(7 minute read)
I have a quote on my fridge as a reminder that everything we think, say and do today affects tomorrow:
Do something today your future self will thank you for.~ Sean Patrick Flanery (apparently, or an American real estate agent : D)
It’s not just our individual lives that are affected by our choices, but the future of other people and the planet. Often consumer citizens are not taught to consider wider perspectives (i.e., the latent and manifest consequences of our actions) in individualistic capitalist societies, because we might not randomly buy stuff we don’t need.
The issue with being too self-focused is that we lose sight of the fact we are part of something bigger.
It is great to achieve our self-defined goals, but it does not need to be at the expense of other people and/or the planet. In fact, research shows that our wellbeing is enhanced more when we focus on helping others.
We need to find balance and do the best we can in our current circumstances.
We do not live in a vacuum.
Positive psychology, humanistic psychology and coaching have been criticised for being individualistic. However, alignment theory, based on Ershad coaching, encourages us to look beyond the end of our noses.
This approach asks whether our intentions and behaviour are aligned with personal and cultural values and beliefs. It encourages us to look beyond our self-defined goals to envisage how our lives, other people’s and the environment may be impacted by our decisions.
How does your next action impact your life, the lives of others and the environment?
What could be the longer term consequences of your actions?
Could you choose differently?
Are there any other constructive actions you could choose, that could have more positive consequences for everyone involved?
Little changes can make a big difference.
How can you make a positive difference today?
Onwards and LOLwards xXx
Best possible future exercises
Positive psychology research and sophrology recommend visualising your best possible self/future to enhance wellbeing.
If you prefer writing, you could write as much as possible about what it means to be your best possible self in the present or future (depending on which temporal focus brings you most joy when you think about it).
Sophrology is a dynamic relaxation technique that enhances wellbeing through muscle activation and relaxation, diaphragmatic breathing and visualisation techniques.
Sit down comfortably. Take three slow, deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Try to make your exhale longer than your inhale.
Close your eyes and scan your body slowly from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Observe any areas of tension or pain without judgement. Just notice, relax, let go and move on.
Imagine/visualise yourself in a positive future scenario (e.g., your ideal day, best job ever, best playdate ever, delicious night’s sleep etc.)
Use all your senses to vividly imagine the positive scenario in as much detail as possible (e.g., imagine colours, sounds and aromas, notice the air temperature, incorporate taste and touch).
When you are feeling uplifted and energised from imagining the positive scenario, bring your awareness back to the room and open your eyes.
You could end with a wish for yourself and others (e.g., I wish peace, love and gratitude for myself, my family and friends and for the whole world).
Smile and enjoy the rest of your day xXx
Balance photo by Sebastian Voortman on Pexels.com
Rubbish beach photo by Lucien Wanda on Pexels.com
Bridge photo by Haydan As-soendawy on Pexels.com
other photos by me