What’s the goal of life in today’s society ? Is it money, is it fame, is it freedom, is it bigger house and expensive car?
In ancient society’s none of that stuff mattered. The goal in life was to raise yourself to the highest level of consciousness possible. A higher level of consciousness simply means a greater degree of self-awareness and a greater degree of general awareness for “big picture” truth and reality in world around you. This leads to a greater level of overall happiness.
If you want to develop a greater understanding for reality, self-awareness,and happiness, then let’s dive in.
6 Ways To Know If You’re Living Consciously or Unconsciously ?
Here’s a reality check you can use to see whether you’re already living life consciously, or if you’re unconsciously falling victim, and just letting life “happen” to you.
- Are you in a job that fulfills you? Or are you in a job that you “fell into” which pays your bills but doesn’t bring you any real joy?
- Do you wish you could spend more time with the people you love most? We all do, but not just “spend more time” but do you feel like you “missing out on time” ?
- Are you repeatedly falling into poor relationships? Do you fall for the “same type” only to end up with the same result? Or are you attracted to the same type of friends that don’t really have your best interest at heart?
- Do You frequently feel like your life is out of control and things are “happening” to you? Do you feel victim to life as if you have no control over your destiny.
- Despite wanting to achieve a certain goal, do you constantly fall short. Maybe your actions don’t line up with your desires?
- Do you struggle with finances coming up short each month (most of us do) but you can’t figure out where your money is going ? How are you always short?
If any of these sound familiar, likely you could be living life less consciously, and more unconsciously than you want to be.
No matter what your situation in life is, someone somewhere has it worse off than you. Someone somewhere started life off lower than you, poorer than you, less fortunate than you. Some of those people will not make it through life successfully, but some of those people who truly started from the bottom (Drake did not start from the bottom) and through hard work and good decisions will propel far in life to great levels of conscious happiness.
You can too.
Tools You Can Use To Live A More Conscious Life
1. Practice Yoga
Not to sound too “cliche’” or “trendy” but yoga is an obvious ‘almost must’ when it comes to living a truly conscious life. I didn’t start yoga until I was in my late 20’s (a few years ago) because I thought it was “dumb”. LOL
Now fast-forward a few years, and I can noticeably feel a difference with improved awareness in my body, and an deeper ability for self-reflection and emotional processing.
“I always start with wondering if yoga is a good use of time, and I never leave disappointed.”
Here’s an article I wrote about my experience with yoga.
One of the best techniques for developing conscious self-awareness is meditation. When you meditate correctly it requires a deep focus and deep thinking to gain a deeper understanding.
With deep thought, comes a deeper understanding, and with a deeper understanding, comes a higher level of consciousness.
3. Practice Conscious Thinking (Mindfulness)
Not to be confused with meditation, “Mindfulness” is when you practice controlling your thoughts. In addition to controlling your thoughts, mindfulness requires you to be ‘present’-in-the-moment with-out any interrupting thoughts.
Practicing mindfulness gives YOU conscious control of ALL your thoughts.
4. Integration of “Power Sessions”
Part of living life consciously on your “own terms” is incorporating goals into your life. But sometimes, in order to hit goals at high levels it requires sacrifice.
“Power sessions” are a great way to block out “productive time” (as opposed to relaxation time) to hammer away at a task that needs completing ‘come hell or high water’.
Completing a power session is a great way to feel good about yourself and make conscious progress on personal or professional development.
5. Don’t Fight Boredom
Being bored tells us something. What does being bored tell us? Being “bored” tells us that we have an internal decision to make.
How should I spend my time right now?
Don’t automatically just distract yourself by scrolling on your phone when your bored, or by turning on Netflix, or going on ‘auto-pilot’ and watching TV. Every-time you’re bored, ask yourself how you want to be spending your time.
If you’re conscious about boredom then let boredom soak in, then you can be more aware and consciously choose how you spend your time.
6. Let Go of the Stuff and the Feelings That Don’t Make a Difference
Have you seen the TV show “Horders”? That’s an extreme example of what happens when you don’t let go of stuff that doesn’t make a difference.
But letting go of feeling that don’t make a difference can also have a huge negative impact on your sub-conscious emotional burden.
7. Welcome Discomfort and Fear
It was famously said in 1857 by Frederick Douglass that
“IF THERE IS NO STRUGGLE, THERE IS NO PROGRESS”
While, if there’s no discomfort and no fear, then there’s no struggle.
8. Take The Mindset of Traveling to Transform Not to Escape.
One of my all-time favorite travelers was the late Anthony Bourdain. Unfortunately, Anthony used travel as a means of escaping reality. Instead of dealing with inner struggles, many people use traveling as a means of escaping their problems.
