personal mastery

The concept of personal mastery comes from Peter Senge’s learning organisation approach, which describes a process for personal, future-related development work. We worked from this basis to develop a set of questions for self-coaching:

1. My personal vision
The personal vision describes a personally desired target state and/or state of being. Much like strategic processes for organisations, the vision proposal supplies motivational forces to attain goals; from the future to the present. The personal vision can be both private and professional, or connect these two aspects.
What is my personal vision? What and how would I like to live?Describe your vision as precisely and meaningfully as possible.
Imagine, in as sensorial a way as possible, a reference situation in the future in which you live out your vision:
Where are you?
Whom or what do you see around you?
What do you hear? What do you say?
How can you physically perceive that this situation fulfills your wishes?
Is there something specific that you can smell or feel?

2. Obligation to the truth
Senge advocates consistent self-assessment and self-consciousness in terms of your own strengths and weaknesses. Only those who are honest with themselves will find ways to get through difficult phases and to remain ‘in their own strength’.

Where do I stand today in relation to my vision?
What are my strengths and resources?
What do I still need to learn, communicate and develop to attain my vision?

3. Creative tension
Senge describes a difference between creative and emotional tension. Creative tension is a present-moment status with a focus on the vision (future-related, ambiguity) and the ability to maintain this state of certainty. Emotional tension describes falling back into old dynamics and patterns of behaviour. The aim here is to maintain creative, future-related tension.

Who or what are my greatest critics?
Where might my weaknesses / stumbling blocks be?
What do I really need to pay attention to in particular?
What can support me in my daily process of upholding my vision, my new life plan?
How, or by what means, can I keep this in mind, even in difficult situations?

4. Using the unconscious
Senge understands using the unconscious as the skill of using one’s own intuition and our self-confidence to allow things to happen rather than pushing them forward with heavy energy expenditure.
The focus here is on using intuitive intelligence and strength of perception.

What have I already achieved, and how did I do it?
What can I do to keep up energy that is directed at the future?
What inner constructive convictions guide me in this process?
What can I delegate to my unconscious in order to allow things to happen?
What personal state is the best one for this?
How can I call forth this state?