Inspiring words and thoughts are uplifting, but only for a short time until one forgets them. It is important to have an exercise specifically related to that good thought to focus on for a week or month, to imprint the value into one’s personality.
Accept Responsibility For Your Actions
If you make a mistake in your work or anything that causes another person loss, do not charge to fix the problem you created.
People who suffer a loss because of someone else’s error should not be penalised.
Keeping all your dealings honourable and acting with integrity at your own financial expense is more advantageous because you will gain more in terms of respect and self-respect.
Examine The Effect You Had On Others Today
Ask yourself each night, how what you did today effected other people.
We often do things that we do not notice, and hurt other people in a MINOR way. Since it is minor, it goes unnoticed.
Pay attention to all your little actions and consider everything from the other person’s point of view, be aware of their subtle expressions and reactions to see if you could be a bit more considerate and refine your character a little more.
People and machines have one thing in common: they will not perform well if you push the wrong buttons.
To deepen your understanding of others’ psychological “buttons,” explore your own by paying attention to what is going on in and around you.
Observe your reactions – learn how you react by sensing the feelings in your body. Only when you truly know yourself can you be considerate of others. Until then, remember this:
Good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment.
Keep Your Word
When you say you will do something, you must do it. If you meet someone on the street and you say you will call to have lunch, then you must call. Very simple, just keep your word.
Do Not Speak While In A Group
Refrain from saying even one word when you are with a group of friends or your family.
Tell them that you are going to stay silent for half an hour. If they would like to try the exercise, you can each take turns being silent.
You should still participate in whatever is going on, but merely be mute.
You will start to hear your words forming in your mind and soon be able to think before you speak rather than the other way round.
Use Precision In Your Speech
Watch for exaggerations and be very precise in the words you use.
Refrain from using exaggerated words to describe the weather, or the traffic, the weight of a bag, expressions of effort, ‘I was about to die; It was killing me’.
Reflect on how you speak about other people.
If you cannot stop yourself before speaking, then think about it afterwards.
Heightening Your Awareness of Contagious Negativity
Be aware of negative influences affecting you.
Pay closer attention to what people around you say and what you say in response.
Observe the negativity that comes to expression in everyday rhetoric, especially colloquialisms and automatic remarks.
Identify the negative thoughts and expressions that are permeating your life. Do not participate in those conversations.
Avoid brushing anything off as harmless. For example, the statement; “The weather is going to be terrible this weekend,” although possibly true, ruins the weekend before it begins. The weather is what it is, just adapt.
Or; “I can’t take it, it’s going to kill me if that happens.” That’s a great exaggeration that just makes one worry far more than necessary with a very negative emotional cloud overhead.
Observe Your Own Actions, Opinions, Comments; Live With Integrity
Are your preferences yours or are you going along with others even though you may disagree or doubt that this is the best opinion?
Observe what makes you do and say the things you do. For example, if people are speaking badly about someone, do you just join in without thinking? Or, about the weather. Perhaps it is Monday or Friday morning and everyone is complaining about feeling tired and you robotically agree, even though you do not feel tired.
This exercise will help you gain control over your life rather than living like a sheep, thinking what other people tell you to think while believing that you are independent.
Stick To The Point
In all conversations, keep things directly to the point, say the minimum possible and do not go on long, off-track stories and explanations.
Uncovering The Real You
Examine each of your character traits to see if it is something you value or would prefer to change.
Claim as your own those you value, and discard the rest.
Be sure to repeat this exercise monthly, because in response to your examination, habits may go inactive and resurface later.
Be aware of criticism against you and do not respond.
Notice how you want to react to small things people pick on you for, but just hold your tongue. Do not react at all, ever.
How Not To Get Angry
Every time someone is angry at you, remember that you do not know what happened to them this morning.
Maybe they lost their job or had a car accident, or found they have a terrible illness.
Remember that their words cannot hurt you any more than if they have very bad breath, and they are just like any animal in pain, venting at you. Now you can have compassion for them.
Break A Habit, Make A Habit
Each month, break one current habit and make one new habit.
This helps the fixed personality become more flexible and open minded.
This exercise can be practiced by selecting one Ethic each month and be devoted to perfecting it within yourself.
