I often like to do a simple meditation where I visualize a room with two chairs facing each other. I imagine myself sitting in one chair, and I invite my highest and best self to sit in the other chair. Sometimes I invite my future self, the version of me that’s 5 years older. This works well either way, but lately I’ve been getting the best results by tuning into an alternate-reality version of my present self. His reality is the one in which I’m the happiest and most fulfilled. The most important element of this meditation is that I’m consulting with another version of myself that I feel is wiser in some way.
Then I imagine having a chat with my other self.
The main value in this exercise isn’t about getting specific answers to questions. The value lies in connecting with my true self and getting a better sense of who he really is. What kind of a man is he? What does he value most?
When I understand who my best self is, then I have a clearer sense of the man I wish to become. This understanding makes it easier to set good goals and intentions. When I set goals with this level of understanding, I’m more likely to follow through on them because they’re well aligned with the kind of man I most desire to be. They may be very difficult goals, but I’m less likely to experience self-doubt about my desire for them. I just know they’re right for me.
My lower self likes to ask What should I do? But each time I ask that question, I get different answers, depending on which external influences happen to be the loudest or most infectious at that time.
I find that a better question to ask is: What would he do? where “he” refers to my best self.
When considering different possible paths, I can ask myself, Does this help me align more closely with my best self? If the answer is no or probably not, then I know it’s a path I should reject. If I pursue such a path, I won’t feel good about it, I’ll doubt myself often, and I’ll encounter a lot of resistance along the way. But if it’s a path that does align well with my higher self, then I tend to experience wonderful flow and fulfillment.
The key idea here is to set goals and intentions very carefully. You can waste a lot of time and suffer unnecessary frustration if you try to pursue a path that doesn’t align with the person you most desire to be.