Relying on Your Ideals for Self-support
Tuesday November 2, 2021
As we go through life, we often find ourselves confronting challenging circumstances. During those times, self-support is really important. You will be more resilient as you use tools and systems that are designed to support who you are, and who you can be.
In order to support yourself, it’s important to be able to believe in the “big picture,” and to have a set of ideals to believe in. This may even feel more true, the more you are a natural big-picture thinker—but it’s really true for everybody.
Discovering Your Big-picture Ideals
You may not feel like an idealist, but you probably have some big-picture ideals. Here are some aspects that can help you identify an ideal:
- Ideals may be described as: Hopes, beliefs, dreams, expectations.
- Ideals are sets of conditions you want to look forward to seeing in the future.
- An ideal outcome may not seem probable, but it will at least seem possible.
- You may not be able to describe all of your ideals, but you can feel them or identify with them when they are brought up.
- A rewarding feeling is attached to planning for, or expecting, the ideal outcomes.
One way I know my ideals are being supported is when I feel positive emotion. I may also feel more freedom to be creative, or to brainstorm new ideas.
Examples of Ideals
Here are some examples of ideals:
- I know we can work out our disagreements over time in a productive way, if we can be gentle and respectful.
- If we try to set a reasonably good example, this will often influence the people around us for the better.
- We can work together as a group, team, or gathering and make big, positive changes.
- If we can reach win-win outcomes more often, we can be happier about the future of our civilization.
- We can search out, and find, people like ourselves who want to be creative, productive, and open-minded.
- If I keep learning, I’ll be able to give back to society in generous ways.
How to Put Your Ideals to Work for You
If you haven’t already, try to write down some of your own ideals. Keep them in a file, if you can.
Then, at the beginning of the next day, or even just the next time life gets tough, try this:
- Refer to your list of ideals.
- Ask yourself how you can respect those ideals, and live them, during this difficult time.
- Ask if it may help to re-phrase, or change the way you communicate or think about your ideals.
- Check in later to reflect on what you’ve learned about living those ideals, including tips for respecting them in the future.
- If you have the energy, share what you’ve learned with others.
How The Results Should Look
As a result of this activity:
- You should feel more respect for yourself.
- You should feel like you’ve learned more about your ideals.
- You should feel like you can put your own ideals into effect directly, rather than just waiting for them to show up someday!
You should also feel better about your beneficial role and position in life, and more secure in your ideals. Congratulations, you are making the world a better place.
Notes On Going the Other Way
Sometimes we can get angry or upset when we feel like our ideals are being disrespected. To a big-picture thinker, it may seem like common sense to live based on a set of high ideals. But not everyone thinks the same way.
You may have found that you reacted to such a disappointment automatically, with negative results. This could be even more true, the more you feel like your ideals are disregarded by society at large.
However, quite a lot of people haven’t been trained or raised to put their ideals first, in the way that big-picture thinkers do. Some have even been raised to equate big-picture thinking with naivete, or gullibility.
If you’re in such a situation, here it can ALSO help to refer to the steps above and put your ideals to work.
You can remain resilient and reinforce a healthy life by continuing to live your ideals, even if you do have to work to improve the way you communicate them.
If you do let your ideals fall through, and you “sink to their level,” please be very careful. This will not be a comfortable way to think for big-picture thinkers. So there may be a tendency to overdo it—to get really nasty or to take revenge for example. It may be important to buy yourself time or distance to think or plan.
I hope this gives you some food for thought regarding ideals. In my opinion they are one of the least-discussed, but most powerful tools we have in supporting ourselves as we build a healthy life.
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