Personal self-government: Govern yourself like your own country

[…] I find one metaphor that works really well for personal management of life is thinking of yourself as a country.
Imagine that you are your own country.
[…] I find this especially comes out when there’s kind of internal disagreement, when I feel conflicted inside.
Maybe different parts of me want to do different things.
I’m having trouble deciding between going in different directions.
And then it seems like it’s a lot like what would happen in a political disagreement inside a country.
[…] So of course, think of the classic conflict between “Should I work hard doing the things that I believe I should do, or should I relax and have fun at the moment?” This is the conflict that seems to keep coming up, of course, over and over.
So you could think of it like different forces inside yourself.
You have this political faction that is very much about- it has its particular vision for how it wants you to be.
So this would be like this kind of a self-development faction that’s all about, you know, “We you want to improve yourself.
We want you to get better.
We want this country to change in these particular ways.” So they have set ideas about “This is where we’re gonna go.”
[…] And then another faction would be this kind of “I want to enjoy myself right now” faction.
They are against this idea of this self-development vision, because that does not seem like it’s really worth doing.
And they would argue that “If you push this self-development too far, you’re simply trying to run yourself like you’re a machine, and you’re not going to be able to enjoy life.
And we’re here to enjoy life, so let’s enjoy life right now and not put it off.” That would be their campaign.
This political faction, they are about having fun right now.
[…] So you could imagine it like a political debate, maybe like in a internal parliament, where you have the factions arguing with each other and making their case.
And now, as to how the decision gets made, that depends on how you arrange your internal government.
So you could make it like a democracy, and sort of have this majority rule effect, where the voices with the greater number are the ones that will prevail.
[…] On the other hand, you could arrange your system like an aristocracy, where you have a certain noble class, a certain faction that is automatically in power, so that they would simply ignore the side that would be arguing against their plan.
[…] There could be like a council of elders, a council giving advice and deciding the best way to go, these respected leaders in a council advising the king, and then the king making the decision “This is what I will do.” Or at the extreme, you could have a total dictatorship, where you simply have the autocrat, the boss, who simply decides from the top “This is the program.
Everybody else: follow along.” And of course, each of these systems has its own issues and limitations.
[…] And ultimately, in the extreme case, if the top rulership is not able to run the body and make the necessary decisions to keep the whole body working, then there can eventually be full revolt.
If this little group in control, making all the decisions for everybody, gets more and more removed from the body as a whole, it eventually becomes its own little alien group that is trying to control everybody, but becomes further and further removed from their reality, until eventually they’re no longer able to maintain the order, and all the people below simply rise up and topple the head, and say “No, we will take this no more.
We will set up our own leadership.” So I think this metaphor works really well for showing that dynamic between you can make decisions for yourself about how you’re going to behave, what you’re gonna do, what you’re not going to do.
But that doesn’t automatically mean that you can do it.
It doesn’t automatically mean that you are going to follow those policies that you set for yourself.
[…] So there’s that delicate balance between directing the people in a certain way, ruling them with a certain policy, where you expect everybody to behave in a certain way, and yet, the rulership cannot decide to do anything, cannot just make people do whatever it wants.
There is a kind of internal dialogue and a compromise and a balance between these forces inside us.
And that’s why I find this a really fun way to look at internal dynamics.
So I’d be curious to hear if any of you have also tried this way of thinking about your internal dynamics.
What does your internal government look like? And how are your internal politics going?

#governyourself #yourowncountry #selfgovernment

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