Living to the fullest requires more than enormous energy to do things from A to Z. Small things, like waking up in the morning, going to work or school, and eventually going to bed at night may look like routine, yet every single moment is marked by decisions.
And every decision made in the past affects other decisions in the future. @SilValleyGlobe (Click to Tweet!)
In short, to live optimally where every single decision matters requires a strong mastery of mind, first and foremost. With a strong mind, you will have a strong will to take good care of your physical, emotional, psychological, mental, and spiritual bodies.
A balanced person is realistic and grounded. They understand the difference between a dream and a goal. Also, how to get there even when you need to redirect and reframe your mind, so you’re back on track. Eventually, with the right framing and reframing of mind, you’d be able to master your mind with laser-sharp focus like a Shaolin Buddhist monk.
Set A Measurable Goal
To master your mind, you’d need to have a goal. And a goal is a measurable dream. Other than measurable, a goal is specific, achievable, realistic, and timed (SMART). Without measuring your goal, it’s just a dream.
Yes, a goal is a dream with a deadline.
A word of caution about being “realistic.” This term means different things to different people. What’s realistic to someone might not be so to others. For instance, a goal requires measurable time, funding, and other resources. These must be taken into consideration.
However, having a “realistic” goal means it is a goal that is relatively controllable. It is “relatively” controllable because nothing in the universe is 100 percent controllable.
Some surprise elements always exist and they are called “risk factors.” In legal terms, it is called “act of God” or “force majeure.” But this slight possibility shouldn’t be too much a concern because what you’re focusing is the positive aspect of having a goal, not the “possible downside” of it.
So, how can you reduce risks? By assessing your skills. Find the patterns of those skills. Are they hard skills (technical) or soft skills (less technical)? Find ways to increase the quality of those skills. In other words, take your skills to the next level. Be a better, if not, the best version of yourself with those skills.
For this, you’d need to do a research on elevating your skills: what are needed, where to learn about them, and whom you can model from. Accept feedback as learning opportunity, not as “negative criticism” that puts you down.
Set An Enticing Goal
Your measurable goal must be enticing enough for you to reach out and finish the journey. An ideal goal brings urgency and immediacy, not complacency. Internalize your goal, so it becomes an integral part of you and your mind is programmed to achieve it.
Ask yourself. What does achieving this goal mean to you? How is it going to change your life? Think about all the good things that will happen when you succeed. Yes, “when” you succeed, not “if.” And think about the “good things,” not the “bad things.”
Create a world of success, joy, health, and wealth in your mind. It’s your vessel to reach the goal. Align it with your values: gratefulness, kindness, compassion, caring, and loving.
Setting the goal and creating a world of success inside is a process of conditioning the mind. It is recognized in psychology and NLP (neuro linguistic programming) as an important step toward achieving and succeeding.
Reframing and Understanding the Goal
Every journey must follow a path that will eventually deliver you to the destination. Along the way, a path may break into intersections. Any direction you take will eventually end at the destination, but every direction would require different amount of time and resources. You must recognize this and be at peace with whichever path you take.
A frame gives you alternatives when a path doesn’t look familiar. It brings you back to focus. According to Judy Bartkowiak in Secrets of the NLP Masters, there are five ways of framing events: outcome frame, backtrack frame, evidence frame, “as if” frame, and ecology frame.
- Outcome Frame: A goal is SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed). Check your goal progress using SMART variables. Return to them, whenever you’re confused or off track.
- Backtrack Frame: Recognize when you started a habit or an issue requiring attention. Did something trigger you do act or behave in certain ways? Why? What can you do to change it?
- Evidence Frame: How are you doing now? Ask yourself. How close are you the SMART goal? Check the evidence and repeat positive behaviors and repeal negative ones.
- “As If” Frame: Use successful people as your role models. What would you do if you were Mr. or Ms. Universal Idol? Will you behave like this or differently? What would be the most appropriate behavior in this situation?
- Ecology Frame: Find out what people close to you think about your progress. Observe and take note. Are they affected by your new behavioral changes? Positive or negative feedback? Whatever the feedback is, it’s a learning opportunity. It’s time to reflect on how your changes have influenced others.
Understanding your goal comes naturally. A deep understanding of the purpose of a goal would serve as a map to achieve it. In NLP techniques, there is a pyramid called “The Logical Levels.”
At the very bottom is “environment,” in which you must describe clearly where you do what you do. One level up is “behavior,” in which you must describe what you do. One more level up is “skills,” in which you must have appropriate and sufficient skills for how you want to do it.
The other level up is “beliefs and values,” which must explain why you do it. Another level up is “identity,” which is who you are. And at the apex is “purpose” or who you want to be.
Ask yourself and answer each level with your own specifics. Be bold and be honest. The pyramid is for you to keep and return to whenever you feel a little lost. It’s not merely a pyramid. It’s a map.
Once you’ve figured out what your goal is and the map to get there, start planning your actions. One step at a time. Listen and be open to feedback from others as a way to measure the milestones. Be open to all. Learn from every failure, every opportunity.
Have your ever implemented reframing thought techniques? How did it help you?
Image courtesy of sciencefreak.