Do Not Speak Badly About Anyone
Abstain from any gossip or negative words about any other person. If you can’t say anything good, then don’t say anything at all. Practicing the exercise of Do Not Speak While In A Group, will help you learn how to hold yourself back.
Associate Things To People
While doing chores such as washing the dishes or the laundry, each time you touch an item think of the person who used it. Remind yourself of how much you love that person and feel the connection you have with them.
If you are single or live alone, invite yourself over to a friend or family member, or hold a dinner party one night each week.
This exercise will turn chores from boring to joyful and increase the love you feel to a constant experience. You will find great joy in giving of yourself which is the most valuable thing you can give.
Hug Or Call, Share Your Heart
Each day this week, hug as many people as you can, and call anyone you know, just to say, ‘Hello, I care about you very much.’
To increase your awareness of contradictory beliefs and increase your consistency, notice each time you’re feeling a certain way about a situation you recently felt differently about.
Record your observations in a dedicated file or notebook and carry it with you at all times. Notice how many times a week you change your opinions and beliefs.
Observe how everything exists by the existence of its opposite. Bring this view to your inner experiences if you feel attacked or think the world is out to get you.
Identify your opposition to the current situation and take the opposing view to flow with the situation instead of fight it, and guide it to a better outcome without resistance.
By seeing the opposing force, other person’s opinion, we get a clearer understanding of any situation and can quickly reduce our stress and find a harmonious solution.
Show Appreciation For Everything
Give a gift to everyone you receive something from. Buy a bunch of chocolate bars for example, that you can give as a small token to anyone from whom you have received something; advice, help, anything of any sort, to show your immediate gratitude.
This will improve your sense of appreciation for everyone and everything, which results in stronger self-esteem.
Test Your Morals
Observe for one full day how often you compromise your moral standards. For example, you may think of yourself as a person of high integrity and honesty who does not lie or steal. But you might find that you tell lies, compromise your values, distort the truth, or exaggerate. Or you might catch yourself pocketing a small item that does not belong to you. Throughout the day, try to be 100% honest and precise about every word that you say.
Babies Can’t Hold It In
Have you ever changed a baby’s diapers, and after a good cleanup and fresh diaper, within seconds the baby fills it again.
What can you do, get angry or spank the baby? No, of course not. You accept that the baby has no self-control.
See anyone who is yelling at you in the same way, as someone who has no self control and just filled his diapers.
Refining Your Personality
List all your faults. This is not to look down on yourself, but rather to see where you should focus on refining. Although this sounds like a negative thing to do, for a person following Ethicalism, it is actually very encouraging because one discovers and corrects the cause of problems that one did not previously understand or was aware of.
Next, list all your parents faults and add those to the list of your own faults.
Third, ask people who know you quite well what they think your flaws are.
Review this list every morning when you wake up as a reminder of what to watch for during the day, and every night before going to sleep to review your actions.
Aside from being very effective at helping you refine your character, this will develop humility and help you to be more compassionate and understanding of other people.
You will find people are not as irritating to you any more and that other people find you far more worthy of respect.
Learn From Stereotypes
Prove the validity of stereotypes by observing how the majority of people of any particular culture have the same beliefs and manners in clothing, music, manner of speaking, and other forms of self-expression even when they move to another country.
Examine your preferences and think about your parents, society and culture. Look for how you fit the stereotype of your nationality or religion. Are you relating yourself to your country, city, sports team, profession?
To what degree are you truly an individual, and to what degree do your likes, dislikes, and dreams for the future merely reflect family and societal expectations?
Experience the Poor Side of Town
Spend half an hour or so walking through the streets of a very impoverished neighbourhood or shopping area. Look at the people to see what you could be if not for your good luck and effort.
This exercise, done daily, will bring home the value of the lucky life you have. It will help overcome self-pity and help you appreciate everything.
See Bodies, Not People
Go to a party or sit in a crowded cafe for some time blindfolded, or in some way blinded from seeing the people. Listen to the voices and things they say. Normally you will not be able to tell what they look like, but maybe you can get an idea from their accent, although you know, sometimes you will be wrong. You may even think someone is a woman but in fact is a man, just because they have a high pitched voice, or are transgender.
