The Wise Path/Engagement

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—Activity toward goals

Being There

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Engaged people focus their actions on meeting goals. They have clearly established goals that are important to them and they are committed to meeting those goals. They know where they are headed and why it is important to get there. These goals may be modest and self-centered requiring little action, or they may be bolder goals to learn, gain strength, achieve, imagine, create, and help others. Goals carefully chosen based on well-chosen values are the source of inspiration, engagement, and committed action. Engaged people focus on what matters.

Engaged people focus their actions on meeting goals.

Autonomy also increases along with a corresponding level of personal responsibility. Engaged people make their own decisions, act on those decisions, and take ownership for the results.

Getting There

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Studying these resources and conscientiously practicing the skills they describe will help you stop thrashing and become engaged.

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  • Establish meaningful goals.
  • Manage your time and actions to meet those goals.
    • Keep your goals in mind. Align your to-do list with your goals.
    • Ignore distracting impulses and temptations so you can direct your activities toward your goals.
    • Ask yourself: “Is what I am doing now the most important thing I can be doing to reach my goals?”
  • Revise your goals from time to time to reflect your progress and align more closely with your evolving values.
    • Clear and effective short-term goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Goals that lack our personal commitment are not likely to be achieved.
  • Increase your strength, stamina, and endurance:
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Reading these books will help get you engaged:

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto, by Michael Pollan
  • The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life, by Rosamund Stone Zander, and Benjamin Zander
  • Community: The Structure of Belonging, by Peter Block

Moving On

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Continue to stay engaged as you work toward courage.


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This table links to the states that neighbor this one. This can help orient you to this state both horizontally, showing the action and cognition states at this level of development, and vertically showing the emotion levels before and after this one.

Emotionally Competent Engagement Factually Informed


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  • “The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems.” ~ Mohandas K. Gandhi