Aligning your daily actions with your best self
by the Calm Clarity Team (Due Quach and Gina Scarpello), April 3, 2018
Introducing the Calm Clarity Manifesto
We are starting a new Brain Boosting Broadcast series to explain the twelve elements of the Calm Clarity Manifesto, which we use to guide the Calm Clarity team and which we also share with alumni. The manifesto is intended as a reminder of simple ways to activate and prime Brain 3.0 whenever we recognize that we are swept up in Brain 1.0 and Brain 2.0. In this way, we foster Brain 3.0 in ourselves, in each other, and in the people and organizations with whom we interact. Bringing these elements into conscious awareness on a regular basis supports a more complete shift into Brain 3.0. Our intent is that by sharing the manifesto and exploring each of the twelve elements, this series of Brain Boosting Broadcasts can serve as a guide for you on your own journey to embodying the highest expression of yourself by shifting more and more into Brain 3.0.
Element #1: Vision, Purpose, and Intention
Every decision I make and every action I take is guided by my vision for my best self and connecting to a greater purpose. I take time to set intentions in meetings, interactions and communications to activate Brain 3.0.
A vision for our best selves and connecting with a greater purpose provides a “mental container” that guides our decisions and actions
Setting intentions activates Brain 3.0 enabling us to bring more wisdom and presence into meetings, interactions and communication
Activating Brain 3.0 reduces overwhelm (Brain 1.0) and distracted mind-wandering (Brain 2.0) and helps us bring a sense of calm, contentment, and joy into how we carry out our to-do list
Why Vision, Purpose, and Intention matter.
Do you ever feel like you are frantically running around trying to complete your to-do list like a chicken with its head cut-off? In this age of continuous activity and hyper-busy-ness, do you ever have the sense that instead of you managing your schedule, your schedule is actually managing you? When you feel this way, it’s a sign that you are operating in Brain 2.0 (reward chasing, fear of missing out), and/or Brain 1.0 (self-preservation and fight-or-flight), instead of Brain 3.0 (self-mastery and well-being).
Whenever this occurs, the first element of the manifesto, Vision, Purpose, and Intention, provides a simple way to activate Brain 3.0 and bring more presence, wisdom, calmness, and contentment into your daily life. First, take a moment to envision the qualities of your best self—the highest expression of who you are. Then take a moment to clarify in your mind how the purpose of the activity (whether it be a meeting, email, article or other activity) connects to the greater purpose of the people or organization you are doing it for. Then set an intention to fulfill the vision and purpose through the activity and visualize how expressing your highest self can positively impact what you do and how you interact with other people involved in the process.
When you take a moment to do this, you activate Brain 3.0, and an intuitive “container” or “structure” for how to best carry out the activity in a way that fulfills the vision and purpose naturally emerges, enabling you to approach the activity using your fullest capacity and gifts. In contrast, when you don’t take the time to consciously shift into Brain 3.0 before diving into activity, you are more likely to lose focus, get distracted, and mindlessly react to whatever triggers come up. This can keep you entangled in patterns where you experience near constant states of worry, stress, and tension (Brain 1.0) which, in turn, prompts you to escape the stress through reward-chasing and immediate gratification (Brain 2.0). This pattern, if unattended to, can contagiously activate similar patterns in the people around you.
By consciously choosing to connect to the greater vision and purpose of the activity before getting started, and setting intentions that this purpose be manifest in what you do and how you communicate and behave, you activate and strengthen Brain 3.0 in yourself and help activate Brain 3.0 in the people around you.
Vision, Purpose, and Intention in Real Life
A Personal Example: Starting Work and Meetings
When I start work, I often notice how easy it is to get sucked right into Brain 2.0 when I feel the impulse to check my phone, texts, emails, and Facebook right away. When I become aware of this, I take a couple of deep breaths to create some space, and I remember what it feels like when I’m at my best - when I am compassionate, patient, kind, generous, when I can deeply connect with another person, and when I’m inspired and joyful. I then set the intention to bring who I am in Brain 3.0 to my activities throughout the day as much as possible. Before I go into meetings, I envision my highest self engaging with the highest selves of all the people I am meeting. I remind myself of the vision of the organization I represent and the organization my counterpart represents, and then I reflect on how they are aligned, and how this meeting can help us fulfill the visions and missions of our organizations. Then I consider the purpose of the meeting and set an intention for the purpose to be fulfilled by us expressing our best selves during the meeting. Then I trust that my showing up with presence and receptivity will enable a deeper, more meaningful connection to form, and that the best outcome will unfold. This makes the meeting more productive, engaging and enjoyable. I’ve noticed when I don’t do this, my monkey mind gets more hyperactive because I easily get triggered into Brain 2.0 or Brain 1.0.
Call to Action
Do an experiment: explore what unfolds when you take time to envision your best self and to get clear on the vision, purpose, and intention of each activity, interaction, and decision before diving in. Does it become more natural to enter into a state of flow and grace?