WHOOP recently updated the app’s Journal Feature to give our members the opportunity to track their mental health on a daily basis by monitoring three core psychological needs: Purpose, efficacy and control. What do these mean exactly? In short:
Purpose: Do your environment, work and relationships provide you with an outlet to live your values?
Efficacy: Do you believe that you have the skills and resources to produce a desired or intended result?
Control: Do you feel as though you have autonomy and choice over your day/schedule/life?
Be aware and honest about what is most important to you. Rather than trying to “discover” who you are, “decide” who you are. Knowing what matters to you and who matters to you brings clarity to your decision making and allows you to focus your time, energy and attention in a way that is in line with your core values.
Here’s an exercise to help you construct an honest reflection of your interior life, then remind you how to stay true to your path. Expose yourself to 5-6 “best-self” words (for example, honest, peaceful, present, tolerant, patient, grateful) as often as possible (put them in your phone where you will see them or in a notebook, bookmark, etc). Think about what type of actions will help you get closer to being the person you want to be and enlist the support of people you trust to help keep you accountable.
So, when answering the WHOOP Journal question: Feel a sense of purpose?
Your brain has “default settings,” optimize them! One’s “self efficacy” is the biggest predictor of success in a specific task. The path to efficacy is about creating a flexible mindset that builds better models as it gathers more data about reality.
Beliefs inform how you experience the world. They tell you how important you are, what you are capable of, your role in society, etc. If beliefs about your current state or your thoughts about the future are limited or faulty, your human potential will be diminished. There is ample research that shows practicing gratitude, choosing an optimist view point, and adopting a mindset that growth/future learning is possible greatly predict success and overall potential for happiness.
When the Journal asks: Feel you have the resources/skills to complete daily goals?
“Happiness” is internal. When we feel “in control” over our aspirations, dreams and goals our self-image improves and stabilizes.There are a lot of ways to define “happiness.” One is to think of it as a state where your mind is not wandering off looking for voids to fill. The idea is to develop habits and a way of thinking that position you to focus on your internal state more than external circumstances.
Be mindful that habits accumulate and we get more and more attached to them over time. It is important to recognize when a habit is not working for you and be able to uncondition yourself. Habits, especially the ones that don’t upgrade our lives, tend to be tough to break. Ask for help!
Feel in control of your life?
Incorporating a daily reflection on how you’re feeling related to purpose, efficacy and control can help prompt the behaviors that support and foster these core psychological “needs.” In turn, it will likely improve your overall well being and allow you to perform better in everything you do.