The central predicament of human life is that we neither possess completely free will, nor are we completely determined by external circumstances. We set and pursue goals, only to become waylaid by habits and distractions. Often we know the patterns in our lives that we would love to change–from overeating to taming our tempers–but still find ourselves falling into old ruts. There are many seemingly different approaches to counseling and psychotherapy, but at a high level all of them represent ways of increasing our self-awareness and, ultimately, control over our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
When I reviewed evidence-based short-term approaches to therapy with two colleagues at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, a surprising conclusion stood out. Every effective approach utilizes shifts in states of consciousness to facilitate change. These shifts may be quieting, as in the case of meditation, or they may be activating, as in the case of experiential and behavioral therapies. Across the modalities, there is an understanding that, in our routine states of awareness, we tend to fall into routine. Changing and expanding our consciousness is a portal to expanding our willpower, our capacity for self-determination.
The quest for peak performance is, at root, an effort to become more fully self-determining. Might we explore peak performance practices the way we’ve looked at evidence-based therapies to uncover insights into willpower?
More here – Forbes