Sunday, 5 August 2007

How to Practise What We Preach

I have just finished reading through my journal from several months ago and noticed some very interesting things.

Whilst reading my journal I noticed that I have some very well developed intellectual beliefs about how the world works and how I should act in life. For example, I know that logically nothing makes more sense than dedicating myself to the greater good, yet when I evaluate my current life I see that I am not always living congruently with this belief.

What is going on here?

I believe intellectual models of the world and a person's beliefs can be two seperate entities. This explains how some people act in completely different ways to how they say they act.

This also explains how there are some people who preach different self-help techniques yet apply none of them themselves, or how someone who teaches people how to be wealthy can have their company go bankrupt.

So how can you be sure you're not falling into a similar trap of self-delusion?

This answer is so incredibly simple.

1. Read back on the latest "self-help technique" you preached, wealth building tip you suggested, advice you gave to a friend, journal entry about how you should live, etc.
2. Honestly evaluate whether you are truly living to those words
3. If you're not, then carry out your own advice
4. See what happens
5. If it works then you have the right to preach it and if it doesn't then you've just fine-tuned your model of reality.

I believe carrying out exercises like this are very important. When there is a large gap between our intellectual models of the world and our everyday actions then there is something incongruent about who we are. We are no longer true to ourselves and our quality of being suffers.