Mission statement and reminder phrases
It is a very useful to clarify and articulate your mission and intention. Why are you working so hard? What for? In as few words as possible, what creates meaning and purpose for you? This should not be about personal advancement or material gain; it should be more of a personal mission statement ie what you can do that will have a positive impact in the world.
The starting point is clarifying your core values (see values exercise). Holding this in mind, you can now use this to create your mission statement. This is a short sentence that expresses your core values and drivers. It will inform your actions each day. Examples might be:
“I will try to find ways to be kind as often as possible.”
“Today, I will practice patience and selfless attention.”
“In all my thoughts and action, I will be creative and open-minded.”
So, from your values exercise and from your understanding of what creates meaning for you and will benefit others, create your own statement.
Ideally, you repeat this statement out loud, three times, at the beginning of every day, just before your 3 minute practice. It’s like booting up your laptop with the right software.
In moments of practice, and pauses during the day, you can bring this intentional statement back to mind. Or take a few seconds to repeat it just before an important meeting, for example.
When stress triggers arise, we may need other tools to help us get perspective. These are very short reminder phrases that interrupt our habitual thought patterns.
From the work you’ll do on habits and reaction patterns, you’ll become more familiar with your less wholesome reaction patterns, ie what you do automatically when someone or something pushes your buttons! Typical reactions that may arise are anger, blame, irritation, criticism, intolerance, and sarcasm; or alternatively, avoidance, distraction, disbelief, denial, meekness, subservience, and apology. Etc!
All of these reactions are based on our own stories. To cut through the storyline, you use the reminder phrases as soon as you become aware of your reaction pattern starting. For example these could include:
“Maybe so, maybe not.”
“Kindness, kindness, kindness.”
“This too will pass.”
So, develop a few such phrases, try them out, and see what works.