After getting a handle on Your Current Circumstances, the first part of Action is getting Ready to Act. Inside of our subconscious mind we carry the record of everything we have learned from our parents, caregivers, teachers, spiritual leaders, peers, music and the media, as well as our history of successes and failure. It would be so easy for us to react spontaneously even foolishly, and then regret our actions. How great it is that we can think about our actions, find the gap between stimulus and response, and Be Proactive (rather than be reactive). We also need to be clear about what we can control and what we can’t – be serene about what we can’t change, and courageous about what we can.
Today I want to dwell a little more on our Preparation for Action – in three parts.
UP I CARE
1) You might recall from last week the following poem:
Can I just sit and stare
at the world from my chair
when in my head I think I’m there
And in my heart I’m UP, I CARE?
It may not surprise you to learn that the letters in the three words UP I CARE have a meaning. Notice also that it also contains the three consecutive letters CAR. There are parallels between these three words and CAR, the framework for these articles, but there are also differences. Here is what each of the letters of UP I CARE means:
- U = Use and Upgrade your Understanding of the Universe (including your understanding of Your Current Circumstances)
- P = Practice Personal Proactivity and Planning (part of Preparation to Act)
- I = Intentionally Incrementally Innovate and Improve (another part of Preparation to Act)
- C = Courageously use your Current Capacity, and Create future Capacity (another part of Preparation to Act)
- A = Always Act on your Agenda with Accurate Aim (implies you know what you need to do as well as doing it – parts two and three of Action)
- R = Rigorously Review Roles and Results (covers the Results of CAR, plus more)
- E = Engage Emotions – Evaluate Everything for Excellence (this is part of reviewing our Results, but it is also something we can do as we look at our Current Circumstances, asking how we feel about them, and thus forming part of our Preparation to Act)
After looking at our Current Circumstances, Preparing to Act includes our Evaluation (with Emotions engaged) of those Circumstances, as well as being Proactive, Intentional and Innovative, and using our Current Capacity. It is also where you decide what Role(s) you will play, which you can later Review.
2) You may recall last week that I also said “… our heart is really just another name for our subconscious and emotions are the manifestation of our subconscious’ communication to our conscious mind…”, concluding “If only there was a way to translate our emotions into something intelligible to our conscious mind.” Well after exploring the emotion of laughter, I stumbled upon a way to bring emotions to our conscious mind. I offer these thoughts as suggestions, rather than as something proven. I have found that there is an equation for Emotions as follows:
Emotion = Evaluation of Experience with respect to Expectations; where Evaluations have to do with our Values and the different values that go with different Perspectives or Roles we may be playing. We will return to this definition at a later time.
3) Before writing this article I revisited Benjamin Franklin’s list of 13 Virtues and another list of 100 Virtues to see which were relevant to Preparation to Action. I found Detachment useful, the ability to detach emotions from actions. I found many others and grouped them into the following broad ideas for your reference:
- Be open to reality
- Be open to the truth of your Current Circumstances
- Accept your situation
- Accept yourself as you are now
- Be willing to act
- Connect with your highest values, standards and ideals
We are ready to Act!
Points to Ponder
- In Your Current Circumstances, what do you want to change?
- Can you? Do you have what it takes?
- How long will it take?
Copyright © 2021 John Harris