25 march 2022
Values & The Role Of The Ego: Part Two
This post is Part Two, the follow up to Part One. Part One focused on the importance of values, and how the ego influences decisions. It dealt with the psychological forces behind the mind structure. As well as, the impact these have on determining our beliefs and values. Part Two expands on the way the ego influences us, and how we can recognise it in our thought process. Further, it introduces some key qualities that constitute successful decision making. So that favourable action can follow suit.
The first step is to determine your values. Remember, these are likely to change over time. The important part of this equation is to narrow down your top four values. As such, prioritise them in order of what is most important to you now. At this stage, money might be important for your freedom. Freedom is important because you need space to focus on your art (creativity). Creativity is paramount because your art is your purpose. So, your values are. 1. Contribution. 2. Creativity. 3. Freedom. 4. Money. Once you are clear on your values, the next stage is action.
THE MIND & THE BODY ASPECT
Balance requires that the mind and body work in a harmonious relationship with one another. While they serve different functions, and operate in different ways, they are two parts of the one whole. The mind aspect deals with the psychological, or the mental aspect. That is to say, the philosophical element. The body aspect relates to the physiological, and corresponds with physiology, or the physical. It is the doing part of the equation, and requires taking action. Change requires both. The abstract, or mind aspect, needs a physical expression, and vice versa. The abstract must take form. In other words, theories must find their practice. Otherwise, they remain a hypothesis. At best, a concept with a plan. But, all the theories in the world can do nothing for the world. Likewise, wisdom must guide knowledge.
THEORY & PROCRASTINATION
There is a grave danger to living in a world composed solely of abstract thought. That is to live by theory alone, without execution. Or, to live by having a plan. Why? Because a plan can be a strategy for the ego to procrastinate. The underlying energy behind procrastination is fear. In this case, it may be fear of failure. Or, the fear of not being good enough. To illustrate, the ego devises a plan to protect you (the egoic self) from failure. It convinces you that before you begin, you need a plan. Now, there is nothing wrong with having a plan. In fact, strategic planning can be advantageous. But, there is a problem if you remain in the planning stage for an extended period of time, or indefinitely. At this point, realise that “the plan” is a cover for fear. This fear will keep you stuck in a rut. Your situations and circumstances can not change if appropriate action is not taken. In saying that, sometimes the reason for procrastination is not entirely the work of the ego. Sometimes it is your intuition vying for your attention.
THE PREMISE & THE PLAN
For argument’s sake, let’s assume that it’s not the ego, or the plan that’s off. Rather, it’s your intuition trying to tell you that it’s the premise itself. That is, the whole idea is not right. Somewhere inside you know this. This is the egoic mind at play. You, (the egoic self) is unable to admit it to your True Self because now you have invested x amount of time, energy and resources into the plan. This is the narrative constructed by the ego. It will continue to create such stories to keep you in your current state. This is because it has created a position, and it intends to defend that position, no matter what. In fact, the dramatic tension in the situation strengthens its position. The recommendation: Cut-your-losses, now. No amount of strategising will make a wrong turn, right. Remember, the ego will always lead you astray.
Instead, ask why do you intend to pursue this course of action? Oftentimes, it is a combination of fear and paralysis. You simply don’t have the clarity to move forward, because you are stuck on the mental loop of this idea. To put it another way, you can’t see any other possibilities. You fear time is running out. So, you stick with it. You, that is, the ego, will defend this position because it believes your life depends on it. This is why the idea of change is excruciating to some. Because they feel that they will die. Understand this is the ego. In truth, it is the idea that dies, not you. And what is an idea? It is a mental construct. That is to say, a conceptual narrative. Nothing more, nothing less.
CLARITY & AWARENESS
So, where to go from here? Clarity is chief among decision making. But, clarity first requires Awareness. This is where the Triple A’s take effect. Awareness refers to self-understanding. This can take time. Two important elements for self-knowledge are patience and an open-mind. Stay fluid, and practice Presence. How? Try to notice the small things in daily life. How something made you feel. What caught your attention, and why? Keep a journal with your thoughts. Sometimes, clarity comes with hindsight. Stay alert to subtle messages. Secondly, it is important to take Accountability for your actions.
Accountability is to accept responsibility for your actions. It is the willingness to be accountable for your circumstances. Without taking accountability for your life, victim consciousness takes hold. A victim mentality is a personality trait of a person that believes they are at the mercy of others. This mindset sees themselves as a victim of the negative actions of others. Moreover, a victim considers themselves to be a target for misfortune. In other words, they blame everything other than themselves for their adversity. To clarify, there are instances where one may be a victim of wrongdoing by others, through no fault of their own. Even so, despite what happens to us, we must take responsibility for our own actions. There can be no other way to move forward. Adversity and being accountable are necessary for personal growth. Victim consciousness is also a mental condition that lives in the past. When, in reality, there is only ever the Present moment. Reframing the situation with a sense of perspective is useful. Accept challenges as an opportunity for growth. The remedy: Forgive, forget, and move on. The past can only live as a story you perpetuate. To be clear, this is a manifestation of ego.
The moral of the story is this: Take Action Now. Even if you are not completely confident about your values, or your life direction. Only by doing can you gain the experience you need. And, only by experience can you gain the clarity you need. Again, honesty is paramount. Deception will always set you back. Meaning, you will continue to manifest the same life experiences over and over. That is, until you learn the lessons behind them. There is one caveat here. That is, live within your means. Don’t confuse betting everything on black with taking action. Doing so will guarantee one of two things. Either you double your money, or you lose it. In closing, don’t kid yourself. Take decisive, considered action toward your desired life direction. Gain the clarity you need, through Presence.