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Lead yourself. The rest will follow.

You want to make a difference with your life, but you have too many commitments. You’d like to make more of a contribution, but your circumstances won’t permit it.

Are you living the life that you want to live? Are you being true to yourself?

What’s preventing you may be your mind.

Consider that you are being led

As you read, your mind is regulating your posture, your breathing, your body temperature, heart rate, all your bodily functions.

What you may not appreciate is that while your mind runs your physical survival, it will also run your relationships. Actually, unchecked, it will run your life completely, in accordance with its conditioning and its perspective, which is your survival.

At first sight, your survival would seem a good perspective for your mind to have, but its survival programming took place thousands of years ago when what was appropriate then for your survival, may not be as relevant to you now.

Now, for example, it might be advantageous for your personal progress and success in life, to speak out, but you remain silent; it might be appropriate for you to take actions beyond your comfort zone but, you decide not to. You set an ambitious goal, and a strategy to achieve it but find, yet again, that you are distracted by the ‘urgents’ in your life that arise – parental responsibilities, paying the bills, doing the shopping etc.

In fact, if you didn’t have this incessant stream of ‘urgents’ to deal with, you could get to some of your ‘importants’ and make a difference with your life, but, you never seem to be able to.

If you wish for a certain life but find that you are living another, or that you experience repetitive negative patterns in your life such as; always being poor, procrastinating, no good in relationships, and never quite successful, it is a fair bet that your mind is running you, and that you are not running it.

Your mind is a poor master

Unmanaged, your mind will run you and your body according to its beliefs, based on its perceptions of your past experiences.

For example, if you were laughed at or teased when younger for opening your mouth in the playground or in the classroom when you thought you were safe, you will be likely in later life to have to overcome a fear of public speaking, or making presentations.

When pursuing your objectives, your mind will often use your circumstances to prevent you from stepping out and risking yourself. Your circumstances won’t be ‘right’. If only you had the right circumstances, then you would be successful. Let’s wait for the right circumstances.

You experience these negative patterns because your mind is keeping you in its comfort zone and leading you and your life in a way that you have not consciously chosen. Your mind is using you and actually, you are being inauthentic – not true to your Self.

But an excellent servant

Your mind is a poor master but an excellent servant. If you manage it properly, you can use it to pursue the life that you actually want to lead. You will have to observe it, manage it, and take the actions it proffers for you to achieve your objectives.

Your mind will also enable you envision your desired future; identify your objectives; configure your life to achieve them; choose the best actions to take and urge you to take them – much easier than when it urges you not to take them.

But you have to use it and not let it use you. This is the essence of Self-Mastery.

Self-Mastery frees You to lead – yourself and others

Self-Mastery is the state of being true to your Self, free to use your mind rather than your mind using you.

The first step is to commit to yourself that you will do what you came here to do; that you will seek to fulfil your purpose.

The next step in your self-mastery is awareness – being aware of your mind at work, and how it works. Aware that it will relentlessly attempt to distract from your purpose with seductive thoughts complaining about others, or your circumstances.

Awareness that the thoughts in your head are not who you are. Awareness that the perception that you wake to each day is not actually how it is but is just the perception your mind chooses to present you with. Awareness that a different perception can be envisioned and the thoughts in your head transcended (For a more detailed explanation of Awareness see post ‘Are you aware? Does it Matter?’).

Once you begin to be aware of and observe your mind, you can escape its tyranny by identifying your negative thoughts and life patterns as they arise, and use your mind to create the life to which you are called, and the life that matters.

For that, there is one person You have to lead. Lead that person and the others will follow.

By Christopher Jones-Warner

Recommended further reading:

  • The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

  • A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle

  • Awareness - Anthony de Mello

  • The Little Book of Big Change - Amy Johnson PhD.

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