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5 Vital Steps to Starve the Ego and Feed the Soul

5 Vital Steps to Starve the Ego and Feed the Soul

We are so fortunate to be alive and possess the potential to create the life we truly imagine. However, at times it may not feel this way due to the overwhelming stress and suffering that seems to take over our lives. How can our lives be so much different at times and what can we do to tap into our infinite potential and experience peace and stillness in the majority of our lives?

Ultimately, it comes down to whether we choose to live our lives according to the demands and delusions of the ego or make the conscious intention to align ourselves with the infinite soul. Choosing to always be conscious and to live according to the soul provides you with infinite possibilities and the peace, passion and purpose that you deserve as a human being.

Conversely, living unconscious and according to the ego results in stress, unnecessary resistance and much less desirable consequences that you do not deserve. As a unique and awesome human being, you deserve much more than the ego offers you. You have two alternatives to choose from and I’m positive you want what the soul has to offer you. You must simply slow down and journey into your inner being and decide between the two. Soul living offers you complete peace and infinite potential while ego living offers you stress and the ordinary life that you are seeking to transcend.

Honestly, I don’t think any of us choose to live according to the ego. I believe we get conditioned to live this way throughout our lives and never realize there is a more effective alternative.

Ego and the Soul

We are very familiar with both our ego and our soul. We come in contact with them daily. Our ego is that voice within us that demands everything and pulls us along a path that is difficult and filled with obstacles. The ego robs us of the peace that we deserve. Our soul is the deep, profound, and infinitely tranquil place within us that knows nothing but empathy, love, compassion and truth. The soul is who we truly are. Every human being truly desires to live the best they possibly can. However, the ego interrupts this process with endless mind games. It’s time to take back what is ours and quiet the ego.

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    The 5 Vital Steps

    I am going to suggest 5 vital steps you can take to begin living the life you truly desire. These simple actions will help you to slow down and venture into your inner world in order to make some important decisions concerning your continued journey of life. They will give you the peace, passion and purpose you desire.

    1. Connect with the Whole of the Universe

    Look around and take in the absolute perfection and miracle of the universe and contemplate your unique connection with the totality of it. You are part of this exquisite beauty just like all living beings. We are intimately connected with all of the universe at the cellular level.

    Just think, if the sun didn’t exist we would not be here.  If the clouds did not produce rain we would have no food and we would not exist nor would there be flowers or trees and so on. If everything did not exist the way it is now we would have nothing. Thus, we are part of this eternal cycle of existence that works in harmony to create this spectacular universe.

    Nurture this connection with nature and other living beings by getting outside and quieting your mind.  Always make time to enjoy nature and the company of other human beings, as well as animals of course. We all share this miraculous universe. Each part of the living cosmos deserves to be part of the universal puzzle just as much as the next.

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    2. Be Grateful for Everything You Have

    Our soul is content and appreciative of what we have and embraces the gifts that are available to us. I’m sure you have experienced the fact that the ego always craves more and more external gratifications. Our ego is insatiable. The ego’s path for you is to endlessly seek happiness outside of yourself which results in an endless cycle of wanting.

    Living according to the soul means that we always have everything we need and most importantly we are grateful to be alive. In reality, someone always has it worse and the soul has compassion for this fact and realizes how fortunate we are to be living in luxury compared to many others. When we awaken our understanding and compassion we are mindful of those people who may not even know where their next meal is coming from or if they can access clean drinking water.

    Our gratitude list is infinite when we choose to abide in the appreciation of the soul.  Make a gratitude list daily and express your gratitude freely to your loved ones.  You will be amazed how wonderful life is when we live it with a grateful heart.

    3. Embrace Change

    Change is the only constant in life and our soul realizes the impermanence of everything in the universe. Our ego consistently seeks control and tends to resist change and anything that interrupts its existence. Control is the ego’s greatest game and it will fight this illusion to the end. This constant fight only causes more suffering.

    Living according to the soul allows you to live graciously with the flow of life rather than constantly battling it. This, in turn, gives you great peace and equanimity. In your daily life keep in mind that change will consistently take place and approach it with acceptance and flexibility. Changes may surprise you and actually turn out to be incredible gifts.

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    4. Live with a Compassionate Heart

    Our ego often limits our focus and keeps us involved in our head.We are often trapped in our minds worrying, obsessing and creating more problems that just don’t exist. It stops us from actually connecting with nature and other living beings as discussed in #1 of this list.

