Welcome to Day 10 of the 20/20 Life Vision Challenge! Mapping Out Your Internal World
Today, we wrap up Phase 1 of 3 10-day phases; tomorrow, we will recap what we learned (about ourselves) in Phase 1, and then move onto the Self-Assessment Phase, with an honest look back at who we have been and what we have achieved over the past 5 years.
Back on Day 8, I prescribed two important daily practices – Exercise and Meditation – for building up positive energy, that can help you discover and clarify your vision. Are you keeping up with it? Is there part of you that had a reaction to that prescription, setting off internal voices like “I don’t have time for that“, “I’m too busy“, “He doesn’t understand my life’s challenges“, “What does he know anyway?”, etc. Don’t worry, I’ve heard it all before – inside my own head! How do we become more aware of these voices, some of which are so subtle yet influential, that we don’t even hear them – we just act upon their suggestions. Here is where we start to explore the deeper psychology behind our personalities, both conscious and unconscious.
Each of us has a diverse internal world, rich with varying emotions, thoughts and behavior patterns. While we do change, hopefully for the better, over time, many of our patterns are sticky and continue manifesting over time, possibly taking slightly different new forms. In order to develop and then go out and attain any type of meaningful life vision, it is imperative to “Know Thyself” as intimately as possible – or should I say, “Know Thyselves”? Just like any community or family has multiple personalities and voices, that oftentimes want different things, each of us has different aspects of ego-personality within – let’s call those different “I’s”, as in “Greedy I”, “Generous I”, “Lazy I”, “Motivated I”, “Obsessive I”, “Calm I”, etc. How well coordinated and integrated those different I’s are, to a large extent, determines how much energy we have, how successful we are in our endeavors, and how good we feel overall. You literally have to develop internal leadership skills and claim your rightful place as the CEO of Me, with the understanding that your internal company called “Me” actually consists of hundreds of different “I’s” that all want to be the boss or just do their own thing without accountability to the collective “Me”. This is where self-sabotage comes from. Just on the day when you have that big presentation at work or school, that you worked so hard to prepare for, one of your I’s decides to throw a tantrum, gets really nervous or oversleeps, throwing off your flow. I’m sure that each of us can come up with plenty of examples, both positive and negative, of how our internal order or chaos directly influenced our outcomes.
Thinking about your internal world like it is that company or even a country called “Me” (or whatever you want to name it – your own name, or for the sake of this exercise, come up with a name). On Day 3, you created a list of Strengths & Weaknesses; reflect on that list, which will relate directly to what we are embarking on today, a deeper dive into knowing thyself, which will help you understand what internal processes and negotiations are manifesting in those qualities that show up externally as strengths and weaknesses. Making this connection is vital towards the overall aim here of discovering and harmonizing with your life’s purpose.
DAY 10 ASSIGNMENT:
- Before going into the worksheet, take 5-10 minutes to meditate as deeply as possible. Get into a comfortable position, in a private space, with your cell phone (and other potential distractions) off; light a candle and/or some incense, dim the lights and close your eyes. Focus on your breathing – deep and slow breathing, into your solar plexus, holding your breathe for just a second or two longer than usual before each release. Let go of any thoughts if and when they come up, continuing to bring attention back to the inflow and outflow of your breath. This is an example of the type of meditation that you can do daily, before any major project or assignment, as it brings clarity and grounding to your heart and mind.
- Identify 5-15 different I’s that you can relate to inside of yourself. Try to pick the strongest, most dominant ones. If you need help, ask someone that knows you well, or reflect back on Day 3’s list of Strengths & Weaknesses for clues. If one of our weaknesses is “Procrastination”, then you can name one of your I’s, “Lazy I” or “Procrastinating I”. Try to keep the list balanced between I’s that generally manifest and result in positive versus negative outcomes. Sometimes, it is unclear, and I’s can be responsible for varying results, which is OK – this isn’t a black and white exercise.
- Note how strong each I is for you (on a 1-10 Scale, 1 being Weakest and 10 being Strongest), at its peak strength, in a typical week. That means, even if you generally don’t live from a certain I (let’s say “Angry I”), when it does come up, how much does it takeover the whole show (ie. you didn’t lose your temper all week, but when you did, you broke things in your house and yelled at family members)?
- If you could give each I a voice, what would it say or be asking for, in a few words (ie. “Angry I – LEAVE ME ALONE!! STOP BOTHERING ME!”)
- Reflecting back on the list of Goals which you created on Day 5, pick several and briefly note how your ego aspects either hindered or aided you with those goals.