Becoming more conscious will make you more successful in every area of life. That’s the theme I proposed in the first post of this series. This is an area that is vastly neglected by most people. They approach life on a day-to-day basis doing three things:
1. Following a set routine
2. Coping with challenges as they come up and
3. Fulfilling short-term desire
These three things fill everyone’s day is roughly the order listed. Routine dominates. Even the thoughts we have today are generally the same thoughts we had yesterday. Next come the everyday obligations and duties of life, punctuated by challenges, big or small. Last comes desire, which usually means eating when you’re hungry, looking for a little bonding with someone else, whether as love, companionship, or sex, and distracting yourself in order to wind down.
If your day follows this profile, there’s nothing bad going on (one hopes), but not much consciousness is involved. The hidden potential that doesn’t get expressed lacks in only one place: your awareness. As you open your awareness, life opens its possibilities at the same time. Routine is replaced by new input into the brain. There is less need for distraction. When the fulfillment of desire comes, it sinks deeper and gives you more satisfaction.
The way to start arises from what you want to achieve.
To escape the mindlessness of routine, you need to break your routine.
To keep daily challenges from overwhelming you, you need new coping mechanisms.
To fulfill more of your desires, you need a vision that includes those things that would truly fulfill your existence.
Stand back and consider these three things carefully, because that is how you bring awareness to a situation that is running on automatic pilot. Sit down with the following lists:
My Routine – Write down the parts of your daily that are the most boring, unsatisfying, and mechanical. Now think of three specific ways to improve those areas. The key here is inertia. Routines cramp your life by creeping in over time. Announce to yourself that you welcome something new and unknown. Then pursue it, no matter how small a change you might manage at first.
My coping skills – Look at how you deal with everyday challenges. Bad coping mechanisms range from denial and avoidance to rationalization, procrastination, blaming others, and digging in your heels. Good coping skills include taking responsibility, listening to others, asking for help, consulting wise advice, standing back and becoming objective, controlling emotional impulses, and making a sound plan to follow. Look at where you are weak in these areas and write down alternatives to your present coping pattern.
My desires – Write down what you want to achieve, not as a goal in your career, but for yourself as a person. You might want to be more loved and able to love, to be of service, to appreciate and be appreciated, to be rid of anxiety, to benefit everyone around you, to earn respect, or to become more spiritual. The key is to tune in to your core self. The core self is where deep fulfillment arises, not from distractions and momentary desires. Write down the qualities of the core self that you want to tune into: love, compassion, strength, truth, power, focused attention, wisdom, and so on. Make these your priority from today onward.
I’ve given you an overview only. In the next three posts I’ll discuss each of these areas in turn, since they give an opening for a more conscious lifestyle that can benefit everyone.