The key to happiness and balance is right with you, just learn to use it – Part 2 of the thinkmaya framework

This is Part 2 of the Series titled “The key to happiness and balance is right with you, just learn to use it”. In Part 1 of the series, I told you exactly WHY we need a framework and introduced you to the “thinkmaya framework” foundation.In this Part 2 (here) of the series, I will talk about HOW we prepare ourselves to be able to apply the framework successfully.This is what I call Framework 101, a prerequisite for the Framework post. In Part 3, I will, with your help (see my request below), introduce the framework and discuss a few of it’s applications

Image by foretz

When we let our emotions, thoughts and actions communicate honestly with each other, they hold hands and walk together, leaving us in the Happy Core – free and joyful. Ready to live the present and explore the future. It means that we are aware of what we are doing, feeling and thinking. And those are conscious choices, in line with our basic life values and principles.

The “thinkmaya framework” essentially deals with learning how to pull yourself back into your Happy Core.

Study the accompanying picture. At any point in time, you might be in one of the regions 1- 6 . 1, 2 and 3 are the pure regions where you are being completely emotional, completely intellectual and completely physical. Regions 4, 5 and 6 indicate the overlapping regions. When we are faced with different situations in life, we move away from our happy core into one of these regions. This is where the thinkmaya framework comes in.

The framework works like a GPS. You give it your current coordinates. Then you tell it where you want to be. The GPS or my framework will tell you HOW to get there. In order to apply the framework and pull ourselves back into the Core, I  will repeatedly tell you to engage in facilitating communication between your heart, mind and. But how exactly do we align these inner voices?

When I first started this post, I assumed it would be the second and last one in the series. However, when I turned around and put the explanation of the framework together, it appeared so clinical. I could not possibly present a broad based framework for you without preparing you some more in order to make sure you have the opportunity to internalize the framework, as opposed to just read it. Hopefully, it is a journey for you all as it is for me. And in many ways, your comments help me write and rewrite my future posts – and I cherish that. I apologize for my change of plan but I hope you will eventually see value in my decision.
If you are too busy working on the happiness and balance in your life and do not have the time to read the complete post, just skip over to the slideshare at the end of the post …

[ Before you begin, make sure you have the right ingredients in your life and learn some counter intuitive way to kick start your happiness. And then, work on that honest internal communication by following the pointers below ]

In the simplest terms, achieving honest internal communication is like watching a bunch of rambunctious kids and putting them in their places. And these are my pointers for being able to tame those inner voices:

  1. Know what your core values, principles and dreams in life are. Write them down. And look at them often. I have a mindmap which essentially is a representation of me and my values. I look at it every time I am making small and large life decisions, to see if my decisions truly align with my core values, principles and dreams.
  2. Develop a relationship with yourself. What you call this relationship with yourself is immaterial. It should however be one of love, respect and empathy. I liken it to your relationship with a 3 year old that you really love and care for. If you really want to work with yourself to improve your life, then you have to be your own best friend and a very accepting one at that. Talk so you will listen and listen so you will talk. Getting yourself to listen and talk will be key on your list of priorities.
  3. Monitor yourself. All the time. Make it a habit. Step back every so often and watch yourself like you watch another person. Question your every move. Your every thought, action and emotion. Interrogation is the only sure shot way of keeping yourself accountable. This is something that develops over a long time. But when you have continued to ask yourself the questions long enough, you reach the core motivation behind your expressions. Once you have hit that core you are able check and see if what you are on the outside aligns with your core values and principles. It sounds hard at first, but all it takes is a little time and discipline. Soon enough, you don’t even notice the interrogation anymore.
  4. Accept that your thoughts, actions and emotions will not always be aligned with your principles. If they are not aligned, do not go off on a long wound battle with yourself. The whole point of watching yourself is to make your life better, through constant feedback. Empathize. Embrace the real you. Always give yourself the time and space to change. Work on changes in small steps, in little increments.
  5. Be prepared to work with yourself. Committing to working with yourself is like committing to taking care of a 2 year old child that insists on making all the decisions assuming he/she has all the knowledge. You will think wrong thoughts and have deplorable feelings time after time. You have to be understanding but stern with yourself. You have to correct yourself over and over again. You will need a mountain of patience in order to do this consistently.
  6. Call yourself out on small and big mistakes alike. There are really no excuses. Letting yourself go for doing or saying “little things” is the point where you get off on the wrong side of the road. And then, it is very easy to lose your way.
  7. Give yourself time and be reasonable with yourself. Guess what, nobody changes in a day. Understanding that you did or said something wrong is a big part of the game but making the change deep within yourself is the bigger part of the game. You are an intelligent individual, so treat yourself as such. If you want to change something about yourself, don’t just ask yourself to change but give yourself the right reason to change. A reason that resonates with your core passions, principles and values.Negotiate with yourself if the going gets hard. Find creative ways to motivate yourself.
  8. There are no absolutes. No right or wrongs. Make sure you look at every action, emotion and thought in context. Always go back to the core motivation to decide if what you did was wrong.

Try the above pointers and let me know what you think? Do these work for you? How do you keep the lines of communication open with yourself? And how do you ensure you are honest and true to yourself?

Here are a list of people who already shared some ideas from last week. I am grateful to them for they have really fueled my thinking and I want to give them their due credit:

Avani-Mehta – “One answer that popped is by staying true to our values…”

Shamelle – “So many of us get caught up in looking outside ourselves for happiness when, in fact, happiness is something that you can choose at any time.”

Stacey – ” I think of this core connection as synchronizing your authentic voice.”

Jean – “They realize that the quality of our lives depends on how we focus our energy and our attention. They try to align their thoughts and actions with their values. They know how to motivate themselves to take action.”

Mare – “It’s so true that we have these three different voices all speaking from a different perspective that we need to coordinate. I also think that each one of us has a tendency to listen more to one over the other two.”

Here is the slideshare for this post (best viewed full screen):

Here is a request I have from all of you to help me with my next post where I share the framework.

Think about a situation you are having an issue with and share the following with me:

1. What is the situation ?

2. What are you feeling, doing and/or thinking about it? (What is your present region based on the framework pic above?)

3. What do you ideally want to feel, do and think about this problem? (What is your ideal destination based on the framework pic above?)

Share it with me here and I will address how the framework would recommend going from 2 to 3.  If it is not something that you want to put in the comments section, just email me at m@thinkmaya.com