Friday, October 1, 2010

Your Inner Wisdom

We all have a space within us that knows what to do. Call it gut instinct, guidance, essence, "the voice" or whatever name works for you. Generally, it is that still quiet place that keeps you on track, that let's you know that "yes, this is what you should be doing."

Some people can work almost exclusively at this level of inner wisdom. Most of us, though, don't spend much time here. Wewant to have access to this wisdom more of the time. In addition to regular meditation, here are a few tips to find that that inner wisdom more often--

1. Slow down. Take a few deep breaths. Take five minutes after or before a call or meeting. Just the act of breathing can clear the head.

2. Take a walk. Walking around the floor is OK, but heading outside is even better.

3. Go to the park. There is something about being in nature that is remarkably peaceful, and that puts things in perspective. If you have access to a park or a river nearby, take advantage of it. A beach would be great, but not many of us have that luxury.

4. Work hard, and then rest. If you are working on a problem, do all the legwork and research that you can and then step away. Completely. Find some ways to schedule unproductive time where you do nothing, or do something completely unrelated to work. If you find yourself on a plane, read fun books. I am stunned how often I get a good idea when I am doing something completely unrelated to work. It is as if the subconscious is working on it all along, and out pops an answer when you least expect it. Wisdom is apparently is a bit of a flirt!

5. Stop doing unimportant things. Most jobs have a lot of busy work, and sometimes we do it just because we feel like we should be. Stop it. You will get more done if you take a break, and if you cross the stuff off your list that you don't really need to do.

6. Role play. Ask to speak to your inner wisdom. Ask it what it would do and listen. Sometimes people pull out a pen and paper when they do this. Sometimes they just sit quietly. It can feel odd at first, but over time it can be a very effective way to access a wiser part of yourself.

If you have another method you like, keep doing that (and I would love to hear about it). This is meant to be playful and fun, not drudgery. If you are struggling, stop and get away from it. You can always come back to it later, when you are in the mood to experiment.

Have fun!


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