceive and relay information, it is altered a bit as it is filtered by each person's schemas and motivations. Think about how you tell a story to a friend. You're probably going to emphasize the main features of the story and leave out a lot of details. An unfortunate consequence of these storytelling biases is that people hearing about a person or an event, rather than gaining knowledge firsthand, tend to form an oversimplified, extreme impression of that person or event (Baron et al. Gilovich, 1987). For example, Robert Baron and colleagues (1997) had a participant watch a videotape in which a young man described unintentionally getting drunk at a party, getting involved in a fight, and getting into a subsequent car accident. The man noted that this was uncharacteristic of him, that he was egged on by friends, and that he regretted his actions. The participant rated the man on various positive and negative traits. Lean toward activities you enjoy or at least, activities that move you in the right direction. Now, select one action and resolve to take it now or, if you can't do it now, do it later today, but do it. Is there a project you've been working on for a while, but have yet to complete? As we've seen before, closing open loops is important to help you build momentum. If you have a big project that you constantly think about (or even have nightmares about), it might be time to complete it. This is what I called deep-diving. Sometimes, focusing on something intensely until it is finished can be highly effective. It can be invigorating and can allow you to get rid of tasks you've been putting off for too long or to learn a new skill more quickly. Personally, I like to focus on only a handful of projects and complete each one before moving on to the next. For instance, if I wanted to learn a foreign language, I would likely spend a few months studying intensively as opposed to years studying a little every day. Finally, with those two pieces in place, I'll show you a simple three-step process to implement these changes so you can start to center your life around your values. Let's get started.

Take Action! Revisit Your Values As you strengthen your inner skills by changing the way you behave in the world, it's important to reconsider your values. Over time your values may shift in reaction to how you evolve and as circumstances change in your life. To begin the process of orienting your life around your values, take a fresh look at your four essential values and copy them here: Four Essential Values from article Two: Now that you've done that, go back and retake the values test in article two so we can see how your values might have changed as a result of the work you've done so far. Once you're finished with the test, list your four essential values here (whether they've changed or not): Then the participant, now in the role of storyteller, was asked to speak into a tape recorder to describe the man's story. Listeners who then only heard that audiotape retelling rated the man more negatively than the original storyteller did. These effects seem to result both from a tendency of storytellers to leave out mitigating factors and complexities and a tendency of listeners to attend only to the central aspects of the stories they hear. In addition to this tendency to tell simplified stories, our stereotypes of groups can also make us biased in our recall and retelling of information. Gordon Allport and Joseph Postman (1947) demonstrated this back in the 1940s, in a study involving White American participants. They briefly showed a person a picture depicting a scene on the New York subway involving a White man standing, holding a razor, and pointing his finger at a Black man (FIGURE 3. After viewing the picture, the person had to describe the scene to another person who had not seen the picture. That second person then described the scene to a third person, and so on, until the information had been conveyed to a seventh person. More than half the time, that seventh person reported that the scene involved the Black man, rather than the White man, holding the razor. So when we get our information filtered through lots of people, it's pretty likely that prevalent schemas (such as stereotypes about a person's group) have biased the information. The same goes for other skills I want to acquire. What about you?

If you were to focus on a single project for a short period of time, which one would allow you to build the greatest momentum and make you feel better about yourself? If, for the next week, you could only focus on one thing, what would it be? When you deep-dive on a project and complete it, you remove it from your mind's to-do list and create space for something new. As a positive side-effect, you will increase the chances of entering a state of flow that may carry you even further. Exercise: deep-dive Using your action guide, identify one of the projects you've started but have yet to complete. Then, give yourself a short period of time to focus on it and drive it through to 100% completion. Go on, you can do it and feel great as a result! Values Now: Now that you're clear about your four essential values, the next step is to revisit the three life changes you chose to make in article two after completing your first values exercise. To begin this process, list the earlier life changes here: Life Changes from article Two: As you look over these changes, how do you feel? Are they still the changes you need to make in order to orient your life around your values? If so, do they feel as daunting as they did in the beginning? If they no longer feel appropriate, how do they need to change? If you decide to make the changes more challenging or to alter them in any way, I'd also like to recommend that you take a moment to acknowledge how your personal development throughout the last several articles might have affected this desire. How have you grown? Spreading Rumors People talked about the event depicted in this picture to others, who in turn told the story to still others, and so on.

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