Ready – Steady – Choose – Shift [Part 2]

2. Making Your Way

This is the second Blog in this series, and it is about stability and transformation. You can read the first part here

In the first Blog you learned that attitudes take you a long way in the direction you set for your life. Making your way means gaining clarity for the road ahead in your life and relationships. Like any journey the way ahead in life requires some essentials and a desire to take risks and to do the work. Learning involves risk-taking and the work requires a need, want and desire for it. Any journey is a mystery. We never know what it will be like until we begin to experience it. Making our way is transformational in its completion and requires stability, a will, and a way.

In this blog we present some important essentials for making your way.

A first essential is to understand a little about the human brain, and keeping it simple, with all due respect to all the neuroscientists out there, is a basic conceptualisation.

We simply conceive that we have really three interconnected brains in one mighty organ: (l)An Emotional Brain; (2) A Rational Brian; (3) An Action Brain, ERA, and each works together to solve quite complex problems using an interconnected and interdependent Feel – Think – Do methodology. We face the regular challenge of relating together how and what we feel, what we think, and how we behave. This is the challenge the brain helps to overcome for us.

Basically, sensory information from our external world, from what we see, hear, feel, smell and taste, travels through the cells of our body to our brain by means of the spinal cord, and enters the

Limbic System, or Emotional Brain, so this pathway means as individuals we experience things emotionally first. But it does not stop there. Our three brains then enter into constant communication, interaction, and interdependence to help us solve problems and make choices and decisions. Outcomes are better for us when we utilize this ready-made ERA approach working through our brains (1) – (2) – {3), Our natural emotional inclinations and actions can be unhelpful for us if we work from brain (1) directly to brain (3), and our judgements and actions can be equally problematic if we skip quickly into brain (2) – (3) activity . Emotion and thought provide vital sources of knowledge to help us successfully manage our responsiveness to situations we encounter along the way. We do our personal best when we make rationally emotive choices. By doing this we tend work with what is real. You may have remembered an essence of this in the first Blog where we suggested reframing as an important aspect of responsiveness. It is inevitably how and what you feel and think of events in rationally emotive ways which determines what is real for you.

Flowing on from this setup is a second essential that we gain stability from function from this rationally emotive approach when we function in line with our Emotional Intelligence [EQ]. Working this way with problem solving, decision making and creating choices for ourselves assists us to create and maintain standards, work effectively with the motivating force of desire and to lead a life powered by positive intentionality. It helps us to achieve our Organized State of Balance.

Gathering all this together from what he encountered in the first Blog we can again see the powerful interactions in the concept of the Triangle of Triangles as conceptualized in the following diagram:

I have found that when my clients learn to function in their lives and relationships within the scope of this collection of interacting and interdependent triangles they create the possibility that they can significantly increase the likelihood of making better choices and enjoying happier relationships. They often find themselves making better deals and agreements with others. In the process of making this happen, many people have learnt that their emotions can certainly assist them but can also do some harm if not linked with thought and action the ERA way. Therefore, it becomes important to understand the purpose of emotion. Our emotions make us aware that something is happening to us, maybe good or maybe not so good, and our Emotional Intelligence requires of us the capacity for responsiveness which has a basis in self-control. As you make your way on any journey you take, this type of responsiveness can be the difference between success and failure because your choices can ultimately determine the actions you take.

In any human interaction, there are two or more sets of emotions involved: your own emotions and feelings and those of another or even others. So, your EQ is about Containerizing these sets of emotions through regulation, awareness, and monitoring, both of yourself and what you perceive in others with whom you may be involved. Making your way goes better for you when you are not controlled by your emotions. So, try the ERA approach; work through brain (1) – (2) – (3). We will continue, in this and future Blogs, to develop this working triangle of Regulation – Awareness – Monitoring.

Emotional intelligence is not about ignoring emotions and feelings rather it is about perception, understanding and appreciation of emotion, so you have resourcefulness through rational emotive working rather than helplessness in response to emotion. So, before we act, it is a good idea  to check what is driving our responsiveness, feel it in our body, mind and brain, in other words we can experience some Awareness, then we can step aside from the stimulus and slow our Mind – Brain – Body system, feel control returning, then breathe and think about what is happening to us. We can then, regulate our growing reactivity and finally we can decide if you still want to act in the way we first felt we wanted to. We can then Monitor our state of arousal and observe what is happening for others.

Remember, the sensations travel from the cells of your body to your brain. Your whole being is involved: your mind, your brain, and your body, in other words, your hardware and your software. Try not to travel on your way with just a single reactive default setting. Try to be adaptable as this method suggests. We will return to a consideration of these concepts in future Blogs, but for the moment you may like to read the work of Norman Doidge and the book The Brain that Changed Itself

Another essential is that good life decisions require knowledge which our mind – body – brain interaction can give us, but such decisions also require self-control, knowing who we are, understanding something of our personality, and the ways we embark upon making and choosing creative options. These concepts together create an interesting and useful framework referred to as Stepping Up:

Our thoughts, feelings and emotions can be dist ille d into actions and behaviours with these kinds of frameworks which can help us clarify our core values and beliefs and assist us in determining the standards we might set for ourselves. Stepping up can assist us in developing rational needs, wants and desires which can in turn form and the important line with values, beliefs, and standards. This line, if functioning well, can drive our intent, expectation and Vision relating to what is real for us as we make our way. In a later Blog we are going to encounter the seven emotions: Anger, Fear, Worry, Sadness, Rumination, Joy and Excitement. Complex emotions can be built from these emotions, much like complex colours are built from primary colours. Awareness, Regulation and Monitoring of our state and that of others is crucial in determining what is real for each of us and in our decision making, problem solving and choices.

