Episode 4: The Sage and The Sage Perspective
When was the last time you found yourself really struggling to solve a problem? You worked until you were exhausted and still no luck. Then you went to bed, took a shower, had dinner with a family, did anything else, and the solution came to you. Building your Sage muscle can help to shorten the struggle and make the process more enjoyable.
As your mental fitness builds your productivity increases, relationships improve, and inner peace grows. Mental fitness is dependent upon three core muscles: the self-command muscle, the saboteur-interceptor muscle, and the Sage muscle. The stronger our self-command and saboteur-interceptor muscles are, the easier it is to use the Sage muscle. When we’re in a challenging situation, it’s not enough to just say “think positively!” It takes strength to move from a negative, saboteur-hijacked state into a positive, sage mindset, which is why we need to build the muscles that enable that.
The Sage Muscle is a BIG Topic!
The Sage muscle helps us move into the Sage perspective. The Sage also gives us access to deep empathy for ourselves and others. It encourages curiosity and innovation. It helps us find meaning. It’s also the key to getting into laser-focused, inspired action. We could devote a whole episode to any one of those so for now the focus will be on the Sage perspective.
The Sage perspective is that every circumstance or outcome can be converted into a gift or opportunity. This is not about sugar coating bad situations. Also, we are not suggesting that everything happens for a reason. You may or may not believe that, and it doesn’t matter in this context. The Sage perspective says that the circumstance has already happened, now what are you going to do about it?
The saboteurs work hard to keep us in negative emotions, especially in tough circumstances. The problem is these negative emotions start to narrow our focus, so we can’t see the big picture. They also make it harder to access our creativity and intuition. The Sage perspective on the other hand helps to expand our options, we see more possibilities, which makes it easier to find a productive path forward.
Steps to Get into the Sage Perspective
When you find yourself in a negative state of mind,
Use the saboteur interceptor muscle to name that you’re being influenced by a saboteur and distance yourself. You could say “There goes the saboteur again. Thanks, but I don’t need you right now.”
Do some self-command exercises to engage your Sage brain and to start switching out of the saboteur perspective.
Then ask yourself, what gift or opportunity can I create out of this difficult situation? What is the gift of knowledge? What is the gift of strength? What is the gift of inspiration?
When asking yourself these questions, allow the answers to percolate up. The path of the Sage is the path of ease and flow. This is about generating possibilities and shifting our mindset, it’s not about coming up with the perfect answer. The gift might not manifest until farther into the future, but you may be able to recognize what’s possible and work to start manifesting it.
For example, if you just lost a key customer, some potential gifts could include the following. Develop systems for assessing customer satisfaction so you can address concerns before you lose the customer. Analyze your competitive positioning so you can capitalize on opportunities to gain even more clients. Reinvigorate and create a sense of purpose among teammates who may have become complacent and started looking elsewhere to continue their development.
If nothing comes to mind, don’t worry. This is perfectly normal. The process seeds your mind. The answer may come when you’re focused on something else such as showering or taking a walk. This is how intuition works. The more you follow these steps, the stronger the Sage muscle becomes, and the easier it becomes to find the gift. Here are a few examples.
The Gift of Knowledge – From Wendy
I’m the co-founder of a non-profit organization for artists. We run this organization almost entirely with volunteers. There have been so many technology challenges that needed to be figured out, and I found myself in the role of finding and coordinating a bunch of different tech solutions. Now, this is NOT my area of expertise, but because I had to just figure it out, I’ve gained knowledge that has been helpful in other areas of my life. I never would have learned this stuff if I didn’t have to step up and meet those challenges. It truly has been a gift!
The Gift of Strength – From Lisa
Since our move about a month and a half ago, we’ve had trouble with our internet, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, sprinkler system, boiler, and mice! As a result, I’ve had to work late and on weekends to make up for the time I’ve spent fixing these problems. It would be easy for me to fall into a victim mindset, which, to be honest, happened at times. But while venting feels satisfying in the moment, it’s not productive.
When I felt overwhelmed, I did some self-command exercises, actively engaged the Sage perspective, and found two gifts. First, it will be easier to relate to my clients who are often ambitious and extremely busy themselves. Second, it gave me a chance to practice self-empathy and self-compassion, which expanded my empathy for my husband, who was also going through these challenges. This helped us pull together instead of fighting, even with the increased stress. In the past, I would have been so wrung out by all the obstacles that, while I still may have been productive, I wouldn’t have been much fun to be around!
The Gift of Inspiration
There are so many examples, big and small, of the gift of inspiration. The big challenges in life can inspire people to step up and do something different. Think of it as “necessity is the mother of invention.” After hurricane Katrina, families around the country donated funds and opened their homes to help families that were displaced. After a life-threatening illness, people are often inspired to make big changes to align their lives with their values.
What challenges are you facing currently? How could increased mental fitness help you approach the situation more effectively? This is work I do regularly with my coaching clients. In addition, I offer a 10-week Positive Intelligence program which has proven highly effective for helping my clients strengthen their mental fitness. The program includes weekly videos and weekly group coaching for the first 7 weeks and access to the Positive Intelligence app, individual coaching, and, during the last 4 weeks of the program, two mastermind sessions. I’d be happy to have speak with you and explore what would best support you and your growth. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a free 30-minute consultation.
In the meantime, try the steps above and from the prior videos and share what you are experiencing!