On an ongoing basis, while working on your projects, take some time to pause, and simply ask yourself: “Why am I doing this? Why is this important to me? What will be made possible if this is done?” Give yourself a few seconds for the answer to come to you (optionally, write it down). This allows you to shift your frame of thinking, so you can see the bigger picture, and compare this project with other things you could do with your time or energy.

This doesn’t have to be a long process, even a few seconds of thoughts gives you an opportunity to rise up from the automatic level of action, and connect with a higher self that’s more aware of your priorities. If you want to internalize this habit, you may want to do this regularly, at daily/weekly intervals, or whenever you start a project.

Should you discover conflicts between the priorities of your higher self and the instant gratification sought by your automatic self, you have an opportunity to let the two sides talk it through (see Tool 3.4: Talk to Your Inner Selves). Achieving meaningful things usually involves some inescapable difficulty, so you may want to embrace that.