Let’s stop committing crimes against ourselves(DW# 847)

The failure to live up to our ideal self comes at a great cost.

As Abraham Maslow says in Toward a Psychology of Being:

"The serious thing for each person to recognize vividly and poignantly, each for himself, is that every falling away from species-virtue, every crime against one’s own nature, every evil act, every one without exception records itself in our unconscious and makes us despise ourselves.

Karen Horney had a good word to describe this unconscious perceiving and remembering; she said it "registers." If we do something we are ashamed of, it "registers" to our discredit, and if we do something honest or fine or good, it "registers" to our credit. The net results ultimately are either one or the other—either we respect and accept ourselves or we despise ourselves and feel contemptible, worthless, and unlovable."

People of faith of course call this our conscience, our internal moral compass that guides us towards virtue: it makes us feel good when...

Continue Reading...

Write it down(DW# 837)

As we have been discussing, Ben Franklin had written out in detail what he wanted to achieve and grow within himself.

He was onto something.

 Researchers have found again and again that those who write down their goals are much more likely to achieve them (between 1.2 and 1.4 times more likely!)

 Writing down goals (rather than trying to commit them to memory)  has immense power because:

1)   Once goals are externalized and written down, they act as visual cues, they can be reviewed and accessed at any time (even if your brain is distracted by other things).
2)   if you just THINK about one of your goals or dreams, you’re only using the right hemisphere of your brain, which is your imaginative centre.

On the other hand, if you think about something you want to achieve, and then write it down, you also tap into the power of your logic-based left hemisphere.

 3)   By involving both hemispheres of the brain,...
Continue Reading...

Start and end the day with reflection(DW #835)

The next lesson from Franklin will be familiar to many of us in the Muslim faith who practice daily accountability for ourselves and our actions.

He started each day with reflection about how he wanted to show up in the world and ended each day with examining whether or not he lived up to his intention from the morning.

He asked himself simple questions to initiate the process of intention and accountability:  

In the morning he asked himself: "What good shall I do this day?"

And at the end of day this question:: "What good have I done today?"

So simple right?

I would add though, that it might be helpful to be slightly more specificin our daily intention and reflection.

For example:

Morning: What specific act of kindness shall I do today? To whom? How? At what time?

Bedtime: Did I do at least one act of goodness/kindness today? To myself, the family, my community, the world?

Continue Reading...

Develop daily rituals(DW #834)

One of the virtues that Franklin valued and continued to work on was the virtue of "Order". And this included order in his surroundings and how he spent his time.


This is what he said about valuing time:


"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." Benjamin Franklin


And so Franklin meticulously planned, tuned, worked and reworked his schedule to structure his days to fit in everything he wanted to achieve.


"The precept of Order requiring that every part of my business should have its allotted time…"


"Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time."


Many years later, time management experts believe that adopting daily rituals and habits is key to success in many areas of our lives.


So what do your daily rituals look like? What do you do in the morning? What is your bedtime rituals.


Developing and adopting rituals is a powerful way to...
Continue Reading...

Account for your time.(DW #832)

The next lesson we explore from Ben Franklin’s Moral Perfection Project is that he had a detailed diary of what he did at specific times of the day.  


From 6pm to 9pm, for example, his diary read: "Put things back in their places, music, diversion or conversation followed by examination of the day".


(Reading that bought a smile to my face. I could do with a time block for "putting things back in their places". How about you?)


It seems that all his time was accounted for, not just his work day. In this way, he appears to have balanced his work and his other commitments, including commitments to himself.


How about us? Do we have a set time for "diversion" or do we binge-watch Netflix after the workday is over?
Continue Reading...

Team up with an accountability(DW #831)

A most effective way to keep on track with your goals and plans is to buddy up with someone on the same path.


Just the idea of checking in with someone, sharing your goals and their progress is a powerful way to motivate yourself to keep at it.


How did Benjamin Franklin do this in his Moral Perfection Project?


He regularly consulted with a friend and discussed his progress. He was also writing his autobiography of course, in which he was sharing his process. The idea of sharing his successes and challenges no doubt motivated him to keep practicing what he wanted to nurture within himself.


So consider getting yourself an accountability buddy – whether it is a walking partner, someone you share what you are learning with or even a coach who keeps you accountable for the progress you are making on your goals.

Having a regular (even short) check-in/meeting with each other will keep you both motivated and on track.
Continue Reading...

Make it actionable through clarity(DW #829)

When setting goals for self-development, it is important to make them action oriented.


For example: "take a 5 minute time out when you notice your head beginning to throb" is clear and actionable as opposed to "try to be calm".


This is what Ben Franklin also did in his journals. For example, instead of just setting the goal of achieving "sincerity," Franklin further defined it with a sentence—"Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly".


Think of something you are working on right now. Is it clear? Will you be able to tell if you have achieved it on any given day?
Continue Reading...

Learning from Michelangelo(DW #823)

opinion self development Oct 21, 2020
Have you heard the story of how the Italian artist and sculptor Michelangelo worked?
Legend has it that when he saw a block of marble, Michelangelo couldseethe latent statue within that block of marble.
"All" that he had to do, he said, was to remove the bits that did not belong in the finished piece of work.  In other words, he would patiently work with his chisel to chip away at that which did not belong in the statue.
Amazing right? But how does this apply to our lives?

All of us have within ourselves, a masterpiece. A best version of ourselves. Some great and hidden potential.
Our job, like that of Michelangelo, is to remove the that which is hiding the best version of ourselves.
So, what little habits do we need to chip away at to reveal the most beautiful version of you hidden within that marble?
And, importantly, which one little habit can you let go oftodayto reveal...
Continue Reading...

Setbacks and relapses(DW #819)

We all have days when we fall short of our standards for ourselves and feel disappointed, even hopeless in our perceived lack of progress.

At least I do.

It is just part of the process. Set backs and relapses into old habits and ways of being do not signal lack of progress because:


Growth does not occur in one beautiful, straight line from where you are to where you want to be. Growth looks more like a jagged zig zag line than a straight up-and-to-the-right line.

As George Leonard tells us: As we negotiate our path of mastery and let go of old habits, we need to have a "willingness to take one step back for every two forward, sometimes vice versa."

Sometimes vice versa!! This means that sometimes, on the journey, it will appear that you are taking only one step forward and two or three or four steps backwards.

The trick is to recognize the back slide AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. And get back on track.

Continue Reading...

The Kaizen way to change(DW #814)

Continuing our conversation on being patient with the process of progress and growth, let us explore the Japanese concept of Kaizen
The word Kaizen translates as ‘continual improvement.’ It is improvement of the very small kind. Small tweaks and what we would call baby steps.

The philosophy of kaizen suggests that great and lasting success is achieved not through huge leaps, but rather by taking small and consistent steps.

These are changes so tiny and steps so small that they dissolve and overcome the mind’s resistance to change.

So think about it. What needs to change in your life? What is the first tiny TINY step that you can take to get on the path of progress?
Can you do one push up? Five jumping jacks? Walk 50 steps more than you normally do?

Sleep 10 minutes earlier?

Get up 10 minutes earlier?

Eat one salad leaf?

Do five minutes of meditation?

If so, please do this today. And once you do, you are officially on the path of progress.

Congratulations. ...

Continue Reading...

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.