Self-mastery: becoming one’s own person through ANWOT
Our needs and our wants are largely expressed in the way we think. Throughout our first decades, our thinking is programmed somewhat like a computer or a robot. We passively acquire the wiring and the meanings imposed by our genes and our nurturers, those characteristic of our particular culture. As we attain physical and mental maturity, we have the opportunity to free our will from the manner of thinking fate and circumstance have provided us. This process has been called “becoming one’s own person.” Mental freedom is not rebellion from our early “programming.” Our nurturers usually mean well, do their best, and teach us valuable skills. Rather, mental freedom is the emancipation of our will to critically appraise what we are, what we believe, how we act, to consider alternatives, and choose from among them the path we our self determine is most appropriate. Mental freedom is also the process of taking personal responsibility for our thinking, feelings, and actions.
The good news is that ANWOT does not require learning a new language. Assuming personal responsibility is attained with a limited number of updates to our native language when our thinking has sufficiently matured that we can incorporate them. The vocabulary strens will provide these simple changes and explain why they work. They are the essence of ANWOT. I have also created what I call the Mental Response Control Panel. It arbitrarily categorizes the choices we have available to us in dealing with life’s challenges into eight (8) categories. Two of these choices are almost universally helpful. The alternative choices commonly create what we don’t want. With time and practice, and initial clumsiness (like learning to walk) ANWOT will become habitual, automatic and effortless.