Dealing with internal problems is often the only escape.
Traveling to experience a new perspective and experience to deepen your personal enrichment is a must at some point in your life.
9. Try Listening Better
Sometimes we all just want to be heard. But all too often we forget to listen. If you think you listen, you can still listen better.
A few years ago I met a Tibetan Rinpoche (Buddhist elder) who took a 3 year vow of silence in order to improve his listening and understanding for the world.
10 Schedule to Spend Your Time Wisely
Consciously spending your time efficiently is very difficult. There’s so many distractions plus most people are OK with wasting their time being less happy than they could be.
Making a schedule a part of your routine is the way to go, because nothing ever goes to plan, but with a schedule to keep track of progress you can reassess goals every week.
Scheduling is a huge part of being consciously aware of the value of your time, and how you spend it.
11. Make ‘Reflecting On Your Life’ a Part of Your Routine
The only way you ever learned to walk is by falling, making a small change, and trying again. After a few hundred attempts, you’ve made enough adjustments to balance.
Reflecting is so important, because with-out looking back, you have no idea what adjustments to make in order to move forward
12. Consider the “Real Costs” of Your Purchases
When you go to buy a new pair of shoes were they $90 or were they 3 hours of your time? Or were they 50 hours of sweat shop labor?
Just thinking in terms of $$ dollars can lead you to missing the bigger picture.
13. Embrace The Truth, Even If It Is Bitter
Making to an effort to be more conscious in your life can lead to self-discoveries and harsh truths, some of which may not be all that flattering (or easy to accept).
At the end of the day, truth is truth, and if you’re consciously self-aware, once you see truth, then you can’t unsee it.
14. Focus Your Attention, Stop Being Distracted
Today the average human attention span in 8 seconds, and 80% of people only read the headlines.
Focus is harder to come by today that it ever has been. Focus takes a conscious effort. Recognize and eliminate your distractions during times when you need to focus (like if your in a “Power Session” or cranking something out at work.
15. Be Aware of Your Eating Habits
1-3 Americans are overweight. And 1-10 have diabetes. 1-5 Americans have an anxiety disorder. Anyone with anxiety has probably “anxiety eaten” before.
If you like to snack or overeat, try, and reflect on why you like to eat? Do you feel anxious when you eat? What does not-eating feel like? Is your eating tied to an emotion
I have never gone to this extreme myself, (and you can say what you will about the vegan community being annoying) But the Vegan community is certainly a great example of conscious eating habits.
16. Drink Consciously
I’ve had my share of “rough mornings” from a night out drinking in my early 20’s (and still ever so now ang again) but I’m always aware of drinking consciously and responsibility.
I’m not saying count every drink, but understand your intent when drinking, your surroundings & environment and your immediate responsibilities (if any).
Do you know why your drinking? Are you drinking because you want to? Did you think about drinking or are you drinking because you always do? Did you drink more than you meant to? Why ?
If you don’t always drink consciously you might find comfort in the truth by asking yourself the deep questions that need to be asked and coming to terms with the deep truths that you probably don’t want to admit to.
17. Watching TV Consciously
Do you know many hours of TV you watch every week on average?
The average American spends 28 hours in front of the TV every week. Most people aren’t consciously aware that they spend that much time on front of their TV.
New studies have found that the average human being can learn any new skill and be noticeably good at it with just 20 hours of practice. Josh Kaufman has a book and a TED talk where he goes into great detail about the 20 hour rule.
That’s 1 new skill a week for the price of the average American TV consumer. Don’t forgt to choose your TV time wisely.
18. Read (and not just headlines like most people)
Reading is one of the best ways to live a more conscious life. Living life consciously is all about coming to a deeper level of understanding and happiness in life.
By reading you’re taking in other peoples words, other peoples wisdom, information, and new perspectives. Reading expands your understanding, especially if you read works by people who you know are positive influences with broad perspectives.
Conclusion: Common Struggles of Changing Daily Habits (You’re Not Alone)
Implementing any of the tips outlined above is unfortunately doubtful for most readers. Changing daily habits is hard. If you want to make a change in your life it needs to be a conscious effort.
You’ll likely slip up and make mistakes, you’ll drink too much, or say something offensive, or say something dumb, you’ll feel lost in life, or maybe that life is pointless, all of that is common when you’re struggling to change something.
Forgive yourself for the mistake and keep moving forward with your progress.
Change doesn’t have to be strenuous, but it might be a little difficult in the start. Journaling and scheduling are both great ways to consciously keep on track for living your life more consciously, on your terms.
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