Go from chaos to alignment with this powerful 4-step process
As an investor, philanthropist and entrepreneur, I get to meet business leaders and entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and experiences. And, as we get to know each other, many of these amazing people turn to me for mentorship.
Despite their success in the eyes of the world, many of them feel like something is missing in their lives. They come to me with questions about how to improve their business, but the problem usually lies elsewhere. That’s why we end up talking about how they can create Lives In place.
Maybe you feel the same. If so, then I assume you are struggling with the same thing as many of the people I advise: how to balance the obligations you have with the life you want to live. In other words, you may feel like slowing down, but you feel like if you do, you won’t be able to run your business successfully, or be a good parent, or pay your rent.
If that’s how you feel, I’d like to invite you to consider a different perspective: You don’t have to wait for your circumstances to change to live the kind of life you dream of. No matter who you are or what obligations you have, by implementing the four-step process I’m going to share here, you can create a life that replenishes you instead of draining you.
Board of directors
#1: Identify your board members
The first step to getting out of chaos, stress and anxiety is aligning what I call your “board of directors”. They are the voices in our heads that offer differing opinions about everything that happens in our lives and have a say in every decision we make.
You know the voices I speak of. There’s the voice telling you to take a risk, quit your job, and pursue that risky career move you’ve been dreaming of. There’s one that says you’d be crazy to quit your job, because you need income certainty. There is also the voice that compares you to all your peers and the voice that wants your life to be more balanced. I could go on and on.
Often our response to all that inner turmoil is to let a voice grab the mic and run the show. Then, later, another steals the microphone, and they or they run the show. It’s an endless battle for control between all these different parts of yourself. It’s crazy, and it’s exhausting.
However, it doesn’t have to be. I invite you to visualize all these voices as if they were in a meeting room. Visualize yourself as president. Just as you would if you were really sitting in front of your boardroom, acknowledge and allocate space for each voice to speak out. When you do, you can begin to explore the deeper intent of each voice.
#2: Look for alignment
Sometimes, to get to the real intention, you have to dig two or even three layers. The voice telling you to quit your job and go explore that creative endeavor, for example, is really looking for fulfillment. For this “director”, it is probably very important that you do not settle in your life.
The voice telling you to stop that nonsense and stay in your job, on the other hand, focuses on making sure you have enough money to pay your bills. This voice is committed to ensuring your safety. He realizes that if you can’t pay your rent, you’re going to suffer, and he wants to avoid that.
At first glance, these two voices may seem diametrically opposed to each other. Drop down a few layers, however, and you can see that their intentions are actually very similar. The “don’t settle” director and the “security” director are both looking for you to feel good about your life. The only difference is how they approach achieving their goal.
Ultimately, by connecting to each member’s core intent – examining Why behind the voices – you will realize that they are all interested in maintaining the well-being of the company. And the company, of course, is you.
#3: Form a Plan
Once you have identified the primary intent of each voice, you can begin to create alignment around the overall goal. And, by bringing all these seemingly separate parts together, you create cohesion in the company.
Often the voices will use self-judgment as a tool to get your attention. Once they realize you’re handing them the mic, they no longer need to rely on those outdated mechanisms to get their point across. Each individual voice will no longer fight for control. Instead, each can move in parallel with the others.
At this point, you’re ready to come up with a plan that will help address each voice’s concerns while keeping the ultimate goal in mind. For example, the ‘don’t settle’ manager may be able to recognize the value of retaining a revenue stream, and the ‘security’ voice may realize that having an outlet for creativity is important for the whole. Once they have met on this common ground, a strategy can be formulated that honors the two voices and draws on their respective wisdom.
I have seen this process make an incredible difference for entrepreneurs and others struggling to find peace. By aligning every part of yourself, you harness the energy and power to create a life that satisfies you on all levels.
#4: Test it
Once you have developed a plan to achieve your overall goal, I invite you to set a schedule to test it. This will allow you to determine if your strategy is sound or if parts of it need to be revised.
Once you have tested your plan, return to your “conference room”. Put yourself back in the role of president and check every part of yourself. How do they feel? Does each party want to keep trying the plan, or are there corrections or revisions that one party feels would be important to make?
Just like you would in a real business, treat this as a quarterly review, except you can do it weekly or even daily at first. If you notice something isn’t working, use your board comments to make adjustments. Then test your revised plan again for a while.
You can do this as often as needed. Remember to check each of your voices as you do and get their approval before moving forward with a new strategy. Otherwise, you run the risk of them starting the exhausting and futile battle for control all over again.
Take control of the “chaos”
If you’re like many of the people I advise, you might find that one of the reasons you push yourself so hard is because deep down inside you’re afraid that if you slow down your inner chaos will catches up.
I invite you, as I invite them, to look at it with another eye. I believe that chaos only arises when you try to silence certain voices, or listen to only one of them. That’s when the cracks start to appear, because all the other parts start screaming, louder and louder, to be heard.
If left unchecked, it leads to deep burnout, addictions, or other negative consequences. But, by following this four-step process, you can harmonize the chaos by aligning every part of yourself.
Best of all, going through this process doesn’t require any significant change in the way you live your life. All it takes is a change of perspective, and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to a more fulfilling, rejuvenating, and satisfying life.
For more tools on how to create a life of deep fulfillment, you can find The Mystery of You on Amazon.
Emilio Diez Barroso was a lifelong seeker, seeking recognition, fulfillment, love, success, and finally, the ultimate carrot: enlightenment. In his pursuit of enlightenment, he was forced to face what all research had tried to avoid: his own sense of unworthiness. Defeated in the game of avoidance and humbled by the realization of his true nature, he now devotes himself to relieving suffering in the world. Emilio is married and the father of three incredible teachers. He sits on the board of more than a dozen companies, is the CEO of NALA Investments, and is an active philanthropist, investor, and entrepreneur. He has a master’s degree in spiritual psychology and resides in Los Angeles.