Now, add to being blind, to be deaf. Find a way to be in public and not see and perhaps only hear muffled noises so you cannot distinguish accents or tones.
In that limited way of interacting and judging people, can you tell who is good or bad, or anything else about each individual? Everyone becomes one and the same.
Turn this around. When you travel to another country and are met with prejudice due to your race or country, do you feel that is fair? When you go home, remember that feeling every time you judge someone by their race.
It is wrong to be prejudice against someone you do not know just because of their race, however it is valid to be prejudice against an individual you do know. Get to know each person from a clean mind before you decide what they are like.
Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say
Pay attention to your words, noticing whether or not they are truthful to your beliefs. If you catch yourself lying, recognise that you are hurting yourself the most. Consider that you may be speaking on “automatic pilot”, then try to become more conscious of thinking before you speak. Accuracy in speech is a powerful way to cultivate self-respect.
Exercise To Develop Self Discipline & Will Power
Get a bowl of potato chips, M&M’s, peanuts or whatever your favourite and addictive snack food is, the thing that you cannot stop at eating just one.
Put that bowl on your desk or wherever you are. Set a timer for 30 minute intervals and allow yourself one piece at each interval. This exercise will develop a tremendous amount of will power if you do it long enough, which could be for some months, every day if possible.
The media fast will sharpen your mental awareness.
Physical pain can be inflicted without physical contact, by bright enough light or loud enough sound, or by increasing the frequency beyond the ears ability to hear.
There is a constant barrage of sights and sounds that are slowly numbing your physical senses so your body can handle the background sensory inputs without feeling pain.
The intellect gets so involved with words and other sensory inputs that keep it distracted and hypnotised, that it loses the ability to stay focused or detect subtle sights and sounds.
The exercise is to not listen to radio, music, YouTube, surf the net, watch TV, read newspapers and magazines or any other information input or distraction, other than what is vital for your work.
The mind will calm down and have the opportunity to repair the damage that has been done over the years of over activity.
Your mind will become sharper and clearer if you persist with this exercise for at least one month. You may notice that when you hear an old favourite song for example, you will hear words or notes that you have never heard before.
Find The Real Cause Of An Event, The Cause Of The Cause Of The Cause
Think of any conflict you had today or pick any subject you like. Try to find the real cause, what triggered the event, and then what came before that, and before that.
To reinforce your ability to trace thoughts to their source and learn to think for yourself, visualise a forest, then focus on a tree, then a branch, then a leaf, and finally a vein in the leaf. Follow that vein through the leaf, back through the branch, down through the trunk, to the roots, and into the earth. From within the earth, which feeds the tree, think of where else you might go, the soil, the rain, where the rain comes from.
Do this very slowly so your mind can hold the thread of the visualisation.
This will improve your skill in solving problems and getting out of difficult situations by being able to quickly see the real problem at hand.
Journal of Changes
Purchase a notebook and title it Journal of Changes. Use it exclusively for recording the changes you have noticed within yourself from the time you started practicing these exercises.
As they occur, write down differences you have observed in how people treat you, and how previously troublesome situations or relationships are easier to deal with—any little change that is noticeable.
Let your journal function both as a witness to the subtle changes taking place and as encouragement to persist when progress seems lacking and you review the changes you may have forgotten.
Remember The Ones Who Are Gone
Think of anyone you know and consider what their great grandfather did. Of course you cannot know anything about that person, what about your own great great grandparents? Even your own ancestors are as if they never existed.
Think about what you are worried or upset about now, and think forward 100 years. Will this be in any way relevant or matter to anyone? You may find very little does.
In 100 years, you will be the same, disappeared into oblivion, so why worry.
Whatever you do in this life, the day to day things you are panicking about, will eventually be forgotten, that is a guarantee.
Do Not Step On Any Bugs Today
Pay special attention while you walk outside that you do not step on any bugs if you can avoid it.
This is more about using your attention and being present, and at the same time, you may find that a natural sense of compassion arises.
It may also bring up the feeling of desire to crush that little bug. Either way, do your best not to step on, or kill any bugs, and also observe your feelings and thoughts.