I teach a thinking exercise called “Being Your Own Best Friend” to the clients I work with. It’s about developing the perspective to look at yourself from an observer position that’s different from your normal position of being in the experience you are having.
For many people they are already very good at doing this, though they’re actually better at doing the observer position than being in their experience, so there’s work here to do as well.
Being in your experience is the position of designer or director where you are in charge of your life, leading yourself to get what it is that you want. This is where you use mindfulness to focus on what it is that you want. It’s a mistake to use mindfulness to just be present, that is a mindless position that's going nowhere. Of course it may take some work to get clear on what it is that you want.
The observer position when you are able to do the designer or director position separately from it is the position of the architect. The architect looks at your design and directions from the perspective of time.
So the more you can do the designer position, the in time position of being in the moment mindfully you are focussing on having the experience that you are having. Not just being present, but being aware in the present of the experience you are having. In understanding how you use your mind correctly here it can be useful to make the distinction that you are the player playing the game, not the bystander watching. So you are on the field with your team facing the opposition. Here the architect would be the coach who while isn’t playing the game with you has run through with you beforehand what you will do, how you will play, and what you will do in different scenarios.
So you get better at the architect position if you have a real coach because you are innately modelling what they do, learning to take the position they take with you so you can do that for yourself.
How this works in practice, or in real life to be more specific is you can be in the moment fully experiencing your life. For example talking to an attractive person who is showing attraction to you. And because you are in the moment in the designer or director position things are going the way you want them to go. Or more specifically you are able to respond to the person you are with so you are aware of what they want and you’ve aligned that with what it is you want. It’s a dual position of mutual alignment. You are building a win win scenario. They want to buy what you want to sell, or you both want to go home together :-)
Here from the architects position you can take the perspective of going do I just want to go home with this person for the night? Is it just this one time thing? Or is there more to it? And if there is the possibility of more is that possibility worth changing the current decision of going home with them to make that possibility more real?
It’s do I want to make the sale now when they want to buy or do I find out more about them so I know the sale is right for them long term? The benefit here is of course you will get a repeat customer who will come back for more of what you have for sale and who will recommend you to all their friends. Which of course is also true on the personal side as well!!
So how you make this real for you is embodying those two positions, the perspective of designer/director and the perspective of architect. It can be easier to work with a coach who takes the “Best Friend” the architect role for you while you work on being mindfully present, getting into that powerful position of leading yourself. But at the same time you can also learn from the coach and gradually take on more and more of their position for yourself so you become your own best friend.