    Compassion for all living beings stems from our connection to others and the understanding that every human being wants and deserves to eliminate suffering in their life and we need each other to accomplish this. We are just like everyone else and when we begin to realize this we begin to demonstrate compassion for all human beings. This compassion leads to a genuine intention to help others eliminate suffering and experience peace and happiness. When we make the decision to truly care about others outside our circle and help them in any way possible we begin to unleash the power of our soul and manifest incredible things in the universe.

    On a daily basis create an intention to help others in anyway possible. You will be amazed how many opportunities avail themselves. Just connect to this compassionate place within you and simply connect with others by saying good morning, opening the door for them, and listening to people that need to express themselves.

    5. Live Now

    Our egos trap us in the false realities of the past and the future. These DO NOT exist. There is no past and there is no future. This moment directly in front of us is all that exists. Our ego dies when we shine the light of the NOW upon it.

    The ego thrives in the past and future and will go to any length to keep us trapped in this delusion in order to avoid its death. Our infinite soul only knows the presence and is fulfilled in the vast ocean of the Now. Embrace the Now and you will truly know what it is to be genuinely alive  Right Here, Right Now is the most vital moment of our life.

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    The totality of life simply consists of this unique and eternal moment. Throughout your day make it a point to always bring your awareness make to the Now. It takes practice, however being mindful will give you unimaginable gifts in your life and will strengthen your connection to your soul.

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      Transitioning from Ego to Soul

      Going forward and making your transition from ego to the soul is not difficult and I want nothing more for you to experience the ecstasy of being guided by your magnificent Soul. Simply begin practicing the 5 steps I outlined above and you are well on your way to manifesting the life you truly desire.

      We are so fortunate to be human beings with the infinite potential to make a difference here on earth and have the incredible opportunities that we have. We must take advantage of them. Continue to focus and be aware of the ego’s impact in your life and how it manifests itself. Just watch it and become the witness of its behavior. This part of you that becomes the watcher is the pure consciousness of your soul. Tap into this part of you and allow it to spread throughout your entire being.

      Be mindful as much as possible and continue to gently remind yourself to come back to this powerful presence. This is the presence you want to guide you each moment. You will notice at times that your ego will become more demanding and appear stronger. This is okay. It is part of the process. You are not trying to block your ego or throw it away. You are going to make friends with it and gently let it know that you hear its little child-like voice making demands and taking tantrums. However, you have decided to live according to the soul today. This is a daily practice but you will notice that it gets much easier as you continue.

      Go and Do It!

      Now you are ready to experience the eternal journey of your Soul. This is a journey of freedom and unlimited possibility. You will experience the connection to everyone and everything in this Universe. Go forth and bask in the abundance of your soul and change the world in the process.

      If you are interested, try this quiz to find out if you are currently living from your ego or soul.

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      Richard Singer

      Author/Psychotherapist

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      Published on July 29, 2020

      How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

      How to Build Strategic Thinking Skills for Effective Leadership

      Have you been thinking of how you can be a more strategic leader during these uncertain times? Has the pandemic thrown a wrench at all your carefully laid out plans and initiatives?

      You’re not alone. The truth is, we all want some stability in our careers and teams during this disruptive pandemic.

      However, this now requires a bit more effort than before and making the leap from merely surviving to thriving means buckling down to some serious strategic thinking and maintaining a determined mindset.

      Is There a Way to Thrive Despite These Disruptions?

      Essentially – yes, although you need to be willing to put in the work. Every leader wants to develop strategic thinking skills so that they can enhance overall team performance and boost their company’s success, but what exactly does it mean to be strategic in the context of the times we live in?

      If you happen to be in a leadership position in your organization right now, you are most probably navigating precarious waters given the disruptions caused by the pandemic. There’s a lot more pressure than before because your actions and decisions will have a much greater impact these days not just on you, but also to the people who are part of your team.

      Companies often bring me in to coach executives on strategic thinking and planning. And while pre-pandemic I would usually start by highlighting the advantages of strategic thinking, nowadays, I always begin these Zoom coaching sessions by driving home the point that this pandemic has now made strategic thinking not just an option but an absolute must.

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      Assessing and making plans through the lens of a good strategy might require significant work at first. Nevertheless, you can take comfort in the fact that the rewards will far outweigh the effort, as you’ll soon see after following the 8 strategic steps I have outlined below.

      8 Steps to Strategic Thinking

      As events unfold during these strange times, you’re bound to feel wrong-footed every now and then. Being a leader during this pandemic means preparing for more change not just for you, but for your whole team as well.

      As states and cities go through a cycle of lockdowns and reopening, employees will experience the full gamut of human emotions in dizzying speed, and you will often be called on to provide insight and stability to your team and workplace.

