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Is Your Life What You Want It To Be?

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We only have one life to live. I think we'd all agree that we want to live a happy life, one that has meaning, and fulfills us. We want:

  • productive activity that challlenges us, engages our skills and teaches us new ones,
  • a life that is enriched by relationships and accomplishments with which we can be proud,
  • a life without regrets or worries,
  • to live our life fully,
  • to maximize our potential,
  • to produce a legacy that benefits those that will survive us and we can look back on with pride.

And we want to do all this while feeling healthy and safe.

How many of us succeed? Thats hard to say. We all know people who claim to have a life like this, and we certainly know people who will recount their regrets on request.

You might notice that having it all, all the time, may be impossible. Some of us might conjure up some old sayings like:

  • "You can't have your cake and eat it too."
  • "You can't always get what you want."

But how to do we make sure we get what we need when we need it most?

 

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Mindfulness

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Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, present-centered awareness in which each thought, feeling, or sensation that arises is acknowledged and accepted as it is. It is a skill that is learned by committed practice. The object is to focus one's attention on thoughts, feelings and events in the present moment while remaining curious, open, and accepting whatever occurs.

The idea is to take on the role of an observer of your own mind. Notice everything that happens without holding onto anything, having a "Teflon Mind". An important part of observing is putting words to the experience. The effect of naming the experience effectively separates you from it. Thoughts are just thoughts, feelings just feelings, all transient experiences that are not necessarily a part of or define who we are.

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How mindfulness meditation redefines pain, happiness & satisfaction | Dr. Kasim Al-Mashat |

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The mindful way through depression: Zindel Segal

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Self Awareness

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Self-awareness is one of the most important benefits we get from spending time in a mindful state. The longer we are able to stay mindful, the more we learn about our selves. We come to recognize the ebb and flow of our thoughts, moods, emotions and impulses. We begin to see relationships between our thoughts and feelings and external events.

One thing we notice is that our thoughts and feelings often contradict each other. Our emotional selves and our rational selves often have conflicting memories, perspectives, and motivations.

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Self Knowledge

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Self-knowledge is something we all strive towards. But how many of us have done a complete review of our emotions and how they influence our thoughts and behavior? Most people find that pretty hard to do, especially since they struggle to put their feelings into words. We talk about "will power" as the ultimate motivation. It might surprise you to find out that motivation is really emotion.

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Experience

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Experience is the greatest of all teachers. We have many opportunities to learn every day of our lives.  Everything we experience we learn from, especially those things that are particularly hard and/or emotional. Find things you can do to enhance your learning. Success can feel very rewarding, but what teaches us the most is the mistakes we make. What teaches us the most from mistakes is the loss we experience.

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Focus

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If you want to have focus you must have a plan. One of the most focusing experiences in my life was attending a weekend seminar on the The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey. Covey's Habit 2 is called "Begin with the End in Mind - Principles of Personal Leadership". As Covey sees it, to begin with the end in mind is to begin with the image of the end of your life as the frame of reference by which everything else is measured. The focus is on envisioning your legacy. What do you want your life to accomplish?

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