Our changing culture is introducing new ideas and new ways of doing things that challenge our preconceived impressions about the way things are, including our versions of Our Stories. Peek observed, “Our Stories weigh a ton.” They make us less adaptable to a changing world.
Letting go of burdens from our past is an effective step toward embracing change. Instead of focusing on Our Story, we should be open to the future as a collection of ideas. We can view ourselves as everchanging, maturing individuals whose perceptions are in continual development.
By almost any measure, our standard of living is higher than most places on earth, yet our material success often leaves us feeling more alone and unsatisfied, in some cases even clinically depressed. Smith declares that “this despair is not a lack of happiness. It’s a lack of something else, it’s a lack of having meaning in life.”
The term “happy” is defined as “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.” Yet a state of happiness is often fleeting, it comes and goes depending on our circumstances moment to moment. Having meaning in our lives, however, is sustainable because it involves us being in service to something greater than ourselves; a cause, or a group united by a common purpose, a passion, or a belief.
“When we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves.”- Shelley Duval, Robert Wicklund
One of the first steps in developing our emotional intelligence is recognizing our emotions, and the effects they have on others. We can and should make an effort to objectively recognize our emotions so we can monitor and modify how we behave in particular situations. But that is easier said than done.
We all have an internal map that guides our behavior. Our internal map, or paradigm, is developed over the course of our lifetime. Our paradigm influences our choices and reactions to circumstances and events we experience on a daily basis.
Becoming aware that we operate from our paradigm is a huge step in self-understanding.
Why does it feel like our lives are becoming busier? We’re managing issues and maintaining relationships at work. We’re solving problems and nurturing our personal relationships at home. We try to be supportive, and at times we want to exceed the expectations of those we love.
1. Make a Plan. Starting out before knowing where you’re going usually gets you. nowhere. Take the time to journal - even if it’s just once a month and review those notes as you plan for the month ahead…
To change your behavior you have to become aware of your negative patterns and what rewards you may be getting from them. Once you’re aware, you can set up strategies to facilitate new behaviors to replace the old patterns. Participating in group seminars on Emotional Intelligence can provide the tools for rapid and lasting paradigm shifts.
To play this life well we all need to practice, whether we thing other things are more important or not. We need to practice patience, and listening, we need to practice empathy and understanding differing approaches and viewpoints. We need to practice practicing!
What do you do when you find yourself cornered by an energy Vampire? Garlic repels everyone, even the people you like and to be frank, who wouldn’t a stake through the heart kill… That solution is inadvisable at best. Being subjected to the routine energy sucking behavior of an energy vampire is, well, draining!