      Strategic thinking is all about anticipation and preparation. Rather than expending your energy merely helping your company put out fires and survive, you can put the time to better use by charting out a solid plan that can protect and help you and your company thrive.

      Take the following steps to build solid initiatives and roll out successful projects:

      Step 1: Step Back, Then Set the Scope

      One of the things that leaders get wrong during their first attempt at strategic thinking is expecting that it is just another item on a checklist. The truth is, you need to take a good, long look at the bigger picture before anything else. This means decisively prioritizing and stepping away from tasks that can be delegated to others. Free up your schedule so you can focus on this crucial task at hand.

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      Then, proceed with setting the scope and the strategic goals of the project or initiative you plan to build or execute. Ask yourself the bigger question of why you need to embark on a particular project and when would be the right time to do so.

      You need to set a timeline as well, anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. Keep in mind that your projections will deteriorate the further out you go as you make longer-term plans.

      For this reason, add extra resources, flexibility, and resilience if you have a longer timeline. You should also be making the goals less specific if you’re charting it out for the longer term.

      Step 2: Make a List of Experts

      Make and keep a list of credible people who can contribute solid insight and feedback to your initiative. This could range from key stakeholders to industry experts, mentors, and even colleagues who previously planned and rolled out similar projects.

      Reach out to the people on this list regularly while you work through the steps to bring diverse insight into your planning process. This way, you will be able to approach any problem from every angle.

      Bringing key stakeholders into this initial process will also display your willingness to listen and empathize with their issues. In return, this will build trust and potentially pave the way for smoother buy-in down the line.

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      Step 3: Anticipate the Future

      After identifying your goals and gathering feedback, it’s time to consider what the future would look like if everything goes as you intuitively anticipate. Then, lay out the kind and amount of resources (money, time, social capital) that might be needed to keep this anticipated future running.

      Step 4: Brainstorm on Potential Internal and External Problems

      Next, think of how the future would look if you encountered unexpected problems internal and external to the business activity that seriously jeopardize your expected vision of the future. Write out what kind of potential problems you might encounter, including low-probability ones.

      Assess the likelihood that you will run into each problem. To gauge, multiply the likelihood by the number of resources needed to address the problem. Try to convert the resources into money if possible so that you can have a single unit of measurement.

      Then, think of what steps you can take to address these internal and external problems before they even happen. Write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Lastly, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different possible problems and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

      Step 5: Identify Potential Opportunities, Internal and External

      Imagine how your expected plan would look if unexpected opportunities came up. Most of these will be external but consider internal ones as well. Then, gauge the likelihood of each scenario and the number of resources you would need to take advantage of each opportunity. Convert the resources into money if possible.

      Then, think of what steps you can take in advance to take advantage of unexpected opportunities and write out how much you expect these steps might cost. Finally, add up all the extra resources that may be needed because of the different unexpected opportunities and all the steps you committed to taking to address them in advance.

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      Step 6: Check for Cognitive Biases

      Check for potential cognitive biases that are relevant to you personally or to the organization as a whole, and adjust the resources and plans to address such errors.[1] Make sure to at least check for loss aversion, status quo bias, confirmation bias, attentional bias, overconfidence, optimism bias, pessimism bias, and halo and horns effects.

      Step 7: Account for Unknown Unknowns (Black Swans)

      To have a more effective strategy, account for black swans as well. These are unknown unknowns -unpredictable events that have potentially severe consequences.

      To account for these black swans, add 40 percent to the resources you anticipate. Also, consider ways to make your plans more flexible and secure than you intuitively feel is needed.

      Step 8: Communicate and Take the Next Steps

      Communicate the plan to your stakeholders, and give them a heads up about the additional resources needed. Then, take the next steps to address the unanticipated problems and take advantage of the opportunities you identified by improving your plans, as well as allocating and reserving resources.

      Finally, take note that there will be cases when you’ll need to go back and forth these steps to make improvements, (a fix here, an improvement there) so be comfortable with revisiting your strategy and reaching out to your list of experts.

      Conclusion

      A great way to deal with feelings of uncertainty during this pandemic is to anticipate obstacles with a good plan – and a sure road to that is practicing strategic thinking.

      In the coming months and years, you’ll need to continue navigating uncharted territory so that you can lead your team to safe waters. Regularly doing these 8 steps to strategic thinking will ensure that you can prepare for and adapt  to the coming changes with increasing clarity, perspective, and efficiency.[2]

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      Featured photo credit: JESHOOTS.COM via unsplash.com

      Reference

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