Sunday, December 28, 2008

How do you characterize yourself

What is a characterization of ones self?

How do you classifiy yourself?

What category would you put you in?

How would you summarize yourself, I mean if you were to write up a story that encapsulates all of you for say, (you get a grand total of 350 characters including spaces and punctuation) 

What would you say about you?
What would you say about you if your life depended on it... because it does.

The vast  majority of all our input is unconscious. There is quite a bit of debate over what is conscious and what is unconscious, debate over the definition of sub conscious... lots of semantic arguments, but at least one facet is incontrovertible:

The autonomic system.  Do you think about your next heart beat?

Are you planning ahead 3 months from now to remember to remind yourself to inhale at say, 11:33 am on a Sunday?

Weather you choose to be aware of it, or even if you choose to ignore it, or deny it...
The majority of your internal decisions  are unconscious, including the summary of yourself.

Don't think you have an internal summary?

Think again, it's not possible to NOT have one. All incoming data is classified at least into 2 compartments: 

Am I safe with this input? (do I have to run? duck? "Raise Shields" in Star Trek fashion?)
Is this new input something that's instantly recognizable to me as a benefit?

Don't you rapidly move to protect a bonus that falls in your lap?

There are other quick classifications our minds make that are beyond the scope of this blog post, but I'm attempting to establish that all of those classifications require, of necessity a point of reference.

And that point of reference is a summary.

When an addict, be it illegal substance abuser (something I personally know quite a bit about) or a cigarette addict (damn, that one describes me too...) considers quiting smoking...

What happens internally before that concept even gets an inch?

Inside of us, a part of us that isn't out in the open, tells us: "get real, that's not really gonna happen".

Tony Robbins has a tape that's found near the middle of the Personal Power set, I know, PP is his older offering, but it's the foundation for the rest of his work, that tape is called:

Values and Beliefs

There's a lot in that tape that's worthy of a blog post, but the one thing that really changed my life permanently is this hypothetical series of questions he asks us to ask ourselves:

Ask yourself What you value and prioritize them into
  1. This is my number one priority in life (say adventure)
  2.  This is second priority in my life (say confidence)
  3. and so on... (how about 'safety')
That last one kicked me in the lower abdomen. I really thought I'd answer the questions in a certain order... that's what I wanted to believe were my values.

If you'd asked me before I did this PP tape workshop, I'd have answered in the way I 'wished' were my values.

What horrified me was the sudden realization that safety was the recurring theme, I did not know I was that scared of things going wrong that I sought to do damage control by not letting myself get into a situation that might make me scared or humiliated or what have you.

This prioritzation was included in an invisible summary, and that summary virtually controlled what I was willing to risk

...and I didn't even know that there were any summaries that had such power over us.

I liken it to a sports cars powerful engine, and the summary is a 4 x4 block of wood between the gas pedal and the floor. With that block of wood there, no amount of depressing the gas pedal is going to let the engine over rev.

My summary was a governor to my life's engine, small wonder I didn't accomplish much those years before I became aware that the summary :
A) exists
B) was something I could fool with, alter, expand, move around a bit, remove all together.

I hope this post is useful to some people.

Merry Christmas, I forgot to post that two days ago.