TEN FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES: 2
(please read Principle#1, April 2010)
KEY PRINCIPLE #2
Clarity of Motives, Intentions, and Values= Clarity in Decision Making
Everyday we make 100s of decisions. It is impossible to move forward or take any step without making some kind of decisions. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, we face multiple choices. We must choose one direction over other options in order to move . Many of these decisions are simply routine and do not require serious analytical thinking and evaluation. Should I get up immediately or stay in bed few more minutes? What color of shoe should I wear today? Do I have time to eat breakfast?
Most of the time old habits and level of energy and hope in our current daily life will guide us through these decision making processes. Based on degree of hope for achievement during the day, our level of enthusiasm in making these simple decisions will change.
As circumstances in daily life become more complex in nature, our decision making process also require higher level of critical thinking and clarity. Clarity about the logical structure we need to follow and clarity about our motives and values. Also being focused on gaining more knowledge about the issues and conflicts we are trying to resolve. For example, what resources, and people will guide us in making decision about our field of study in college? What career is best choice based on our talent, passion, and needs? What factors are essential in finding the best dating match and future spouse? How we find friends, keep them, and enjoy their long term companionship? What step someone must take to become financially secure in short term and after retirement? Overall, how we are able to achieve higher level of emotional intelligence in dealing with authorities, supervisors, our children, and in intimate relationships? What is the best way to gain self-respect and avoid making repeated mistakes?
Clarity of motives, intention, and values are essential ingredients to succeeding in business and relationships. In any decision making process we must ask few key questions:
1. What is it that I am looking for?
2. What outcome I am anticipating or expecting?
3. What is my purpose in taking this action?
4. What are my real internal motives?
5. what are my true intentions?
6. Which values are guiding me in making this decision?
CLARITY OF INTENTION
Every decision that we make must be guided by a clear intention. Before we leave home in the morning , we set our intention to have a peaceful, and productive day. With this clear intention we will avoid all potential distractions, including toxic situations and people. If we are driving to our destination, angry drivers, and their finger pointing way of communicating will not distract us from our mission of being in peace. We keep focusing on having a productive day. We decide to have greater control in our life.
Creating powerful intention is critical in achieving expected outcome in making decision. It is a conscious choice to direct the mind. It is a desire to be free and clear from toxic emotions. For us to create a new reality, we need to have intention to guide our attention in a new direction. When the intention is not clear and Strong, our attention shifts from one goal to another and leads to disappointment and confusion. For example, if the intention is to attend school and advance our education, we must be clear about the reasons and benefits of this decision. We Frequently anticipate the outcomes and distance ourself from current situation and what we intending to change. Setting a reasonable time frame to achieve our intention in action is a main tool. Just having a good intention is not sufficient enough to make it happen in real life. We need to move from consciousness and dream to reality by calculating every step of the way. If our intention is to be fair and honest in interaction and dealing with people in daily life, we must be clear about time, place, needed skills, and interests of others involved. If the intention is to make money in a business interaction, be clear about it in your mind and to others. If you have mixed intention, to make money and still help others, reveal it.
Having hidden agenda is opposite of clear intention and true empowerment. One of the crucial sources of conflict and mistrust in relationships, business interactions, and politics is fear of hidden agenda. Couples lose trust in each other degree of honesty, if they sense hidden agenda and confusing intention. For example, Passive aggressive men or women have difficulties to express their needs and desires. As a result of this decision, one can not have a clear idea what the other person wants. Passive aggressive person does not have clear intention and appears having hidden agenda. This Person makes decision to use silent treatment and disconnection as a way to communicate his/her needs for love and attention from spouse.
In world of politics, using hidden agenda is a very popular technique. For example, during the election, each side attacks policies of the other side, without discussing real issues. They give public a detail reason, why attacking another nation’s policies, but the truth comes out in the form of hidden agenda which is not revealed to people. Sometime, people do not know the truth for many years and they live with consequences of false information based on politician’s’ hidden agenda.
Another source of confusion in decision making process is buried unmet needs. Lack of clarity about our unmet needs and desires set the stage for disappointment in relationships and building trust. For example, a person that has been depraved of true love and attention in childhood and now uses anger, manipulation to fulfill the unmet need for love. This individual needs affection in a loving relationship, but it comes in a form of being needy for approval, controlling, and moving from relationship to relationship. It is empowering to discover our hidden and unmet needs and unfinished businesses. Being clear about needs and learning healthy ways to fulfill them, will remove the obstacles in making clear and long lasting decisions. This is a crucial step to remove unnecessary emotional pain in any relationships from personal to business.
CLARITY OF MOTIVES
There is a calculative reason behind any simple or important decision we make. The decision is made when our brain formulate a beneficial reason for it. After the final order from central intelligence, we execute it in action. For example, brain evaluate the benefit of which phone call we should return in a giving time. We anticipate something good as an outcome before we choose which person we like to contact.
The motive is the reason why we are going to take action. In criminal law the motive is the reason behind the commission of the offense. For example, your spouse has a 2 million dollar life insurance policy that pays directly to you in the event of death, than you have a possible motive to kill your spouse. Sometime our real and internal motives are different from what we present to people. The real reason for inviting a group of friends to our home for a formal dinner is to sell our products to them in near future. However, our presented motive is, social interaction and keeping in touch with them.
