The Method, step 3: conceive of new environments, beliefs, and behaviors

[This post is part of a series on The Method to use The Model — my model for the human emotional system designed for use in leadership, self-awareness, and general purpose professional and personal development — which I find the most effective and valuable foundation for understanding yourself and others and improving your life. If you don’t see a Table of Contents to the left, click here to view the series, where you’ll get more value than reading just this post.]
Now, with direction and boundaries set from steps 0, 1, and 2, we plan what we will do.
Step 3 is to think of new environments, beliefs, and behaviors

  • that will create the emotions you thought of in the last step
  • consistent with your constraints from step 1
  • consistent with each other (so you’ll create reward)

You can voluntarily choose and create your environments, beliefs, and behaviors. The challenge at this stage, before acting, is to find ones consistent with your wiring, constraints, and each other. This stage can take time at first, but gets easier and faster with practice, eventually becoming automatic.
You may have to iterate a few times to make sure you make everything consistent. In my seminars I have attendees do this step interactively with each other to see how it takes iteration and negotiation, though normally just with yourself. Iterating may take time, but it ensures that you’re transforming comprehensively, which ensures that the Method will succeed at least as well as any non-Method alternative.
Choosing environments, beliefs, and behaviors to create the emotions you want leads you to live according to your values, nobody else’s. It makes you resilient to feeling bad and to some extent to other people’s influence.
Choosing your environment, beliefs, and behavior consistent with each other means you will feel reward once the emotions become consistent with them. That means whatever happens in your life, no matter what emotions you feel related to whatever situation, when you start transforming that part of your life, you will feel reward. To do so is completely under your control and costs nothing. In other words, using the Method can lead to a rewarding lifestyle no matter what.
As you transform more parts of your life, more of it will bring you reward. Imagine that – a life rewarding in as many ways as you make it, in whatever combination of characteristics you want – long-term reward or short, rich and complex or simple, intense or subtle, or painful or pleasurable.
Here are a few examples of sets of environments, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors you might prefer regarding the example situations I mentioned in the Method, step 2.
The art of choosing the best set of environment, belief, and behavior for yourself and your situation comes with practice but can challenge you at first. How do you know they’ll be consistent? How do you know they’ll create the emotion you want. At first getting a good combination may be challenging. I’ll give guidelines for choosing in a later post.

Becoming More Entrepreneurial

I chose to create the following new emotions for this transformation: excitement, leadership, and accountability. What environments, beliefs, and behavior would create them?

New environments: Business school, VC offices, garage

New beliefs: You have to help people to make money, competition helps

New behaviors: Write business plan, present to VCs, hire people

I think you can see how much more this emotional cycle would motivate me to start a company than the old one.

Improving Public Speaking

I chose to create the following new emotions for this transformation: Excitement, fun, and having nothing to lose. What environments, beliefs, and behavior would create them?

 New environments: On stage, in front of crowd

 New beliefs: Speakers have high status, messing up is fun

 New behaviors: Speak, practice on camera, in mirror, prepare

 A cycle much more motivational for improving public speaking than before.

Running a marathon

I chose to create the following new emotions for this transformation: excitement, dedication, and discipline. What environments, beliefs, and behavior would create them?

 New environments: Central Park, with other runners, good shoes

 New beliefs: It’s a matter of training, less able people have done it

 New behaviors: Distance running, eating well, reading about running

 I hope you can see adopting new emotional cycles leads you to new directions, independent of where you started.
This exercise summarizes the above and has you do step 3 by yourself. This exercise has you do it with others.

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