VisionCircles in a nutshell
Four concentric circles represent the four elements that make up the story of life. We discover who we are, what is important to us, who we want to become, and whether we are being effective in making our ideals come true in the up's and down's of living.
Circle One represents the situation that concerns us (eg. improving a relationship, advancing in a career, overcoming a personal weakness, etc.). In this circle we talk to ourselves about our concerns. When we take apart our internal conversation we can identify our emotions, our behaviors, our expectations, our ideals, and the ways of thinking underlying all the above.
Circle Two represents our productive and unproductive responses to our concern such as, procrastination or withdrawal from unpleasant people, that make our situation worse; or, confronting, listening and planning that work toward realizing our ideals. Often we ask ourselves, "What was I thinking when I did that?" There's usually an idea behind our behaviors. Sometimes the idea is clear, like "I'm doing this because I care for this person". Sometimes the idea is camouflaged, like "I'll get to it tomorrow". Underneath the behavior of putting off fulfilling a responsibility is the idea of procrastination that leads to the habitual behavior of putting off certain responsibilities. The aim in this circle is to discover the practical ideas that will help us realize our ideals. Eg. Planning and monitoring my time will help me realize the ideals of excellence and reliability. Procrastination will not help.
Circle Three represents the ideals that we want to realize in our lives such as, love, integrity and excellence. As we strengthen our vision, that is, our intuitions and understandings of what is important to us, the awareness of our ideals becomes a daily motivating force attracting us to realize what we see.
Circle Four represents our irrational, rational and supra-rational tendencies. To realize our ideals we need to strengthen our rational and supra (more-than) rational tendencies. Each tendency is made up of certain emotions, behaviors and types of thinking. For example, when I am overwhelmed by confusion I feel anxious and frustrated, I am either paralyzed in my behavior or erratic, and my thinking is not following the rules of common sense.
To repeat, the aim of the Vision Circles program is to change our situation in Circle One for the better by applying effective, practical concepts in Circle Two that will actualize our ideals in Circle Three. To accomplish this goal we will use the OSCAR method of personally and creatively solving our problems to strengthen the mental skills of our rational and supra-rational tendencies in Circle Four. This method of clarifying our ideals and of discovering the means to achieve them will give us a sense of confidence in our judgments, control over our circumstances and freedom to create our career world, our social world and our personal world.
(The dodo in us)
(The beaver in us)
|Supra (more than) rational|
(The eagle in us)
|Self-destruction||Self-profit||Making my world|
If we read down the columns, we see how one tendency is the springboard for the next tendency. By monitoring our self-talk and by reflecting on our thinking we develop the habits of minimizing the strength of our irrational tendencies and maximizing the power of our rational and more-than-rational tendencies. (Example: "I just lost my job, and I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm drinking much more than I use to, but it gives me a breather from all this tension. I'm so damn angry. After giving my all I get this. I thought I could trust the system and the people in it. I guess I was wrong." ) (Same situation with different self-talk: "I just lost my job, and I don't know what I'm going to do. I got to get my thinking in order. I've got to stay focused on what is important to me. I have to start thinking in different ways to get control of this situation.") This second example of self-talk expresses our connection to our rational (the beaver in us) and more-than-rational tendencies (the eagle in us). The first example expresses our downward spiral in the irrational zone (the dodo in us).
For a detailed explanation of The Human Tendencies Profile go to chapter two in the book, What Do I Believe In, A Rational Intuitive Guide For Creating a Personal Creed