This Stoic practice is designed to provide a catalyst for change towards becoming an ideal human being. Of course, this is a never-ending quest.
And here is the paradox. On one hand you should feel enough with yourself and who you are in the present and be grateful for what you already have but at the same time strive to be even better.
There are probably situations in life where the way who you are does not allow you to handle it in the best way.
This is exactly where contemplation on ideal self can be helpful.
So find a place where you won’t be distracted.
Settle in a comfortable posture.
Take a few conscious deep breaths
Notice the air going through your nostrils, expanding chest and belly.
Follow your breath as it comes in.. and out...
You can make a mental note and say In for every inhale and out for every exhale
Continue on you own
If you are distracted that’s ok just return to the breath.
As you follow your breath you might notice the sense of ease, calm, and well-being. Feeling the peace in the stillness of the room.
Now bring to mind your current identity.…. see what character traits can describe you best…
Notice your natural strength….
Or things that might be not so natural for you…
Recall how you behave in different situations….
Don’t judge yourself as good or bad..
See yourself as who you are….
It might be hard to look at yourself objectively…
See if you can look at yourself from a third person view.
This helps to draw the baseline of your current identity state before defining the ideal you.
In fact today, you are who your past self believed you could become. Tomorrow, you will be who your current self believes you can become.
Now imagine how the ideal identity of you would look like…, how it will behave in the world….
Might be someone without any anxiety, confident in responding to every situation that occurs. Never getting upset when somebody is arguing. Doesn’t react to negativity. Forgive quickly, not envois to others, not afraid of the future and in full control of emotions. Someone acting with courage and responsibility…. And shaping value in service for others….
Continue on your own to describe your ideal identity.
As a helpful reference point you might bring someone to mind as your role model. Could be Budhha, Marcus Aurellious, Nelson Mandela or someone else.
You can even take the best of their identities and combine in one person in your imagined ideal self.
If you are facing certain situation that seems too hard to figure out the best way forward for your current identity then think how the ideal you or your role model would handle it.
What would they do in your place?
Now see yourself merging with this identity….
Once you merge you might feel differently...
Seal this image and feeling in your mind
Remember that right goals will help you shape your identity and the other way around right identity makes it much easy to achieve the outcome of your goals.
Just aim to be 1% better every day towards that ideal self.
As you get better you will create new baseline
Your mind is your most powerful tool.
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