The Method: three exercises to transform your life, part 3

December 6, 2011 by Joshua
in Awareness, Blog, Exercises, Freedom, Leadership

The third exercise comes in two parts also. First you think of emotions you’d prefer to the ones listed in the previous exercise. Second you think of environments, beliefs, and behaviors to create those emotions.

You think of the emotions first because they are the roots of your values and what creates meaning and purpose. By listing what you can’t or won’t do in the previous exercise, you assure yourself you won’t do anything you consider wrong or don’t want to. By starting with your emotions, you know you’ll be doing things consistent with your values, meaning, and purpose.

The exercise

part 1 — conceive of new emotions

Write new emotions that you would prefer to get from this part of life you want to improve. In the examples from yesterday you might choose

Improving Public Speaking

New emotions: Excitement, fun, nothing to lose

or

Running a marathon

New emotions: Excitement, dedication, discipline

part 2 — conceive of new environments, beliefs, and behaviors consistent with your wiring, constraints, and each other

This part may require you to iterate and negotiate with yourself or whoever does the exercise with you. Your first choices of new environments, beliefs, and behaviors may not be as consistent with your wiring, constraints, and each other as you can get them.

But don’t worry. You’ll be able to resolve everything. With practice you’ll get consistency earlier.

By making them consistent with your wiring, you know they’ll bring you emotions you want. By making them consistent with your constraints, you know you won’t violate any of your values. By making them consistent with each other, you know they’ll create reward, which will mean you’re doing what’s right for yourself.

For example

Improving Public Speaking

New environments: On stage, in front of crowd
New beliefs: Speakers have high status, messing up is fun
New emotions: Excitement, fun, nothing to lose
New behaviors: Speak, practice on camera, in mirror, prepare

A cycle much more motivational for improving public speaking than before.

Running a marathon

New environments: Central Park, with other runners, good shoes
New beliefs: It’s a matter of training, less able people have done it
New emotions: Excitement, dedication, discipline
New behaviors: Distance running, eating well, reading about running

I hope you can see adopting new emotional cycles leads you to new directions, independent of where you started.

The next step is to implement the environments, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors to create the desired emotions, which will create feelings of reward. I’ll leave implementation for a later series of posts.

I will mention that doing this exercise with someone else adds tremendously to it. Sharing your needs and someone else’s perspective helps you see things you wouldn’t have otherwise — problems and solutions.

Now that you’ve done these three exercises, this exercise has you do all three in a group settting, which forces greater introspection, outside perspectives, discussion, and accountability in implementing your plan, which takes these three exercises to another level of effectiveness.

Learn to make Meaningful Connections

with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.

Including

  • Step by step instructions
  • Video examples of me and Marshall Goldsmith
  • An excerpt from my book

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2 responses on “The Method: three exercises to transform your life, part 3

  1. Pingback: The Method: three exercises to transform your life, part 2 | Joshua Spodek

  2. Pingback: The Method: exercise to transform yourself | Joshua Spodek

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