Who Are You
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Visualising a Goal
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This method explores problems at a ‘deeper’ almost subconscious level. Problems that frequently give a vague sense of disquiet, a sense of things not going in quite the direction you had planned however, you have no clear thoughts of what the ‘right’ direction might be. The techniques below help to explore these deeper levels angled more towards the personal perspective (‘what do you or your team want to do or be?’) rather than the external perspective (‘what business area might offer the most prospects for success?’)
Exploring the question directly
Working Solo, Write ‘who am I?’ (or ‘who are we?’ if it is for a team) at the top of a sheet of paper, followed by as many answers as you can generate. After the first few quick, straightforward answers, stay with it and try to pursue more deeply thought out answers. Continue making notes on your thought and try to push the boundaries of your normal thinking.
Working with a Partner, the above method actually works better with a partner. Sitting opposite each other for an agreed amount of time (say 5 – 10 minutes), several rounds of question and answers sessions take place. In the first round person A asks the question while person B comes up with the answers. In round 2 the roles are reversed, you can continue for as many rounds as you feel beneficial. The questioner asks the set question (‘Who are you?’, ‘What is the team?’), if necessary it may be repeated, if prompting is required. The questioner should not comment, nod, smile, frown etc.; but just listen attentively, not evaluating.
This exercise follows an idea suggested by St Ignatius Loyola (some 500 years ago). He suggests using your imagination to look back at decisions from your deathbed as a basis for trying to make a current decision. Begin by relaxing in a calm, quiet environment then:
- Imagine your infancy, in your imagination think back to when you were a small, helpless, dependant, infant born into a particular environment
- Imagine being 5, imagine you are now 5, how did it feel to be 5? Can you picture images and memories from that time
- Imagine being 12, 25, 40, 65, after a few minutes, project your imagination to what you were like when you were 12, did you worry? What was important to you? What was your world like? Using the same method of thinking ask yourself the same questions for age 25 and 40 and 65.
- Imagine being very, very old; imagine looking in the mirror when you are very old. What do you see? How you feel about yourself? Who are you? Take a retrospective look over your whole life – what really mattered? What would you have like to have done differently? Are you ready to die?
- Imagine your death, what are your thoughts as you imagine yourself dying? Imagine your closest friends and relatives, what would they be thinking about you?
- Imagine being reborn, after a few, or when you feel ready, imagine you are going to be reborn. You can be reborn, anywhere at anytime as anything you desire. What would your choices be?
- Return, When you feel ready to open your eyes, gradually look around you as if seeing everything for the first time.