Inner Guide

Found some wisdom about listening to the inner guide. Here’s what I mean.

I’m teaching a college success course this semester. The textbook centers around the attitudes and thinking of success and concrete study skills. (It’s called On Course by Skip Downing if you want more.)

One of the best insights so far has been that we all spend some time listening to three inner voices, but only one of them says anything useful. Sometimes we criticize ourselves too harshly, and sometimes we blame others. Many of my students do this. Some are too scared and self-defeated to try and just quit. Their inner dialogue says they’re worthless or failures. Others walk around with huge grudges. They have many excuses why they didn’t do the work; it’s anyone and everyone else’s fault. Either way, they’ve wasted energy and time, and nothing gets done. They usually drop out or fail.

In contrast, the inner guide 1) describes current reality 2) considers the desired outcome or preferred situation, and 3) starts problem-solving to think of steps or ways to reach the goal.

Maybe that’s not profound so far. You troubleshoot or problem-solve or set goals. Here’s the wisdom from the textbook that hit me: we all can hear all those inner voices, but we choose which one to listen to. Successful people spend most of their time listening to the inner thoughts that guide them to consider and try steps to solve problems and reach goals. They don’t waste much time or energy beating themselves up or staying mad at somebody else. They just try the first step, or one idea, and keep going until they reach the goal.

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