Personal Development

Interview with Jamie Smart on Developing The Inner Self

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Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 1 of the Virtual Blog Tour of author Jamie Smart whose book Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results is celebrating its big Amazon launch March 12th through March 31st, 2013 at

JAMIE SMART is an internationally renowned writer, speaker, coach, trainer and consultant. Originally from Canada and now based in London, Jamie shows individuals and organizations the unexpected keys to clarity"”the ultimate leverage point for creating more time, better decisions and meaningful results. Jamie is a gifted speaker, equally engaging in front of large audiences and more intimate groups. He's passionate about helping individuals and businesses to deepen their understanding of Innate Thinking ® and to create the results that matter to them. In addition to working with a handful of coaching clients and leading selected corporate programmes, Jamie runs professional development workshops for business leaders, trainers, coaches and consultants. He has appeared on Sky TV and on the BBC, as well as in numerous publications.

jamie2013225Today, I'd like to share with you a recent interview I had with Jamie when I got to ask him some questions on developing the inner self. I hope you enjoy it.


Steve Aitchison: What components really make up the inner self?

Jamie Smart: To answer this question, it helps to start by asking "what components make up the outer self?" The outer self is "who we think we are" (aka the personality / ego / self-image etc). It is constructed of the habitual patterns of thought we've been generating and replaying for most of our lives. Some thoughts drift through our minds, but don't get a foothold. Other thoughts take up residence and stay with us for days, months and years. We give some of these habitual thought patterns labels, such as "self-concept", "habits" or "limiting beliefs". Some of them seem to us to be more "real", like they're part of "who we really are", while others don't seem real at all. There are a few things all of these thoughts have in common:

  • Every aspect of the personality ("who you think you are") is made up of thoughts.
  • Each one of these thoughts was once brand new; a fresh creation that you had never thought before.
  • None of these thoughts are real. They may be useful, relevant, and fit for purpose at a point in time, but they're never anything more than thoughts.

So if the outer self is constructed entirely from thoughts, what's the inner self?

The inner self, "who you really are", is made up of the principles behind innate thinking. It's the source of our thoughts, and our awareness of those thoughts. Innate thinking is our inborn capacity to have an experience of life – our ability to think, perceive and feel; our ability to sense, learn and grow. It has the following components:

  • THOUGHT – The reality principle. This is the innate ability to generate thoughts, an ability we all use every day.
  • CONSCIOUSNESS – The experience principle. This is our innate ability to have an experience of the thoughts we generate.
  • MIND – The power principle. This is the "innate intelligence" within each one of us. It shows up in all aspects of life, ranging from the workings of the immune system to our ability to learn. Whether you think of this as evolution, nature, life force or God, it's an extraordinary power.

The principles behind innate thinking are creating our experience of life. 100% of your felt experience is coming from your thinking, moment to moment. To quote clinical psychologist, Dr Keith Blevens, "You're always living in the feeling of your thinking."

Steve Aitchison: Is it possible to change our inner thoughts and beliefs at a core level?

Jamie Smart: Yes. Not only is it possible for our inner thoughts and beliefs to change, it's actually in their nature to change. Every single one of our inner thoughts / beliefs / personality structures was once a fresh, new thought. One minute you weren't thinking it, the next minute you were. Thoughts are inherently fleeting and ephemeral – that's why we need to write shopping lists! But when we believe our thoughts are real, we create habits of thinking. Those habitual thought patterns look like they're real ("That's just the way I am!") but they're not real. They're a mind-made illusion. I was doing a 3-day, one-to-one retreat with one of my clients recently, and I shared this metaphor:

Imagine taking a glass, filling it with fresh water from the kitchen tap and placing it on the counter. Next to it are dozens of other glasses of water. Some of them were poured last week, some last month, some last year and some 10 years ago. The glasses you poured yesterday have a few bubbles in them, while the 10-year-old glasses are stagnant and filled with green algae. But all the time, the tap is there, ready to deliver a glass of fresh new water.

You can think of each glass of water as a thought, while the tap is its source: THOUGHT, the reality principle. In any moment, we can look away from the glasses of water we've already poured, and turn our attention back to the tap. It's in the nature of thoughts to change; the only thing that stops them changing is our conviction that they're real, and the resulting tendency to keep focusing on them. The moment we turn our attention to where the thoughts come from, we're on-track for some fresh new thinking.

We've all had the experience of fresh new thought:

  • From the mundane (suddenly remembering where you left your keys)
  • To the creative leap (giving up on a thorny problem, then getting hit with the solution when you're doing something else)
  • To the profound (the moments of clarity / changes of heart that signal a new direction in your life)

These are all examples of your intuitive ability to stop focusing on the things you've already thought (the glasses) and allow yourself to look in the direction of where new thoughts come from (the tap).

Steve Aitchison: What one thing would you do today to see the quickest results in changing our lives?

Jamie Smart: Your biggest leverage point for getting results and changing your life in a positive way is your understanding of how life works. This sets the context for everything from the thoughts you think and the feelings you feel to the actions you take and the results you create. The epistemologist Gregory Bateson famously said that the biggest problems in the world come from the difference between how life works and the way people think. As a species, we're currently in the grip of a misunderstanding about how the mind works and where our experience of life comes from. The gap between how our experience works and how we think our experience works is the cause of most problems, limitations and suffering. The one thing that will get you the quickest most sustainable results is this: upgrade your understanding of how life works and how the mind works. The Innate Thinking ® model uses "implication-based learning" to create meaningful results and deep, sustainable change. As you deepen your understanding of innate thinking, you close the gap between how life works and how you think life works, resulting is increasing clarity and all the benefits that brings.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Jamie Smart and that you'll check out his book:



Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results

Buy the book between March 12th "“ 31st, 2013 and you will receive:

  • Access to a collection of dozens of Jamie's Clarity training videos, including many coaching demos, to help guide you to finding your own clarity
  • Free access to a special 1-day "Kickstart Your Clarity" event, which you can attend either in London OR on online via live stream from anywhere in the world.

If you happen to be reading this before the launch has started, you can register at that page for a "launch reminder". When you do, Jamie will give you 2 free chapters of the book along with access to his Clarity training videos. That way, you can get a feel for what the book is about before you buy. Then, Jamie will drop you an email as soon as the book is available on March 12th.

Thanks for reading! Please share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

AND"¦ be sure to follow Jamie tomorrow when the next stop on the Virtual Blog Tour is Maria Gamb, who will be interviewing Jamie on the deep drivers for leadership, entrepreneurial and business success. To visit that "stop" on the tour, go to

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.