For the moment think about the outcomes you commonly experience and how they may influence your overall responsiveness. Here are some situations you may like to consider:

  • Do you handle some emotions in yourself and others perfectly well but find there are some emotions which really can derail you?
  • How do you manage your emotional responsiveness?
  • To what extent would you say you are mindful of your emotions and those of others?
  • Do you think a promise should always be kept?
  • Can you say NO comfortably in most situations?
  • Do you like to plan something or react spontaneously? How has this responsiveness influenced your relationships?
  • Can you manage structures and routines in your life?
  • Are you able to stay focused without being easily distracted?
  • Do you know how your friends and colleagues perceive your EQ? Do you think this is important in the process of making your way?
  • To what extent do you practice building your EQ? Do you think an above average EQ is important in making your way?
  • How do you cope with adversity?
  • Have you worked with intelligent people but found that they did not make great managers, colleagues, or friends? What might you make of this?
  • Do you notice that people’s attitudes change in difficult times and circumstances? Have you noticed that problem solving and decision-making works best at times of higher energy levels? Reflect on this.
  • Can you see a link between your EQ and your personal level of motivation? To what extent are you driven by your vision in your life?
  • Would you agree that we best connect with others who show us empathy, appreciation, and who understand our feelings?

The answers to these questions tend to indicate the extent to which your EQ assists you in making your way by strength through working with your brain ERA style (1) – (2) – (3) and in line with building your values, beliefs and standards and meeting your needs wants and desires which is really important when making your way requires productive outcomes to be achieved.

Finally, let us consider some further elements about how do we get fit for making our way? Here are some tools you may like to think about:

First, an important pathway: Power- Personality- Knowledge – Creativity, another interesting set of concepts which can develop interesting approaches to achieving some happy outcomes.

People who develop self- awareness, self-regulate well and self-monitor competently, when their actions are viewed by others, are often found to be more likeable and enjoy greater popularity and trust. They are perceived as being more safe, secure, and predictable in relationships. Skills in these areas mean that these people often enjoy an enhanced sense of personal power. They build confidence built on effectiveness, excellence and personal best success and are seen to exhibit greater pro-social behaviour. Overall, they enjoy Balance in life and in relationships, experience much less stress, anxiety, and depression, being considered as individuals with a default setting which incorporates ERA style emotional and mental processing.

Research tends to show that these individuals often reflect stable and enduring personalities which can reflect the attitudes and actions which have moved their lives to this point in time. A healthy personality can reflect the balanced interaction of three significant intelligences and the degree to which they manifest themselves within an individual’s personal nature: their Emotional Intelligence [EQ]; their Intellect [IQ]; and, their Spiritual Intelligence [SQ]. The balance of these sets of flexible skills creates that sense of who they may be are and the stable kabbalah of their presence and their sense of belonging on way through life:

Your personality assists the development of the Organised state outlined in the first Blog, that pinnacle of journeyed achievement, enhanced by the processes of Optimising, Containerising and Equalising. The diagram above indicates the nature of the integrated and interactive nature of Equalising. It is a position we will refer to again and again throughout these Blogs. Our EQ is vitally important in contributing to the excellence and effectiveness that underpins our personal best.

Our achievements are not just determined by our intellect and expertise. A working EQ helps us manage key partnerships and relationships and drives good outcomes for ourselves because we have a high degree of personal control over our actions as we function ERA style. Our IQ is really about our capability in different situations and our flexibility in utilising our intellect, yet it means nothing if we begin to fail emotionally.

Yet, more than this, we need an intelligence that gives us the creative options of asking the key questions about what we need, want and desire. Our SQ is required to seek answers to important life questions. Our personality is governed by our needs of mind, brain and body and is regulated by our EQ – IQ – SQ interaction or, 3Q system, so we manage the interaction between our external world and our internal world and make the right choices in the right way at the right times in our lives.

Knowledge is about building our personal 3Q system into something powerful and useful. Our EQ is about our self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-monitoring and therefore about our adaptation skills, risk taking skills, relationship skills and our skills in adaptation. Our IQ is about utilising our executive functioning to learn, unlearn and re-learn in order to achieve our Organised state of being. Our SQ encompasses our values, beliefs, and standards, and so reflects our integrity and our anchors of personal power, personality, and sustainability. Knowledge reflects flexibility, the capacity to grow from change and learning, from adaptation, developing the emotional dexterity, intellectual adaptability, and spiritual drive to promote personal growth and development.

