It can be as simple as making a cup of coffee. That’s the procedure which one participant offered as an example of something he already does whenever he gets stuck or frustrated in his work. He explained that the process of making the coffee changes his focus, calms his mind, and allows him the space to gain enough distance from a particular problem to be able to solve it much quicker than if he were to remain at his desk. It was the ideal example of what this seminar was all about: look after yourself, discover what’s best for you, and use your discoveries to make life easier for yourself.
Make Sure You’re Okay (p.552)
This is the first step. It’s not always an easy one to take because there are certain judgements connected with putting ourselves first – we think we are being selfish. But that is not the case because, as long as we act with integrity, it is in everyone’s best interests for everyone to prioritise their own needs. It saves us having to look after each other unnecessarily; it makes everyone responsible for themselves and their own well-being; and it means that, when we need to, we can support each other from a much stronger, healthier, and more effective place.
Patterns, Procedures & Routines (p.460)
If you have identified a pattern of yours which you feel you would like to change, the best way to go about it is to have a procedure in place for when it occurs (which it will, again and again, because it’s a pattern). That way you can take immediate action without having to waste any time thinking about what to do. You can also predict when you are likely to need it. The more you use those procedures, the more they become routine, and before you know it you have a new, improved pattern of behaviour.
It All Comes Down To This (p.421)
Click on the above link and you will find a comprehensive list of the prominent factors of personal development. It’s a reference point whenever you are looking for some help in establishing a procedure for yourself. It includes such things as: Take support. Seek feedback. Relax. Breathe. Verbalise. Persevere. Observe. Reflect. Remain balanced. They are reminders of the kind of tools available to us when we need them. It is then up to us to shape those basic elements to make them work for us. (Here, for example, is a list I wrote in my very first journal entry to help me deal with my pattern of sometimes feeling low: And So It All Began… p.5)
As with all of this work, the theory is very simple, but in practice it’s not always easy. We have been doing things a certain way for so long that it can be difficult even to recognise some of our habits, let alone change them. However, if you’re curious about yourself, how you work, what your patterns are, and how you can improve yourself, then you will always make discoveries. Just like the example of getting up to make a cup of coffee, it may only take a change of scenery, or a few minutes spent doing something different, for the way forward to be revealed. But if that doesn’t work, try something else. Keep looking. Be creative. Find out what works for you.
Additional posts: Make Your Own Tools | Make It All About You | Self-Doubt & Emergency Procedures | Are You Still Breathing? | Keep Doing What Works | Routines & Patterns | Stay Grounded In Routine | My Routine Provides the Smile | Routine!