Updated: Sep 2
Here's something that you may not know about yourself: you are a born IDEALer. An IDEALer is someone who discovers, develops, improves, achieves, and becomes who they are through a natural process comprised of five human characteristics. These characteristics are interrelated and, as properly ordered, represent the acronym: IDEAL.
Think about each of these points:
We are not mindless; we are thoughtful and deliberate. We pursue, seek to know, desire, and strive to acquire. That is, we intend.
We are not aimless with our intention; we make decisions in order to direct our lives. This is not to say that our lives are arranged or ordered just as we want, just as we have not realized everything all of our intentions. The point is that we do intend, and we do direct our lives by our choices.
Our actions are purposeful; they reflect our intention and having made decisions for a course toward something intended. And since we care about our progress toward our aims, we, naturally, assess.
In our personal or professional endeavors, this process of intend, direct, engage, and assess is at work, naturally. You don’t have to consciously choose to exercise any of these characteristics; we express each naturally. And, as this process works throughout our lives, it provides a means by which we learn. Our ability to learn is, perhaps, the most important among these human characteristics. We learn in order to make sense of our experiences, survive, and satisfy our intentions.
Why You Should Care About IDEAL
We are all meant to be IDEALers, aware of life’s process for our personal development and the achievement of our goals. While we all express the characteristic of IDEAL, we don’t all express them deliberately, as a process by which to develop ourselves and achieve our goals. And this distinction is what clarifies who’s a genuine IDEALer and who is an incidental IDEALer.
Life’s process is in place to help us live healthy lives, improve, and achieve by building on our experiences – our knowledge. We do not choose to express the characteristics of IDEAL; they are natural to being human. We do, however, choose to express IDEAL as a process for living well and succeeding.
In order to benefit from this natural process, we:
must be aware of how we express IDEAL
must be willing to learn and change
apply IDEAL deliberately, as a process
A Cause for Our Difficulties to Improve and Succeed
Many of our personal and professional challenges, especially those that involve efforts to improve, achieve, or discover are caused by an imbalance and/or inconsistency in one or more areas of IDEAL in our lives.
In order to benefit from IDEAL, we need to be aware of how we apply each characteristic of IDEAL to our pursuits and challenges. Since IDEAL is a natural part of being human, we’re, initially, unaware of IDEAL as a process in our lives. This lack of awareness can lead to imbalance and account for difficulties we have to progress in certain ways. That is, we may intend, direct, and engage, but not assess and learn. While some people over-plan, others neglect planning. While some people act without thinking, others do everything but act.
It is also common for people to make efforts to learn but not engage or apply what they’ve learned in order to refine their intentions or how they direct their lives. If you’re unaware of IDEAL as a process, then you likely focus too much on one or two areas of IDEAL and neglect or disregard the other areas.
Typically, people do not clarify their aims – what they intend. We, generally, act impulsively, emotionally, and reflexively. We often don’t think-through our options for a course to what we want (direct), and have little, if any, thought about the forces that influence our decisions – such as our biases, fears, egos, and subconscious motivators. Our actions (how we engage life) are more the responses to a moment, than they are efforts to create or impact moments.
As much as we think we’re aware (assess), rarely do we consciously, thoughtfully evaluate progress toward an endeavor. We, generally, do not hold ourselves responsible to objective information or outside input about the quality of our efforts, sufficiency of our knowledge, and progress toward something, which means that our ability to learn—in either our personal or professional life—is restricted.
Inconsistency involves on-again, off-again work in one or more areas of IDEAL. Here, we may be engaged in some kind of pursuit for a while, encounter a challenge, not assess, and, therefore, can't learn. Or, we may learn but not apply what has been learned in order to improve what we intend, how we direct, engage, and assess our progress.
We may recognize the aspects of IDEAL—intend, direct, engage, assess, learn—in our lives, but not understand the cycle they create, which precludes any having consistency with applying IDEAL as a process. Our attention toward areas of IDEAL can be intermittent, which impacts the effectiveness of the process to build on what we learn.
How to Benefit from IDEAL
To whatever extent you are aware and apply IDEAL in your life, you will progress toward your goal—personal and professional— accordingly. The less you regard IDEAL, the more likely you be to make the same mistakes repeatedly. As mentioned, IDEAL is not a choice; it’s life process for our development—learning how to live well, improve, and achieve our aims. So, how do we make the most of IDEAL? Here are a couple suggestions:
Increase the benefits of IDEAL in your life by being aware of this natural process. Understand that your intention and course to success require a quality of effort from you. Be mindful (assess) of what your efforts produce. And always strive to learn, which means: be willing to change.
Note: knowing what you want and choosing a course does not guarantee your guarantee your success. However, in order to improve your ability to success naturally, you must be clear about what do you want to accomplish and of your choices for a course to success.
Be more mindful of your assessments. We constantly assess—ourselves, others, circumstances, and situations. How we assess may or may not be by any formal means but can provide us with insight into ourselves. We’re often unaware of our assessments, because we assess as a natural expression of being human. So, you’ll have to work to build this awareness, but it will prove worthwhile. Try to identify the common subjects of your thoughts, your preoccupations, the natural of your judgments, and of your tendency to defend yourself. Identify the quality of person you are today against standards of honesty, vulnerability, humility, and other important qualities. We’re all in development. Know what is required in order for you to improve—in what you intend, how you direct your life, what you engage, how you assess, and what you learn.
Apply IDEAL Deliberately
Naturally, we all intend. So, clarify what it is that you intend. IDEAL provides you with the perfect framework by which to establish and manage progress toward what you intend. If you have failed goals, abandon resolutions, or have never set out to achieve a targeted goal, your best chance for success is by way of the deliberate use of your inherent ability to succeed.
And, obviously, in order to increase the benefits of IDEAL in your life, be mindful of imbalance and inconsistency. Beyond this, once you’re ready to embrace IDEAL as the natural course for your development and the success of your personal and professional aims, increase self-awareness with respect to IDEAL, and be willing to change.
Remember: IDEAL is not a choice; IDEAL represents five characteristics that are natural to our being human. You can, and should, however, choose to embrace IDEAL deliberately. In order to lead a more meaningful, fulfilling life, become your best self, and achieve your professional endeavors, choose to be aware of IDEAL in your life. Embrace IDEAL with where you are today. It is the only means by which you’ll reach your potential. Apply IDEAL to your life, because IDEAL applies to you.
All the best to you for continued success.
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