Tag - UpSpiral

Setting Goals, Making Meaning
A Wider Vision Of Your Life

Setting Goals, Making Meaning

Wanting what we want and owning that we do can be a difficult thing to do.

There is a hesitancy to wanting what we want because we have beliefs that we are being selfish and self-centered.  Denying ourselves what we want seems to have some special virtue.  The guilt of “having” can cause us to be less than honest about what we are wanting.  Living with less can seem to be more “spiritual.”  There is the idea that if we live with less, the goods of the world will somehow magically become a more equitable distribution of good.

And so we hang back for a while, denying ourselves, before we impulsively and compulsively give ourselves what we’ve been depriving ourselves of having.

The simple truth is that you’re playing less than, you’re having less than, you’re holding back from being and having the fullness of who you are, and what you want helps no one.  Your acting like you don’t want lovely things serves no one.  Your being “less than” for the sake of some misbegotten notion of modesty and humility keeps you from entering into the wholeness of the person that you have been created to be.

Healthy patterns of attachment mean an ability or capacity to want what we want and to be able to attach to it with appreciation, full of enjoyment and a sense of ownership that is proud and grateful.  Attachment also applies to job and professions, to friends, associates, and to relationships. Attachment is a mark of mental health.

Healthy patterns of attachment are developed from childhood, and even when they are weak and not so healthy, they can grow and develop by if we learn to be honest about our wanting.

Ambivalent patterns of attachment cause low self-esteem because we are never fully able to attach, to own, to have and to hold nearly and dearly those people and things that are significant aspects of our wanting.

Avoidant wanting will express itself in individuals that fail to appreciate their own capacity to have. They not only do not know what to want, but would rather not want or have goals.  These are the people who prefer to allow their lives to unfold without goal-setting.  And they will get just what they want: a misguided, often spiritualized “unfolding” here and there with little or no direction or purpose. Not only is this not the way life works, it not the way the attracting brain works.

Avoidant personalities are reclusive from relationships and isolate from others.  Being in touch with their “wanting” means being in touch with others, with the ways and the systems that fulfilled wants come to us.  Avoidant wanting is reclusive by its very nature.

Goals are also outcomes of a high UpSpiral.  The more intact your goals are, the higher your UpSpiral.  And, likewise, the higher your UpSpiral, the more creative and the more completely are your goals an expression of the repertoire of your strengths and abilities.

Goals are like engines of energy and productivity that create a synergy that will bring into sharper and sharper awareness what the vision is for your life.  Your brain has its greatest synchrony and economy of energy when you’re clear.  Your brain knows better what to seek out and what to be receptive to in its sorting process.  The brain knows better what is being “hunted” and what the focus of attention ought to be.

With clear goals, the brain can use the limited amount of psychic energy it has each day, using that energy most wisely.

The issue that underlies the formation of goals is meaning-making.

How do we make meaning?  What are the constructs of meaning-making that provide a sense of personal significance?

These “meanings” are different at different times in our lives, so a knowledge of developmental issues is important.

We need to know how people are making meaning before we believe that their goals are real representations of something that will give them any kind of lasting value, if they, in fact, don’t just fizzle and are ever accomplished.

We especially need to know if a person is going through a life transition that is causing them to question meaning in their lives, before we agree to assist them in attempting to put great effort into pursuing goals that will be fleeting, in either accomplishing them or in feeling any sense of fulfillment in having done so.

A Wider Vision Of Your Life

In an age when depression is at an all time high and on the increase, we have to consider what increases our “yes” to life and “yes” to diversity and the multiple ways that what we want can be found. Living in an UpSpiral can make you rethink, re-feel, and redo your whole world, especially if you are spending more time in a DownSpiral than an UpSpiral.  Perhaps worse is to “yo-yo” back and forth.

It will, for sure, introduce chaos and differentiation, perhaps like never before. “Chaos” here is the potential to allow novelty, newness, or differentness.  It is the capacity to tolerate and allow “otherness” and diversity in our lives.

Matisse and Picasso and many great artists have painted over their canvases time and time again, to begin again, not in the same place, but in a new place that would unfold from their openness to the creative process, as it unfolded in the next painting, and the next and the next.  These are artists that never stop painting, and we are artists that never stop living the art of life.  Painting over one way of knowing life for new ways of knowing life describes this openness to diversity and novelty.

Those who refuse to paint over the canvas and start a new painting at the significant times in their lives for doing so give themselves away in precisely this dimension.  Their lives lack a sense of meaning and they have a shallow sense of personal significance.  A sense of personal significance is not enhanced by “sameness,” but rather by novelty and diversity.

We do not make meaning by becoming narrower, when life requires greater and greater openness and broadness of vision, so that differentiating and seeing the differences are unencumbered by prejudice, and hardening of the heart and the arteries.

What seems to come out of the blue is not so much come “out of the blue” as it is coming from an open life that is always willing to increase three dimensions of the human experience: wanting, believing, and openness to how it will all come.

If you stay in an UpSpiral and if you use your strengths, this is exciting and experienced as new life.  From a DownSpiral, this kind of growth looks like you are letting go of your old foundations without the new ones being firmly established.  And there is a tendency to want to go back, to revert to old ways of being negative and critical of yourself and others.  However, in doing that, you just become miserable, and the contrast with the way you are growing with the way you were is just too difficult. You know you have begun a course that you can’t change.  Once you have experienced an UpSpiral and once you have experienced “feeling good,” there is no going back into negativity and mediocrity, at least not for long.

Many today would rather do anything that face novelty or differentiation, and the transitions that life demands.  They hold on tightly to what they already know and navigate the same waters they have navigated all of their lives.  There is little wanting, less believing, and no openness to anything other than their tight and narrow demands on what life must deliver to them.  There is less and less a sense of personal meaning and personal significance.

The more positivity you experience, the more you are going to be open to novelty (as chaos) and to diversity (as differentiation).  You are going to change your perceptions, your beliefs, and your ideas about yourself and others.  In an UpSpiral, we are just freer for things to come to us “out of the blue.”

It is likely that already some things have come to you “out of this blue.”  What are they?  How have you responded?  If they haven’t they will, because of your increased openness and flow in your life.

Differentiation to the ways that life can deliver its goods creates the greater capacity for vision, for seeing the whole picture, because we are more comfortable and familiar with seemingly chaotic and differentiated parts that have come to make a greater and greater whole.  This greater whole is characterized by a greater and greater integration of the brain and the mind, which can hold both novelty and difference.

We are not growing toward less or toward decline as we get older, but to a wider and wider vision of more divergent parts, that for the one who has lived life in a narrowing DownSpiral, surely seems like the endurance of real chaos.

Novelty means an openness to “newness.”  Just how open are you to newness, to new thinking, to new ideas, to new ways of doing things, to new people?  How well do you tolerate differences as opposed to seeing how everything is really alike?  A greater and greater sense of oneness and integration emerges from a greater allowing of differences and novelty.

Deep within us what is being challenged is how much of a “yes” we are saying to life versus how much of a “no.”

There is a place where we put the skids on life and say, a little less or no more for me!  We begin to blame it on many things like aging, illness, stubbornness or regret, whatever the external reason.

There seems to be a big “no” to more of the novelty of life.

Many think they are just too tired, but those who tire and those who have not opened themselves sufficiently to diversity are those who fear “chaos.”

A deeper yes to life always happens in positive people, those individuals who are living in some form of “positivity being,” who want to experience more and whose strengths are engaged for the experience.  There is a welcome and openness to the diverse and multiple ways that what we want can be delivered.

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute