Cultivating sovereignty is an inward journey. Identifying those subconscious traits that cause us to mess up is an important part of cultivation. This video gives great insight into how these inner ego traits are formed through repressed dramatic experiences.
Watch this video and meditate (self reflect) on your own repressed unremembered memories that push your buttons. By being mindful, you can recognize the next this personality (trait) arises and then consciously choose the right action which is to say be the sovereign by managing the ego. Know your “self”.
Want to learn about the Tao Principle of Self (ego) management? Click below
“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
The last blog post contained the lesson “before goals, work on the self first”. This post continues with this context. With New Years right around the corner, many of us are contemplating resolutions for the new year. We are making promises to ourselves and setting goals to improve our lives. But before we make that selection and promise, it is wise to contemplate the motivating intention. This too is working on the self first.
As mentioned before, self-management (sovereignty) is ego management. Ego intentions can lead to an unexpected and undesired destiny. Self-reflection is a good meditation to explore the why and what of the intention being considered. Its good to step back and pay attention to the emotions that may be driving those intentions. It’s good to acknowledge and remember that the ego is mostly self-serving and narcissistic. And it is always wise to remember take a moderated approach.
Ask your self these questions and give honest answers. They will reveal what is behind your intentions. Your intentions should be grounded in wisdom and virtue. Look to see if the ego intentions such as vanity, greed, or envy.
Why do I really want to achieve this goal?
If you are intending on aquiring something, is it “want” or a “need”.
What am I trying to accomplish?
What will it take to achieve this? What level of commitment are you willing to give?
What role is the ego playing in this desired goal?
Will this cause harm to others?
What future and destiny am I creating for myself?
Goal achievement takes a measure of discipline to continue when you face obstacles along the way.
What is your strategy for staying on the path when you have the inevitable setback?
How will you maintain willpower and not give in to distraction and desire?
Finding answers to these questions is working on the self. Sovereignty is the ability of the true-self to manage the ego self from hijacking good intentions and getting lost on the side paths.
For more strategies on working on the self, please see my book.
New Years is just around the corner. It is a time when people pledge new resolutions. Lofty goals of self-improvement are set and like so many of us, they have been forgotten by March. I found a way that helped me to stay on the goal path until the achievement has been made. Your first resolution should be to work on your “self”.
Before you can work on your goals and strategies, you must lay the foundation for success through self-discipline. The first discipline that you must commit to is to cultivate your “self” first. Chapter 26, Sovereignty.
This uncommon insight was given to me early on by my Tao mentor, and I have found it to be one of the most important first strategies to cultivate. Goals without willpower and self-discipline are just good intentions. The chances of not finishing are much higher without them. You know the old proverb about the road to hell as being paved with good intentions.
What does “work on the self first” mean? It means to learn to control the wild ego part of the spirit that is the epitome of self-satisfaction and desire. The discipline in maintaining full management and control over emotions, desire, and distraction so that you can avoid the pitfalls and temptations that lead to failure.
Ego-goals are well intended but almost always fail. Every January, many people state a new resolution to accomplish a personal goal. Weight loss is a very common one, and we all know that the failure rate is very high. We lose our momentum towards the weight loss goal when we:
Lose the will to continue
become distracted (forget or don’t pay attention to what we are doing)
Lie to ourselves
set the goal for the wrong reasons
and most importantly, when we lose our battle with desire
Only if you are mindful of your emotions, feelings, choices, and actions can you wisely navigate life to accomplish long-term goals. Goal achievement lies somewhere in the future. The steps you take to reach that point in your destiny are made right here and right now. That moment of choice is the point whether you remain true to your higher self or fail at self-discipline. You must have virtuous clarity in picking your strategies and goals otherwise you will serving the ego’s path of desire. How to work on the self begins with meditation and mindfulness. A good teacher can help you begin to be aware of the ego’s effect on your choices and actions through mindfulness. Being aware of your intentions and choices are mandatory to have the willpower and discipline to not make those working choices.
These are excerpts from the book. For this and more Tao wisdom please consider getting a copy here:
Sovereignty, The Tao Principle of Self-Discipline, available on