Courage or Cowardice?
That's my Heaven or Hell Heuristic.
Whenever I'm in a moment of difficulty, temptation, trials or tribulation, this is the question that pops up in my head.
Pursuing the courageous path is what leads me to Heaven on Earth.
Pursuing the cowardly path is what leads me to Hell on Earth.
These words are personal to me. Words that I have a strong emotional attachment to and has led me to better decision making under difficult times.
Try this exercise to create your own Heaven or Hell Heuristic. That way when tough times do come, you'll be prepared with an ace in your pocket to defend yourself against raw emotion and your reptilian brain.
1. Identify a value that you absolutely abhor in someone. This can be someone you know personally, someone in the world dead or alive, a fictional character.
- This value has to produce a strong emotional reaction. Just the thought of it repulses you. This a value you would never strive for.
2. Identify a value that you absolutely admire in someone. This too can be someone you know personally, someone in the world dead or alive, a fictional character.
- This value also has to produce a strong emotional reaction. The thought of someone embracing this value lights you up and empowers your spirit.
Now you've identified two values that you viscerally produce an emotion to.
Craft your creed in an "or" question.
[The value of highest good] or [The value of lowest wickedness]?
When you are enduring difficulty:
- You lost your patience with a loved one and are on the verge of lashing out.
- You get terminated at a job, lose a big client, a key employee.
- You receive a diagnosis that your health is jeopardized.
Doing the difficulty there are two choices. Aim at the highest good or aim at the lowest bad.
Once you have your Heaven or Hell Heuristic, let it guide you in the small decisions, the small circumstances.
That way one day when it matters the most, you will be ready.