Regeneration Settlement 1
IDHQ (Identity Headquarters) is the first settlement in REGENERATION. In this settlement you are asked to consider some of your personality traits. You might also like to consider how effective they are within your life and what they say about you; in the world of identity? Are they opening up the world for you in a positive way or are they inadvertently shutting it down? So, in this first settlement we have chosen to focus our minds on just 3 personality traits: how we perceive things, how our values shape our identity and how our energy affects both ourselves and other people. These 3 personality traits have the potential to create the worst division or greatest bonding between ourselves and the rest of society; so they are certainly worthy of our consideration.
Perception is the 1st ingredient we need to consume for our REGENERATION. To get the most out of this ingredient and to nourish your mind, we would like you to consider how you view the world. More importantly, we would like you to consider how you reached that conclusion.
So, let’s begin the game with a couple of questions. Where do you most enjoy spending your time? What sort of music do you listen to? As you write down your answers to those questions, you could ask yourself a further and much bigger question, ‘what prompted me to make those choices’? There are lots of things to consider here, so please do.
Recalling and recording your thoughts is a powerful way to focus your mind. It’s also a great way to dig a little deeper and discover your identity. So, where do you enjoy spending your time, indoors or outdoors, in work or socialising…? Do your musical preferences include blues music or rock ballads; symphonies or disharmonies, with lyrics or without...? Record as many reasons as you can for making your choices because they will help you throughout your Regeneration.
Another question you can ask yourself is, ‘whose company do I feel most comfortable in’? As you answer that question you can acknowledge the qualities of the person you feel most comfortable with. Make a list of their key personality traits and then ask yourself another couple of questions. ‘How many of those personality traits do I recognise as desirable? And, ‘which ones do I have already? Now that you’ve identified a set of desirable personality traits, you could consider why you perceive them to be important and desirable in your life. Are they complementing and supporting you and your own set of skills or are they challenging them? Is the person you enjoy being with inspiring you to make the change you need to make in your life or are they playing ‘devil’s advocate’?
Understanding yourself in your most naked form can be truly enlightening. You are in truth a beautifully complex enigma. People can only speculate about your true potential. However, how we view ourselves and the world in which we live are key ingredients in how we live our daily lives. They have the energy and power to either nourish or starve our vitality. So, if we want to get the most out of life, then perhaps we should place our perceptions under a microscope.
Analysing our view of the world is a great starting place. The more areas you choose to scrutinise, the greater will become your understanding of yourself. It might have dawned on you already, that many of the answers you provided to the questions posed above, were choices and preferences unconsciously shaped by your senses. What things look like, what they sound like and how they make you feel, all have a bearing on your life. They help you perceive your surroundings and the world we live in. They inform your personal opinion on things, tasty or not; fragrant or noxious… More importantly, they begin to shape ’your version’ of reality! Others players of REGENERATION will have responded in different ways to the same questions you responded to. And yet, the world we are evaluating has not changed only our perception of it has.
Sensing our identity is often the primary task of the people we meet. They ask us enquiring questions, so that they can fit us into social boxes marked beneficial or not, powerful or not… And yet, the illusion of self is a complex business. So, before we let others make sense of our identity, we should first secure our own sense of identity; about ourselves.
Creating perceptions is a very personal skill. Our senses create our perceptions and our perceptions create our reality. And, that reality forms a part of our identity. What we perceive we believe! More importantly, our perspective on something can lead us to a state of premature closure. This state means we will often fail to consider reasonable alternatives, as we have already found an acceptable answer and perhaps a feasible solution or future direction... To make my point I would like you to look at the two images below and then answer each associated question.
This first image is a picture of a lady. Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to guess her age? Answers are contained below.
The second image contains a drawing. What can you see? Answers are contained below.
The images are both optical illusions. So, your answers might contain 1 of 3 possible answers:
a. The woman appears closer to 30 years of age than 60 years of age.
b. The woman appears closer to 60 years of age than 30 years of age.
c. I can see both women..
If you can’t see both women and would like to, then consider the areas marked in red on this image; as follows:
The younger woman is defined by the 4 areas marked in red. When looking at the image the area in the top left coloured red represents the eye lashes of her left eye and & her small nose. The red area to the bottom left of the image represents the tip of her chin. Top right = Left ear & bottom right = Necklace.
The older woman – is defined when those same red areas are represented as follows: Top left = Right eye lashes, Bottom left = Tip of nose, Top right = Left eye and eye lashes, Bottom right = Mouth.
Image 2 a. I see a man.
b. I see a woman.
c. I can see both a man and a woman.
If you can’t see both the woman and the man then look at the areas marked in red on this image.
