Friday, March 18, 2011

Self-Reflection and Meta-Emoting

"Resentment, anger, frustration, worry, disappointment—negative emotional states, justified or not, take a toll on your heart, brain and body. Don't let justified emotions rob your health and well-being."
Doc Childre and Howard Martin

In today's post I want to explore the incredibly important skills of meta-cognition and meta-emoting...

So what is Meta-Cognition?

Meta-cognition is cognition about cognition. It's thinking about your thinking. It's an important part of self-reflection.

Self-reflection involves processes such as feeling an emotion, experiencing it and taking the time to think about and understand it.

Thinking about your feelings and thoughts, reflecting on your behaviours and emotions and deciding whether you support them or want to change and improve them is key to life intelligence. You can produce amazing results in your life by thinking positively and generatively about your emotions and behaviours and then using the NLP Success Formula to change and adjust:
  1. Clearly know your Outcome
  2. Take congruent Action
  3. Sensory Acuity – Learn from Feedback
  4. Behavioural Flexibility – Change and adjust to achieve your Outcome

Creating your reality...

You can create hell on earth in your own life in the same way. It's the same process, just different content. For example, if you feel angry about something -- that is, if you do angering of your self over something -- and then you get angry about the anger, you set yourself up to spiral out of control. The angering about anger is a meta-emotion - an emotion about an emotion. You need to be very careful about the meta-states you are generating in your mind and body. On the other hand, if you were to feel entertained by the anger, you would find the anger dissipating and not so impactful on your mind, body and behaviour. It's a much more useful meta-state to be in.

As highlighted in previous posts, it's all about outcome and purpose. What and how do you want to 'do' yourself? Stop, self-reflect, and get clear about how you want to think and feel in your life, on a moment by moment basis.

The capacity to do meta-cognition is vital for success, life enhancing and deep happiness’ing. Going 'meta' to yourself and observing your behaviour, observing the patterns and quality of your thinking and emoting, is a skill you want to practice and practice and hold as a high process value.

Really value this and make it salient in your life. Make the time and space in your life to think about your thinking and feeling. It's a key strategy for enhancing your life.

life enhancing smiles,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Values In Action - Strengths and Virtues

“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses”
Marilyn vos Savant
One of the key insights of Positive Psychology is that happiness and satisfaction are markedly increased through the exercise of virtues and strengths.

Positive Psychology has identified six core virtues:
  1. Wisdom and knowledge
  2. Courage
  3. Love and humanity
  4. Justice
  5. Temperance
  6. Spirituality and transcendence

These core virtues in turn are comprised of 24 strengths or 'Values in Action'. The research has shown that each of us has relatively enduring preferences and propensities for certain of these strengths and that satisfaction and happiness are increased whenever we utilise these strengths and values in our daily lives.

The creators of the field of Positive Psychology, Prof. Martin Seligman and his colleagues, have developed a test to measure your key or signature VIA (Values In Action) strengths. You can access the test from the following web page:

once you have registered, select ‘VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire’.

Take a moment to complete the test and determine your top 5 or so strengths. Alternately, look through the following list of strengths and pick out 5 that really speak to you; that you consider to be the most important and valued for you.

VIA Strengths
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity
  • Open-mindedness
  • Love of Learning
  • Perspective
  • Bravery
  • Persistence
  • Integrity
  • Vitality
  • Love
  • Kindness
  • Social Intelligence
  • Citizenship
  • Fairness
  • Leadership
  • Forgiveness & Mercy
  • Humility & Modesty
  • Prudence
  • Self-Regulation
  • Appreciation of Beauty
  • Gratitude
  • Hope
  • Humour
  • Spirituality

By focusing on these and other strengths and virtues in your life you can build emotional resources and resilience. Using these will increase and strengthen your ability to enhance your life and create happiness both in your own life and the lives of others.

Strengths based living is definitely a crucial step to life enhancing, so add it to the tools you use to make the most of your life. Look at all the contexts of your life and find ways to enhance them using your key strengths and values. You'll make a positive and fantastic difference.

life enhancing smiles,