In our most natural state of being, we are all unfolding potential, expanding into consciousness. In our normal state of being, we’re holding ourselves down in more ways than we can imagine. It is part of our human behavior.
“Aiming for the stars is done with both feet on the ground”
To shift out of the normal and lighten our human conditioning, into whatever it is, we might envision to create, taking on full responsibility for ourselves is the only way. It is our first engagement. If we want to play the game of life and explore its potential, we need to be all-in. That means the good and amazing, the bad and painful, and the ugly but truthful.
Without this engagement, we simply fall victim to our own unconsciousness. Out of all the sufferings we know, unconsciousness is the source that hurts us the most.
“Taking on this responsibly was hard. Only later, I found out that my negatively biased belief about responsibly held me down. I gave the word and its meaning a lot of attention for quite some time. To what extend did I take on responsibility? I did what I could at any given moment, even if what I did was not my best. It was my best at that moment. I would have done better otherwise, but I didn’t. It seems we’re all together in that.”
I had to see responsibility differently, as this engagement involves love and choices. Not the mental and financial one. Yeah, that’s a whole different matter.
How would I take care of someone I chose to love. What would the best be I can wish for him or her? How would that look like when I’m courageous enough to look into the mirror? How exactly am I going to take care of myself, and what is it that I wish to be?
The following “to do” list helped me to inquire into, and formulate an answer to these questions. Not to brag about or advertise, but my very own personal answer, whatever that turned out to be. It seems only natural that at some point, we all need to figure this out. We can only sustainably take care of others to the extent to which we can take care of ourselves. Without this foundation, our taking care shifts to pleasing others, and we all have our reasons to do so. But some choices don’t require reason.
Love doesn’t require reason, it includes reason.
- Inform yourself about the five fundamental principles of human nature. Just allowing yourself to observe them in daily life might take several years. The more intelligent we are, the harder it seems to be. However, just being informed about them will do for now. If you want to give yourself a fighting chance, you’ll have to know about them.
- Reflect on what it is you need. It is very personal, and it isn’t all that easy to come up with a list. Just think about it for a while, and some things will surely come up. You can also look on the internet to find some inspiration. Many studies have been done on the topic, and many books have been written about it.
- Reflect a little on how you’re going to respect and honor your bodies. If “every body” feels honored and respected, they will all love to co-create your adventure. Their basic need is to be seen and expressed at some point. This gives us the first sense of boundaries, where no becomes more of the favorite choice. Saying no isn’t all that easy, and saying yes is more difficult than it sounds. Knowing how we will respect ourselves is knowing what we want to say yes to, and where we draw the line. It’s good to know, many choices are to be made through life, and they are the ones that carve out our adventure.
- Have a look at your character and your temperament. It is our temperament we want to favor, not our character. Our temperament is formed through what we loved doing in our early childhood, without any need for validation or result. Our character is formed through conditioning, rewards, and punishments, in some form or another. Studies show that the neurologic connections that make up our temperament are fixed and that those of our character can change. That is amazing news and Nobel prize material. Very often, our character overshadows our temperament and keeps us from finding what we truly love. (*)
- Finally, write down your answer in as many lines as you want. This will be your own personal engagement. Just like your dream, it evolves over time as we get to know ourselves a little better.
I’m well aware of the gap between this list’s simplicity and the time and effort it takes to actually do it. It took me several seminars and many years to come up with such a simple list. I learned the hard way that an adventurous life requires some understanding and preparation.
A solid foundation eliminates much unnecessary suffering for ourselves and our loved ones. You can freely download a little *pdf to figure out the difference between your temperament and character. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
(*) Many studies and models use the words temperament and character in various ways. I went with the analogy of the French dr. Jacques Fradin, who has done over two decades of research on his topic in neuroscience.
You can safely download the free *pdf below.