Is it possible to design ourselves, as if we were objects, buildings or cities? It is, according to Patrizio Paoletti, who invites us to look inside with the technique of Inner Design. Here is how

Patrizio Paoletti is a meditator and founder of the International School of Self Awareness, which combines research in neuroscience with art, philosophy and economics: being silent for a minute a day, he tells us, can be the beginning of a revolution. Thanks to a technique called Inner Design.

What is Inner Design Technology?

It is a practice that gives access to five fundamental aspects that describe our inner design, that is, who we really are, net of the superstructures. The first step to get in touch with ourselves is to say: “I can do it”, to give ourselves the opportunity to create a door between us and what is inside, which can be planned when we are aware of it.

The first challenge to be faced is the disconnect between the inner world and external stimuli. Scholars assume that for every single data that reaches superficial consciousness, there are ten million ones that are stored, and not managed, lost between the unconscious and the subconscious. Inner Design is allowing yourself a minute of silence to understand where they have ended up, remaining in the moment we are living, listening to the breath.

After understanding each other comes the planning that you call prefiguration, that is,throwing oneself forward. How do you train to be a visionary?

By learning to look beyond our usual horizons, to take a new direction. Our memory relentlessly projects past data to imagine a possible future. Which thus risks being always very similar to what already exists. Just as designers continually reinvent objects in form and function, giving themselves permission to think and look at something different than usual allows you to align the future with the different because energy always follows thought.

Is it imagination?

Foreshadowing is more than an imaginative process because, with the practice of silence, it brings out hidden inner resources that can lead us to achieve the best for ourselves.

Does awareness lead us to an optimization of energy?

Of course, we have to train our ability to let go of the superfluous to free up physical space. If yesterday reducing the number of windows served to be less cold, today we have glazed architectures that do not interrupt the relationship with the external space. We too can redesign ourselves to be functional to ourselves. But to understand what is no longer needed, we need to look at it from the right distance, because for each of us there is a different focus. If we freely shape our world we will more easily meet those of others. If, on the other hand, we conform to a pre-packaged design, tension is generated, people don't meet because they don't get involved.

Why does good self-design help you interact better with others?

If my inner project makes me smile the other feels it, develops empathy. Taking our distance also means that we must find the right position for us.

Being even just a minute in silence gives us access to our inner world, to our tools to design ourselves, to constantly search for our best condition to offer it to ourselves and to others. Nobody imposes it on us, but it suits us. It is not about being feel-good or altruistic, but temporarily selfish, because if we can take care of ourselves for a time, we will be able to be more true, happy and therefore also altruistic. Our authenticity will improve us and the world around us will improve.

What will be the benefit to others?

Any inner design needs an external technology to keep it alive, otherwise it will crumble, so it is essential to implement what I have designed, to experience the environment I have created. And here we come to the last phase of planning, which corresponds to doing. Research by Alan Schlechter, who teaches Science of Happiness at New York University, says that to help improve our inner world and that of the people around us, it is enough to do five acts of kindness once a week, without expecting a reward. Let's say once a day is even better. Paraphrasing what the Dalai Lama said: “As a young man I wanted to change the world, now that I am wise I want to change myself”, we can say to ourselves:“Now that I am wise I want to change the world, changing myself”.

What place does happiness have in our inner architecture?

It is the ability to celebrate, tell us that the change has happened and enjoy this event. We can be happy even before cashing in’  our actions, enjoying what we have planned by stepping in, not back. Happiness is an inner state of being, it does not depend on the results we produce, it does not come from outside. The question is not: “Why am I unhappy?”, but “What can I do to be unhappy?”. The answer is a design project.



Cover photo: NatureSauna by Starpool, the outdoor sauna designed by studio aledolci&co to create synergy with the environment. Over time, in fact, the brushed copper protecting the wood will oxidize differently depending on the climate and the wooden coating, exposed to atmospheric agents, will take on unrepeatable connotations. The Nature sauna is an oasis in which to perceive and benefit from the regenerating power of natural cycles, throughout the year and in any climate.