Friday, November 19, 2010

Self-management, Being Present and Assurance

Impatience sometimes leads us to make hasty decisions and to take actions that we later regret. The Seven Dimensions of Wisdom are sets of skills or competencies necessary for achieving life goals. These are represented by the acronym SOPPHIA, which means wisdom in Greek. S is for Self; O for Others; P is for Purpose; the second P is for Present; H is for Health; I is for Innovation; and A is for Assurance or faith. Three of these (self-management, being present, and assurance) are particularly connected to patience and interact with each other.

Self skills have two main components; self awareness and self-management. Self-Management is the ability to process one’s emotions effectively and to experience them without being driven to act impulsively. Often it is the feelings generated within us by our situations and other people that make it difficult to interact effectively with those situations and people. Feelings can create an internal pressure and become intolerable and we feel forced to act. Action taken under this duress is often not likely to produce the most desirable outcomes.

Being present is the opposite of that feeling of being unable to tolerate the feelings we experience in relation to particular situations or people. There is a sense of comfort and enjoyment in the very act of being; regardless of what is occurring. This is sometimes described as flow, or being in the zone by athletes and performers. The senses and the ability to take coordinated action are heightened, and concern about time seems to disappear. There is plenty of time to do what is necessary and desirable; but there is no extra time for boredom.

The third dimension of wisdom that is particularly relevant to these experiences is Assurance or faith. It is the ability to tap resources seemingly beyond oneself and others, to maintain resilience, endurance and courage; when all the senses and reason tell us that the situation is hopeless. This faith may be connected to religion, to a more diffuse spirituality, or to something even less clearly defined. It is the place we turn to when all other avenues are blocked.

Thus we can see how the skills of self-management, being present, and being assured in the face of challenges can work together to create patience; and lead to better decisions and actions, and more peace and enjoyment of being alive; despite the inevitable challenges and obstacles that we each inevitably face.

Dr. Bernard Brookes

1 comment:

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