Creativity results from the development of a clear SQ – IQ – EQ personal dimension through the capacity to constantly shift and adjust your internal GPS, empowering your ideas, energising your power of motivation, and moving constantly outside your personal cube of existence to give you a dynamic personal edge in your dealings with our world.

This Edge represents a developing and working triangle of Resilience, Grit and Empathy which we will approach in the next Blog. Remember to operate with your internal world interoceptive skills of intuition, inspiration, instinct, and insight in order to meet and embrace challenges. Combine this knowledge with your external world senses. Unpack this mind – body – brain knowledge as it is gained from others and from your own experience and share this knowledge and experience for personal growth and development. Build the Buddhist concept of enlightened self-interest and see how motivation stems from the personal benefits it can create. 

Connect all your strengths together in ways that are impactful and serve your sense of personal power, personality, knowledge, and creativity. Harness the triangle of triangles to help keep you on track as you go. Move away from perfectionism, from a life that we think must give us all we want, when we want it, as we want it, and away from imperfection where life is insufferable, unsatisfying and intolerable because we are not perfect and feel worthless and want out of it all.

Move away from this limited thinking. Perfection and imperfection are not opposites, but both represent problems that will not serve us well. Creativity requires the application of their real opposites. The opposite of perfection is Effectiveness and the opposite of imperfection is Excellence. Creativity exists in the Effectiveness – Excellence quadrant. Here we can actualize our potential in a place of true Balance with an operational kabbalah of interests and ideas:

We will visit these concepts again in future Biogs.

So, you are asking, how do we do some of this stuff…right? Well, let us pause for a while and consider the ideas given to you so far. Meanwhile, here are more things to think about:

  • Make some changes in your life,
  • Employ strategic time and resource management,
  • Work with your brain (1) – (2)- {3) and not against it,
  • Reflect upon your methods of decision-making and problem-solving,
  • Resist making instant judgements and conclusions,
  • Review your critical and analytical skills,
  • Get out some pencils and paper and put down your thoughts and feelings, making them visible and capable of reflectiveness,
  • Focus on your Standards, desires, and Vision: reflect and create,
  • Put some balance into your life: Equalise it

Now it is time to gather a few ideas together. Several years ago, Bill Lucas, a British business consultant, introduced 5 concepts which have been introduced along the way in this Blog: Remembering, Responsiveness, Reflectiveness, Resourcefulness and Resilience.

These concepts are part of the way we can use our 3Q system in everyday circumstances.

Remembering is about your past and recognising and drawing on your strengths to transcend difficulties, overcome challenges and stressors, make changes and leverage greater potential through your 3Q strength which you can develop in the ways this Blog has suggested. Connect the dots of what you have experienced in these Biogs and from an appreciation of your life and your work and the ways you have achieved fulfilment in the past.

Take action as Responsiveness that creates motivation and develop new ways that create adaptation and learning, seeking out and exchanging ideas and creating opportunities for personal innovation.

We need to build Reflectiveness into our day. We need to create time for relaxation and wellness, to find personal empowerment spaces where our ideas and creativity can flourish, and we need to create value belief and standards for ourselves so we can build happiness and success and ways forward in our enterprises.

In terms of Resourcefulness we can focus on what we may have built through study and experience. We may find that our 3Q equalisation may have been achieved as much through our failures and disappointments as it was with our gains and success. In reality there is no failure just the feedback we get that can give us new perspectives, which may appear slightly counter intuitive, but building Resourcefulness utilises all of our EQ – IQ – SQ strengths in ways that open up creative options for ourselves, we just never sit back and simply rely on them. The business of life is a dynamic enterprise.

Resilience is the realisation that we can rewrite the scripts of existing default settings in our pattern of adaptation. We can develop new set points of communication, action, attitude, socialisation and learning that can take us forward in ways that advocate mindfulness as a key strategy in problem solving, decision making and choice. The dials of our 3Q system give us potent readings of us.

A final tool is to remember the steps being taken to build our resources, reflect every step of the way, consider your responsiveness, build your capacity for resilience:

  • Realise the need for building and maintaining our 3Q system.
  • Analyse and develop the purpose of our winning attitudes.
  • Strategise for personal empowerment.
  • Organise an enlivened Balanced “Light on the Hill” place through your everyday actions.
  • Optimise our ‘Light on the Hill” by out of the cube 3Q functioning and use of enlightened self-interest.
  • Containerise by reflectiveness and by developing a great relationship with ourselves and those around us to promote our organised state.
  • Equalise 3Q balance into simple powerful connections that help us understand and appreciate our integrated organised state that grows beyond an organised silo of life into a place we live and grow because it has a purpose far beyond sustainability alone

This now completes the second Blog in this series. Practice these ideas slowly, carefully, one step at a time. Every time you feel the need react automatically, take a pause, reflect on what you are feeling in your body and how you are feeling in your mind and brain instead. After a while using the many ideas and concepts that have been advanced in this Blog you will be on your way and making your way successfully. These ideas will be built upon and utilised again in different ways in future Biogs in this series. These are guiding principles that shape our journeys because we are passionate about achieving our vision and keeping our energies alive and active for as long as possible. We have been focusing on people centered and healthy development techniques with the potential to maintain that potential and passion.

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