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Achieve greater clarity and purpose by resolving inner conflict

March 19, 2014

By Charlie Badenhop

As “one” individual, we often tend to cast competing votes when it comes to important issues that we face in our lives. For instance, one part of us says “Yes” to wanting to get in shape and exercise more, and another part votes for postponing our exercising regime until the weather gets warmer. This “self competition” is somewhat like being a politician who needs to satisfy two voting blocks that have very different outlooks on life. There is the challenge of needing to craft an initiative that will please both the liberals and the conservatives. Certainly not a simple task and perhaps even a task that can seem impossible at times.

My friend Stephen Gilligan likes to playfully say that many of us seem to have an evil twin that shows up at all the wrong times with the intent of sabotaging whatever plans have been made. So what to do?

I believe that a crucial life skill is having the ability to listen to, appreciate, and synthesize the seemingly competing goals and voices we all have at times. We need to understand that our emotional self often wants immediate gratification with little understanding of the long term consequences of our actions. At the same time, our logical self tends to make goals that don’t take the needs of our emotional self into account. In my life, “the trick” seems to be having the capacity to listen to my emotional self from the perspective of my logical self and vice versa. To craft goals and actions that take into account both voices, both selves. Only then am I able to gain an intuitive understanding of the paradoxes I am faced with, dissolve my internal conflict, and act with clarity and purpose.

When wanting to act in a more decisive, life-affirming manner, I think you will do well to step back and consider how much you find yourself arguing with yourself, and how much you attempt to achieve solutions that are either black or white, rather than achieving goals that are fashioned from a more collaborative point of view. In regard to weight management, I have been working on listening to “Mr. Slim” and “Big Boy”, the names I have given to two of my personas in regard to self-image and weight management.

Big Boy likes to eat pizza and drink beer and finds that the opportunities to do so are somewhat limitless. Mr. Slim on the other hand is very much into the importance of being at a healthy weight and has disdain for anyone who does not see the “obvious” benefits of following his plan of action. Having lost around seventy pounds over the last two years has necessitated me teaching these two guys how to have a collaborative, respectful conversation with each other. Helping each persona to find the similarities and common ground in their seemingly disparate views of life. The results have been highly rewarding, and I believe that you are also definitely capable of crafting new “self-relationships” that can serve you well.

The more you are able to respect and appreciate the synergy your various internal competing points of view offer you, the more energy you will have to successfully meet the many challenges you face. Living a life that offers you significant emotional fulfillment is one of the many benefits you will receive!

Have a listen to this podcast, and let me know what both of you think!

This article was originally published as a musing in Charlie’s biweekly newsletter. Subscribe to the Seishindo newsletter to receive Charlie’s popular biweekly podcasts and musings (lifetools for everyday’s challenges).

Also by Charlie:

- Wide-angle Perspective

- In the Middle of Nowhere

- Say Yes to Success

- Questions to Ponder

About the author: Charlie Badenhop has been working in Japan as a coach and consultant for close to 30 years. His work is based on the principles of Aikido, NLP, Ericksonian Hypnosis, and Noguchi Sei Tai. Charlie is the originator of the human potential discipline of Seishindo. Seishindo is a melding of Western problem solving skills, with Eastern contemplative awareness practices. If you are drawn to better understand the intersection and interaction between your thinking mind and your body, heart, and spirit, then you will likely appreciate Seishindo (http://www.seishindo.org/). Sign up for Charlie's biweekly newsletter via the Seishindo website.
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