Self-development and the Five elements that control the astonishing whole excellent you.
You’re your biggest critic. I’m my biggest critic. But the one thing I have learned over the past x decades is that it’s NEVER as bad as I think it is. You can learn to control your brain and your emotions by training your mind, learning how to frame your mindset, and living strong in the now rather than worrying about the past and future.
So I’m an introvert that loves to talk to people, but I’m not particularly eager to initiate conversations in a large group. And yet I’m also the president this year of my Rotary club. So I have to emcee the weekly meetings, and no matter how badly I think it went, someone says they enjoyed that meeting.
So I have decided to look at life like my golf game — each time I play eighteen holes, I make some good shots, a lot of bad ones, and usually at least one perfect shot that makes it all worthwhile. But, like life, my golf game is better if I practice doing it.
Getting better at life is about embracing these five pillars.
- Know yourself.
This is my weakest area. But I work on it daily by reviewing my feelings and actions from the day and identifying what worked well and what didn’t.
2. Develop good values.
Each of us has developed biases and personal values throughout our lives. These values must be under your constant scrutiny to become a better you. The two most important values for me are to recognize the truth and to help others achieve their best selves.
3. Learn to control your brain/mind.
Your mind is one of the most critical organs in your body. It’s the controller. It controls your responses and your opinions and helps you discern the truth. If we were always in our conscious rational mind, it would be easier to respond, but we’re often in our subconscious mind, where our emotions rule.
4. Control your emotions.
Our emotional responses originate in our subconscious mind and often flare before we can use our conscious mind to control our responses. This is why some people respond by yelling and becoming angry when it would be better to ask questions for clarity. It is why we ban politics at family gatherings. But you can control this response and your emotions.
5. Be willing to change.
The key to understanding what you need to change is to review your actions, understand what you did, and tell yourself that you won’t react this way in the future.
I understand that change is hard, but you can do it. First, you must want to do it. Once you’re past that, then make a plan to identify what you want to change and the actions you will take to do it. So let’s look at an example — back to my golf game.
I played eighteen holes last week, shot 30 over par, and ached for four days.
What I want to change — is to be able to play eighteen holes of golf without being in pain for four days.
Here is my action plan:
a. Go to the driving range and practice hitting balls twice a week.
b. Start walking 5000–7000 steps per day.
c. Get my bike fixed and start riding more often.
If my goal had been to play eighteen holes and score ten over par, I probably would have to add lessons to my action steps.
Now is the time to embrace these five elements and start your changes.