The man is defined when the following representations in red equate as follows: Top left – Left eye brow/socket, Bottom left - Tip of nose, Top right - Side parting in hair.
The woman is defined when the red areas are represented as follows: Top left – Pubic area, Bottom left - Tip of knee, Top right – Head and Left arm.
FLAVOUR SAVER: In the majority of cases we are neither right nor wrong when expressing our opinions about things. This is because our opinions and choices about things are often based on our subjective experiences. They are fuelled by our personal ‘reality’ filters and our life’s experiences. So, let us apply some ‘reality’ filters in the context of ordering a simple restaurant meal. What choices might we expect a group of people to make, when ordering food in a restaurant? Will they all opt for the same meal or would we expect them to make a variety of choices? It is more probable than not that they would make a variety of choices. This is because they will all be applying their own ‘reality’ filters when making their selection from the choices on offer.
The list of available reality filters for each person will vary; depending on their physiological make up. People with food allergies or intolerances to certain foodstuffs will filter out any food choices on the menu that could be unhealthy for them. In addition, we might apply visual reality filters when ordering our food, based on the appearance of the food placed in front of our fellow diners. Alternatively, we might order from the menu a dish based on the sound of it, sticky toffee pudding or homemade steak and ale pie etc. Sometimes we order food; based on the recommendation of a food critic. Our historical references can also play a part in our food selection. I ate that here once before and it was delicious. Language filters are yet more personal reality filters that have a bearing on our selection process. Stinking Bishop Cheese will be more appealing to some diners, but not others. I have only provided you with a few examples of the filters we apply in our everyday lives; which lead us to our perception of ‘reality’. You can apply many, many more and you can apply them in a variety of contexts. So, please do. The reference books you champion will create your beliefs about a topic. Conversely, you will find opposing information in a different set of reference books. Einstein once said, ‘Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one’. However, not accepting the perception and views of other people will only create within oneself feelings of loneliness and isolation.
TAKE AWAY INGREDIENT 1 Open your mind to new possibilities because rarely is everything as it first appears. We form opinions based on our current mindset. Sometimes we can’t even acknowledge what is right in front of us. With more information our mindset can change.
How our values can shape our identity is the 2nd ingredient we need to consume for REGENERATION and the second ingredient of IDHQ. To indulge this ingredient I would like you to consider what you believe and what you value in your life. More importantly, I would like you to consider the difference between what you believe and what you value in your life. For many people these personal judgements appear to fall into a single category. Where this is the case you will often notice a decline in the self-belief, self-confidence and self-esteem of those individuals, because they don’t know who they are or what they represent. So, the sooner we separate our beliefs and values into two distinct categories, the sooner we can start building a more robust personality.
Separating our beliefs from our values can be easily achieved with a short exercise. Consider a number of personal statements that you make and believe about yourself and then write them down under one of the following column headings: values and beliefs. Your personal statements might proclaim such things as: I am honest, I am a decent person, I treat everybody with respect etc. Once you have completed you list, we would like you to submit your statements to your own values and beliefs test.
The difference between your values and your beliefs can be quickly summed up. Beliefs are flexible; values are not. Your current beliefs should be flexible. I use the word current because our beliefs evolve, as we test and evaluate them within social groups. They might evolve further or be refreshed, as we consider and evaluate any fresh information; as it becomes available to us e.g. In 2003, I held a belief that the former Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction because Tony Blair the British Prime Minister had said so. Inspection teams where sent into Iraq to find them but couldn’t. Blair continued to assure the British People of his belief; even as circumstances changed on the ground. Eventually, and to cut a long story short, Saddam Hussein was captured and interrogated by John Nixon, a CIA analyst. His analysis concluded that Saddam Hussein was not developing weapons of mass destruction... The President of the United States at that time, George W Bush deemed Nixon and his team failures because they didn’t provide the evidence he was looking for. On the day when that news became unequivocal main stream news, I changed a few of my beliefs. Beliefs are flexible.
Our values on the other hand are inflexible and rigid. They stand the test of time and stand up to the harshest scrutiny. So, let’s look at an example; where we scrutinize the statement, ‘I value civility, because in my life good manners are important’. In my world I say please and thank you all the time. To me an individual’s status is not a factor in who I say please and thank you to. I say it to my superiors, my peers and my subordinates. I say it to the people I know and to people I don’t know. This behaviour is not dependent on the actions of others; so even when people are rude to me or we have reached a disagreement… I can always find time to thank people for their time... WHY? Because civility is one of my values and it forms a part of my identity. More importantly, what I value about my behaviour is a value that belongs to me and it is not associated with any form of judgement. However, many people tell me that civility is one of their values too, when in fact it doesn’t pass the values test. So, what's the difference? These people simply believe in good manners. They use them and civility as a tool. They believe manners are only necessary in certain circumstances i.e. Manners are just something you use to gain something else; something that is to be used within certain, but not all social groups… When this is the case you allow external groups to affect your behaviour, as you respond to their behaviour. When other people’s behaviour can influence your own behaviour, your civility becomes a belief that has value and not a value which forms a part of your identity.
