How Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
Most folks go into what I call “advice mode” when someone talks to them about their problems. Want to have a neater house? Get a new dustmop! Want to be in better shape? Try this new exercise program! Want to lose weight? Try this diet!
The truth is, we are fixated as a culture on the idea that knowledge will change us. Hey, knowledge is all well and good but don’t you think most people already know what to do to lose weight? Eat healthier and exercise more–right? We may quibble about exactly what to eat and how to be more active but that’s the gist of it.
So, people know what they’re supposed to do but don’t do it. Why?
People don’t do what they need to do because they don’t have strong enough feelings motivating them to do it.
That’s why, in therapy, I focus on getting people into a state which will help them get done what they want to get done. When they have a powerful motivating state, most of the “problem” goes away.
I’m not a nutritionist or a fitness trainer so I’m not qualified to comment on what someone should eat or how they should exercise anyway. If they’re motivated propoerly, they’ll find out those things for themselves. My job is to help them motivate themselves and help them remove whatever is blocking them.
How Do You Do?
So, my friend…
I think a more interesting question for her might be not “What do I do with my life,” but “How do I do with my life”? Yes, I know that sentence doesn’t make sense.
In days of old, it was less possible to travel and communicate. Now, we can reach far-flung places in short periods of time and can communicate with millions of people in an instant. Much more is possible, so much more quickly.
If we’re fortunate enough to live in a decent economy and have resources available to us, we can choose what to do for a living. Many of these choices and opportunities were not available as easily in the past.
But were people less fulfilled? Less wise? It ain’t the ‘what, it’s the ‘how‘!
I think we are all presented with a variety of circumstances and situations in our lives–whether we’re a doctor or a farmer, plumber or a hypnotherapist, preacher or a janitor, rich or poor. So, the key may be how we respond to these situations rather than what we call ourselves.
How Do You Want To Be?
In my line of work, you quickly realize that much of helping people is attaching a resourceful emotional state to a context in which a client has had a problem. We help a client who’s had a fear of public speaking feel calmness in front of groups. We help a client who has had trouble in relationship access positive feelings that help him make better relationship decisions. We help a client who feels a sense of accomplishment when smoking a cigarette get attach that feeling to a healtheir behavior.
When you back up and take a larger perspective, the idea is to have positive emotional states available to you in all contexts. What I imagine is a system in place that automatically figues out what combinations of emotions would be useful for each situation and produces them for you automatically.
It’s fluid, flexible and sounds like fun!
Step in to it for a while. Imagine going through a variety of situations. As each one develops, some part of you scans all available emotional states, picks out the most resourcesful for you and pours them, in just the right porportions, into your body. Notice how it feels and how much more resourcefully you respond.
Now, a different situation. And another.
Pretty cool huh?
So, how do you want to be when you grow up?