Policies: We All Have Them And They Don’t Always Serve Us

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  • Are there certain rules you live by?

  • Do you have habits or structures in your life that both support you and yet, at the same time, create boundaries and limitations?

  • Are you ever frustrated by a conflict between what you want to do and what you have to do?

The nature of results

Why is it that some things in this world happen reliably, as if by clockwork, so consistently we can set a clock by them or stake a life on them? Even if we don’t want them…

Yet, other things happen inconsistently, or not at all, even if we want or even need them desperately…

“When we argue for our limitations, we get to keep them.”

―Evelyn Waugh

By Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964) - This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3a42832.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43620
Evelyn Waugh was an English writer of novels, biographies, and travel books, and a prolific journalist.

Where habit is involved, it’s a certainty that predictable things occur because a policy exists (even if it’s just an informal policy) that these things happen.

Policy: noun “a high-level overall plan embracing the general goals and acceptable procedures”

Where things are happening, as if by default, even where there’s not a formal agreement for them to be happening, I’m not suggesting there’s a written plan or document that this action or circumstance is agreed.

We all have rules we live by. For example, “I am true to my word”, “turn the other cheek”, “an eye for an eye”. Are these rules written somewhere, or are they more “informal”, existing in your mind but not in writing?

Not All Policies Are Written

I am saying a combination of circumstances arose over time that made these repetitive events and circumstances acceptable, and maybe even desirable. There was a reward in them at one time, and as a result they persisted.

Alternatively, there may have been a punishment (or a perceived punishment or negative outcome), and a behavior started in response to that negative outcome, and has since persisted.

Recap of this lesson segment

  • We all have rules we live by.
  • We are not always aware of the rules we live by.
  • The rules we live by do not always support us, in every situation.
  • Some of the rules we live by actually impede us achieving great results: we all have limiting beliefs.

Progress Checkpoint

Answer these questions in writing (just a sentence or two apiece will do) and include the results in your Power Board:

  1. What was most valuable for you in this lesson?
  2. Describe something you learned that you did not know before.
  3. Write as many of your personal beliefs as you can. See if you can put in words some you’ve had that you hadn’t previously articulated.
  4. See if you can identify any of the limitations you’ve experienced as a result of your beliefs. How have your beliefs stopped you from thinking about or taking action in any area of your life. This exercise isn’t intended to point out things that are “wrong” with you or your life. We all have limiting beliefs. In fact, some limiting beliefs actually keep us safe. The value in this exercise is simply beginning to be able to see your thoughts for what they are and what they are not, and to begin to see the power they have over your thoughts and actions.
  5. Describe something you did during this course that you hadn’t done before.
  6. Name something you created in this course that you hadn’t created before.
  7. Describe a result you delivered in this course that you hadn’t delivered before.

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