FLAVOUR SAVER: In the example above you learnt how to differentiate between valuing things, believing things and setting values. We all value things, they motivate us to take action… We all have a set of beliefs; they are like chosen visions that guide us through life. Flexible enough to absorb more data they change their appearance and offer us fresh visions to follow. Values on the other hand represent what we stand for. They form the pillars of our identity. They are inflexible and rigid. Some people will appreciate your values and some will not. However, people will identify you and what you stand for when you display your values. If you want to start building your self-esteem, your self-belief and your self-confidence, then begin by setting your values.
TAKE AWAY INGREDIENT 2 Identifying the difference between what you value and your own values is a great way to create the foundations of a robust personality.
Energy is the 3rd ingredient we need to absorb for our REGENERATION and the third ingredient of IDHQ. So, if you would like to make a memorable impression on other people, we ask you to consider how energy affects your life.
You can start by asking yourself a few questions like, ‘where do I feel most alive: in my bed, in my home or in the pub? If you feel really alive in any one of those locations, then ask yourself, ‘why do I feel so alive here’? If none of those locations float your boat, then consider your energy levels and how you feel in: the local gym, the local market or the great outdoors. Do any of them have the power to flick your energy switch one way or the other? Perhaps your workplace fills you with an abundance of energy or maybe it only has the power to flatten your batteries? Knowing the locations that inspire you to be who you want to be, or knowing and acknowledging some of the corrosive environments you have wilted in is valuable information. Fortunately, we all operate and function differently in a variety of environments. So why not write down your thoughts about each of the environments you operate in; on a daily basis and categorise them into classes: energy plus, energy minus and energy neutral.
All the information you record now will be vital to you later on; when you are in the away environment. People as well as places can affect how we feel. So, who do you mix with on a daily basis? How does their behaviour affect your energy levels? You might like to make a list of all the people you have to engage with on a regular basis, and then you can ask yourself a few questions, ‘Who makes me feel angry or uncomfortable when they are close to me? Who has the ability to drain my energy within a minute of contact? On a more positive note, ‘Who do I turn to when I’m feeling emotional or when I’ve got a great new idea? You might like to marry up all the behaviours with the names, so you at least know how different people and their behaviours affect your energy levels. But, how do you and your behaviours affect the energy levels of other people? What sort of energy are you exuding when you host other people? Are you exuberant and welcoming or are you unenthusiastic and hostile? Which behaviour and energy level do you think your guests might prefer?
When you take on the role of guest do you present yourself at the venue as a gentle and affable personality or do you feel obliged to darken their entrance hall with unpleasant and unsociable behaviour? Which behaviour do you think the host would most welcome? Our energy levels and our behaviour have the power to draw people towards us or repel them. The last thought in this ingredient for your consideration is how time affects your energy levels. So, try and recall a memorable event you attended. Then analyse your behaviour pattern and energy levels before, during and after the event. When were you feeling most anxious and how did you behave? When did you stop worrying and how did your behaviour change? And finally, when did you feel most at ease and what type of behaviour did you adopt? The more recollections you make now, the greater your analytical accuracy, which will become vital later on in the game; in the away environment.
FLAVOUR SAVER: Energy forms a part of our Identity. People see it in our actions and they feel it in our embrace. We create it and it creates us. Energy is everywhere and forms everything. During our lifetime, we will enter all sorts of environments. Many of them will inspire us to perform beyond our wildest dreams, whilst other environments can be devoid of almost everything, less oxygen. But, people can change an environment. When people enter a room so does their energy. It is immovable; a permanent escort to our identity. People really do have the power to energise other people or drain their reserves, to light up a room or darken it. And, because we can create it, we should learn how to control it. Energy without control can be incredibly destructive. A balanced energy is vitally important for our wellbeing. When we have control of it, we can live a truly fulfilling lifestyle. Lowering, at will, our vibration for rejuvenation can be achieved just as easily as raising our vibration to take on physical challenges, when we know how. Of course, in the away environment we will open your mind to many different energy sources, and you can learn how to balance your energy to match your lifestyle.
TAKE AWAY INGREDIENT 3: When you control your energy levels you have the ability to influence people and events.