Choosing Your Challenges: The Power of Only Those That Inspire You

Choosing Your Challenges: The Power of Only Those That Inspire You

If you don’t fill your day with high-priority actions that inspire you and that solve meaningful challenges or problems that serve, your day will probably fill up with low-priority, meaningless challenges and distractions that won’t.

If you do not fill your day with preplanned certainty and order (life-giving negentropy) your day will probably fill up with unplanned uncertainty and disorder (life-taking entropy). But you may ask: What exactly is life-taking entropy?

Entropy is a scientific concept, as well as a measurable physical property, that is most commonly associated with a state of disorder, randomness, uncertainty or aging. The term and the concept are used in diverse fields, including human behavior. It has found far-ranging applications in biological systems and their relation to the management of information and social life.

Entropy as a term comes from a Greek word meaning transformation. Referring to constitution and structure, in 1862, Rudolf Clausius interpreted entropy as meaning disaggregation, or the separation of components from a whole, or as John von Neuman and Claud Shannon described it, simply missing information.

Some psychologists have referred to this missing information as information which you are presently unconscious of and referred to the whole as you being completely informed and fully conscious, or simply mindful. The whole could also represent your state of authenticity, or full awareness of your essential Self, and the separation being the divisions of the conscious and the unconscious portions of your existential mind—creating your inauthentic masks, facades or personas revolving and aimlessly wandering around your true authentic, or essential, Self.

And you may also ask: What exactly is life-giving negentropy?

Negentropy as a term was coined by Nobel laureate Erwin Schrodinger in his 1943 lectures and published in his 1944 book titled What is Life. It is the decrease in entropy and increase in order, structure and function within ‘living’ or ‘self-organizing’ systems. It is sometimes called life physics, compared to entropy, which has been called decay or death physics.

When you organize your life and set a well-reasoned, mindful objective that inspires you, that is in alignment with your true highest value or priority—that one primary chief aim that you feel is most meaningful and important—you bring blood flow, glucose and oxygen to the medial prefrontal cortex or ‘executive center’ residing in your forebrain. This self-mastery and gratitude center in your forebrain awakens within you a clear and inspired vision; it strategically plans, mitigates anticipated risks, executes the pre-designed action steps and governs or dampens any extrinsic, distracting animal impulses and instincts that can arise from the lower ‘desire center’ located in your amygdala and lower hindbrain. It also assists you in achieving your most inspired primary objective, or most meaningful chief aim.

When you are living by design more than duty; by intrinsic reflection more than extrinsic reflexes; by an unborrowed vision more than one borrowed from the collective social herd; by visual clarity more than cloudiness; your individual state of self-organizing negentropy will overrule nature’s tendency toward aging entropy. In this state you are more whole, integrated and fulfilled instead of empty, disintegrated, divided or scattered; more alive than dying.

Empowered leaders keep transforming apparent disorder into order by pursuing and tackling ever-greater professional or social challenges that they are serially-inspired to solve. They look for local or global challenges or problems that they can effectively contribute solutions to that are deeply and intrinsically meaningful and that serve ever-greater numbers of people. More disempowered followers, on the other hand, often attempt to avoid challenges that don’t inspire them. The former leaders awaken within themselves ‘eustress,’ which promotes wellness and resilience and the latter followers lead themselves inevitably to distress, which is non-resilient and illness producing.

Every time you stick to your highest priority and most productive actions in the present moment, you increase the probability of achieving your inspired outcome. You expand your space and time horizons; you work more effectively and efficiently and you gain ever-greater confidence in your ability to achieve ever-more inspiring and powerful, socially-contributing objectives.

The executive center in your forebrain allows for the foresight to transform any unrealistic expectations and fantasies you may be harboring into true, achievable and meaningful objectives that have sustainable social utility.

The desire center in your subcortical amygdala subjectively biases your perceptions of reality and initiates immediate, gratifying emotionally-motivated survival impulses or instincts for often unrealistic expectations that have unsustainable social futility. The missing information resulting from the subjective bias divides your mental awareness up into conscious and unconscious portions. which distorts your expectations and skews your reactions to avoid that which is unavoidable and seek that which is unobtainable—therefore leading to greater frustration and futility.

The executive center governs, grounds or dampens the survival impulses and instincts of your animal reflexive brain and polishes any unrealistic expectations into more truly meaningful and thriving objectives.

Your brain is homeostatic in nature and designed to assist you in living a fully-integrated, organized and authentic life of ever-greater achievement.

Maximum growth and development occurs at the border of order and disorder—at the edge of chaos. Therefore, it is inevitable that you will repeatedly face both pursued and unsought challenges in life. So if you don’t decide which challenges you would love to tackle in your life, you will keep attracting those that will frustrate and distress you.

When you become a bit infatuated or elated with an unplanned goal and attempt to seek unrealistic and one-sided fantasies where you are conscious of the upsides and unconscious of the downsides, this creates disordering entropy due to the missing information and results in anxiety, frustration and self-depreciation.

When you become resentful and attempt to avoid unrealistic, one-sided nightmares where you are conscious of the downsides and unconscious of the upsides, this also creates disordering entropy again due to missing information.

But, when you fill your day with and pursue fully-conscious, high priority, strategized objectives, your executive center mitigates potential risks and makes you more fully conscious of both sides of the equation, liberates you from the entropy and initiates high-achieving, life-enhancing negentropy. In this way you give rise to social utility more than futility.

In conclusion, you have a great inner power to fully take command and design your life by filling your day with high priority challenges that inspire you, thereby bringing out the life-inspiring executive leader you have lying within.

About The Author

Dr. John Demartini

Dr. John Demartini, one of the world's leading authorities and educators on human behavior and leadership development, is the founder of the Demartini Institute, which offers an extensive curriculum of more than 76 courses on self-development, life mastery and leadership. Demartini's knowledge is the culmination of 46-plus years of cross-disciplinary research, and he travels internationally full time, addressing audiences in media, seminars and consultations. He is the author of more than 40 self-development books, including the bestseller The Breakthrough Experience, and he has produced numerous audio CDs, DVDs and online programs discussing financial and business mastery, relationship development, health and healing, the art of communication and inspiring education and leadership. Demartini has been featured in film documentaries such as “The Secret,” “The Opus,” and “Oh My God” alongside Ringo Starr, Seal and Hugh Jackman. He has also shared the stage with influential educators Stephen Covey, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Steve Wosniak, Tony Fernandez and Donald Trump. He has appeared on “Larry King Live,” “The Early Show” and “Wall Street,” as well as in the publications Shape, Leadership, Success, Prestige, Entrepreneur and O. For editorial consideration, please contact [email protected](dot)com.

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