for Natural News on July 29, 2011
There is no shortage of organizations and people in this world that will tell you how you should be living your life. It's easy enough to follow someone else's moral compass if you are so inclined. The most ethical teachers throughout history, however, have instructed us to learn to trust our own inner compass, that internal "sense" of what is right and wrong, or the most appropriate course of action in every situation.
Your inner moral compass is by far the most sophisticated and valuable guide you could possibly have. From navigating the complexities of a complicated moral dilemma to knowing how to treat your spouse or partner, your moral compass dictates the best course of action and prompts you to respond in kind. This isn't a new or complicated concept. Understanding morality is as simple as knowing what you'd do if a small child standing next to you were about to step into oncoming traffic. We all have an inner sense of how we ought to respond to other human beings. This is morality in its purest form.
Granted, it gets much more complicated when responding to someone who has wronged or mistreated you over the course of time. Add to that the mixed messages and hypocrisy of family and community life. Then throw in a plethora of distorted messages from Hollywood and the mass media, coupled with a culture of outright pride, greed, immaturity and deception from government and business, and soon your deepest sense of human morality gets mixed into a serious can of worms.
Carl Jung seemed to understand that our inner voice tends to get smothered when he said:
Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.
In NLP we learn to ask precision questions that get to the heart of the matter. So, to unearth the sensitive inner self that is more concerned with what you think is right, I invite you to ask yourself the following questions that I learned from my colleague Jake Eagle, a long-time NLP trainer and co-founder of Green Psychology. Warning: These questions involve the world "should." Some people fear this word or consider it to be a source of coercion and angst. Please understand that how I use this word implies heartfelt obligation toward something that you personally believe - independently of outside sources. This is you according to you.
Question #1: What are you doing that you know you should not be doing?
Even though you are a good person with good intentions, is there something you're doing in your life that is harmful to yourself or others? I'm not talking about trivial things and pet peeves, but behaviors or attitudes that cause real distress or that compromise your overall health. What are you doing that you know you should not be doing?
Question #2: What should you be doing in your life that you are NOT doing?
This is the flip side of question #1. What significant positive actions or habits are you lacking? What direction in life do you believe you should be pursuing? Where do you believe should you be putting your energy and are you, in fact, doing it?
Question #3: What is it that you do NOT want to know about yourself?
This is a sophisticated question that presupposes you are capable of knowing what you don't want to know. Essentially, if you ask yourself this question, you are acknowledging that you may know more about yourself than you are comfortable facing. Asking this question must be done with no judgment or blame and often requires the help of a coach. Confronting what you are avoiding or hiding is not for the faint of heart!
Why do this? Maybe you are a bigot. Perhaps you are dishonest in your business dealings or neglect your parenting responsibilities. Maybe you don't want to face the fact that you are addicted to something harmful. Denying to yourself what is probably obvious to others in your life is an age old tactic people use to save themselves from fear, trouble or embarrassment. Hiding the truth is, essentially, a form of deception.
If you are brave enough to honestly answer these questions, then you are ahead of most of the population. Getting to honest answers will plant your feet squarely on "personal ethical" ground, effectively resetting your moral compass. Based on your answers, you can know your heartfelt obligations and best self-improvement goals. Honesty in this department, regardless of your acknowledged flaws, will probably deliver a huge sigh of relief and a healthy measure of self-respect as well.
When you arrive at the point in life where you aren't doing what you believe you shouldn't, doing everything you believe you should and remain unafraid to know everything there is to know about yourself, you will have arrived at a state of personal power that few have ever experienced.
About the author:
Mike Bundrant is a retired mental health counselor, NLP trainer and publisher of Healthy Times Newspaper.
Learn more: http://www.NaturalNews.com/033169_moral_compass_self_improvement.html#ixzz1TUCvxKhH