Know Your Own Shadow

In our previous article, I talked about perspective and how we all have internal prejudices. We learned how looking at the world through other people's eyes will help us avoid conflicts and expand our thinking. In this article, I would like to expand on that point slightly and propose a task that you may find much harder to accomplish. That task is to look inside yourself!

As I have said many times, we all carry prejudice within ourselves in one way, shape, or form. Beyond that, we all have the capacity to live as though we have a split personality, just like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This "duality" is just part of being human and you can never completely escape it. If you are truly going to live a healthy, productive life then you need to be able to recognize that shadowy part of yourself and not allow it to take control.

We all must recognize and acknowledge that within each one of us there is a little bit of the devil riding along right next to the saint. This isn't easy. Most of us look at things that have happened over the course of history and say: I would never let that happen! Guess what? We oftentimes do and if you don't believe it, just think about those times when you caught yourself thinking, "how did I get into this situation?" So, yes, we can sometimes do the unthinkable.

Furthermore, you cannot overcome that which you refuse to acknowledge. It's plain and simple, we all have our weaknesses. If we are to experience our whole selves, we have got to recognize those parts of us that are inconsistent with the person we strive to be. Maybe we suffer from envy or pride. Maybe we suffer from greed or gluttony. We all have something that serves as a temptation that can be hard to resist.

People, I know that it is not easy but I am asking you to search your heart, mind, soul, and body. You need to come to grips with the enemy that lies within you! Identify both your Dr. Jekyll side and your Mr. Hyde side. In other words, become familiar with your positive and negative behavior patterns. Learn to develop yourself into one consistent, positive temperament that you want to present to the world. It's time to dis-empower Dr. Jekyll!

My challenge for you this week:

Identify the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde within you.

  1. Write a paragraph describing the type of person you strive to be. Include the way you want to think, feel, look, and behave in both your professional and financial ambitions.

  2. What current habits do you engage in that serve to advance your transformation? (Mr. Hyde)

  3. What current habits are inconsistent with your desired transformation? (Dr. Jekyll)

  4. Write down a strategy to manage or eliminate your inconsistencies.

Once you have completed these steps, you must commit to your strategy as a way of life!

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