We must be in touch with our mind, body, and emotions in any action and interaction to discover our true and honest motives. Self-awareness and listening to our inner voice will guild us to the real motives in relationship, business interaction, and friendship. The reason for our action is simply our benefits in that interaction, which is the motive behind the action. Seeking benefits as a base of our motives is natural, but hiding and manipulating our reasons are indicators of dishonesty and hidden agenda. Ultimately, clarity of motives will lead us to higher level of detoxification in emotions and thinking which help to discover the true-self and inner peace.
We participate in different situations for many known and unknown reasons, including fulfilling needs, desires, wants, gaining power and control, and helping others. Sometimes simply our motive is to fulfill our unmet needs. As long as it is clear to us and we are open about this motive without harmful intention is acceptable. Sometimes we have multiple needs to fulfill. For example, someone decide to go to church for spiritual reason, to be part of community, socialize, and find an intimate companionship. Regardless of our reasons and motives, we are seeking benefits and comfort. Sometimes these benefits are for personal gains, spiritual connections, or simply helping others. Our motives as a force to push us to act are driven by our values and beliefs. However, regardless of our different values, we do things based on gaining good feelings. For example, Mother Teresa and Bill Gates are driven by the similar force. They are both driven by gaining good feelings in their journey of life and achievement, with different values. Bill Gates was motivated to build the most successful company, Microsoft, and he became the richest man in early 2000. On the other side, Mother Teresa dedicated her life to poor and disadvantage people all over world, without any financial motives. Regardless of their different style, ultimate motive was to gain good feelings for themselves and other people. It was a conscious decision.
One thing is clear to us that everything we do, we do it either out of our desire to avoid pain or to create good feelings. For example, we go for a walk, watch movies, exercise, socialize, and give to others, just to feel good. A young student is motivated by a strong belief that attending medical school for many years to become a physician will make him/her feel good. Fear of going to jail and pain of legal problem and social humiliation will motive people to avoid the behavior. To avoid the pain of paying fine, we avoid speeding and passing the red lights.
Lets look at a more complicated situation. If we avoid taking action to lose weight, or fail to follow through with our decision, simply because at the time, we associate more pain to changing our regular eating habits and working out 5 days a week. In that moment of making decision, we wrongfully believe that changing eating habits is not going to help us to loss weight and we will fail. We are not willing to risk our current situation for something that we need to work hard to gain it. In this case, our brain does not have all the necessary information and strong motivation to calculate a right plan of action and create long lasting good feelings.
Also, it is true that in some circumstances, pain will motivate change in our behaviors. If someone is in abusive relationship for a long time, the emotional and physical pain eventually will motivate her to leave the relationship. In society, when people are under a long term painful political, and financial pressure, they form new organizations, coalitions, which eventually led to new level of political changes. Even in these situations, the ultimate outcome is good feeling for individuals seeking change.
If the goal of life and direction of our motives is to create good feelings, clarity of motives and intention will facilitate this purpose.
CLARITY OF VALUES
The common understanding is that knowledge is a prerequisite to making right decisions. Most people know the differences between right and wrong, but still have difficulties to make proper decision. Knowledge without clarity of values is rather powerless. For example, in modern society individuals using illegal drugs, smoking cigarette, and eating junk food have access to information regarding the dangerous effects of these habits on their health. If healthy life style is not on the person priority list as important value, knowledge alone will not create the desirable change. In order to create a change, we need to attach a meaning to the behavior. The meaning is a given value to our decision. For example, based on our value system we choose to give financial support to a charity organization. Our meaningful decision based on value system is calculated long before taking action to give money to selected charity group.
Values are our current estimations of what we hold to be important. When we form a value system, we are creating a guideline for how to live as an individual. Our life style, list of priorities in daily living, and decisions are based on the consciously determined value system. Clarity and consistency in our value system should make decision making easier and more outcome oriented.
Prioritizing our values is the most important step. Watching television is more important to us at night time or going to a social event, visiting friends and networking for our business. Peace and relaxing life is more important or adventure and creating wealth. For example, you have an opportunity to move to another country which offer you more money to work, but you must leave your family and friends for two years. what do you do? How do you make a decision? Financial security and adventure is your priority or being close to your friends and family members. You may evaluate at the time that making more money is the priority in this stage of your life. You make a decision that creating wealth and having adventure is a major part of your life style and peace and comfort comes second on the priority list. Knowing about the person’s values hierarchy, gives us a fair chance of anticipating their behavior and action.
Few of our current values will change as our priorities change. We should be ready to reevaluate our current values and be open to change them as necessary. In one stage of our life gaining power and accumulating wealth become important. In another stage peace and gaining spiritual inside become our priority. Beside reevaluating and changing few of our values, the core values for a person with high level of mental and emotional stability will remain the same. If someone value justice and equality for all, there is a great change that this value will guide him/her in all decision making processes. To build our true-self , it is necessary to form core values and follow them in action.
VALUES AND NEEDS
Resolving conflict between values and needs is our ultimate challenge in making decisions. For example, in business in order to make money you are advised to hire cheap labor and pay a worker with family minimum wage. On the other hand, you value fairness and justice. Your moral values guided you to be honest, but in your business plan and marketing strategies you are not honest with customers about the products and services. In order to get a date, a person end up lying about his education, level of income, and past relationships. His need for companionship contradict his values for honesty. The art of decision making is to create a balance between needs and values. Achieving alignment means that our needs, values and beliefs reaches highest level of consistency.
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