As noted before, in Stage Climbing, hooks are your thoughts, feelings, and/or behaviors that are characteristic of stages (other than your default stage, which is the stage that you tend to identify with currently) in a given life area. Hooks are anomalies to the way you normally function. And in order to be considered a hook, it needs to be identified with a specific stage.
Each time you’ve gained control over a problematic hook―and Stage Climbing will show you many ways to do that―you have not only solved a problem, but also broken a pattern. And to break a troubling pattern is to change your life!
Not all hooks are bad! We also have hooks to the higher stages, which give us a peek or feel for what life can be like as we climb to our higher stages. These hooks help us to propel ourselves higher, literally as would a hook at the end of the rope you are using to pull yourself up.
So think of a hook as merely a part of you that is uncharacteristically in a higher or lower stage— or as a departure—from your present default stage. Enjoy the hooks that benefit you and make a commitment to remove or at least neutralize the ones that don’t.
Your default stage, together with your hooks are the prime ingredients that determine your attitudes, beliefs, much of your behavior, and how you internally view your life.
In other words, at all times and with respect to any part of your life, you are operating from either your default stage or a hook to a stage higher or lower than your default. The effect that different hooks have on you can vary greatly.
As you recognize and become the master of your hooks, they simply become more choices. However, the range of the effect of your hooks can be anywhere from minimal to all-consuming. You can think of a hook as a drop of dark ink in a clear glass of water -coloring your life greatly. Or it can simply be an occasional thought that if ignored, does not have to affect any aspect of your life at all.
In reading about the stages in my Stage Climbing or previous blogs on this site, reflect carefully on yourself at each stage. Think of a part of you with hooks in a given stage, now or when you used to live life that way. Also, make it a point to recognize honestly and introspectively where you now are. As you will see, each stage has its benefits as well as its drawbacks.
Never, berate yourself regarding your lower-stage hooks. They are what they are for many reasons. Instead, acknowledge, accept, understand, and honor the reality that at any given time we are all doing the best we can. Then you are free to begin to make choices by asking yourself, “Is this where I want to be or is there something better?”