Mindfulness, what even is it? I’ve been thinking a lot about mindfulness since someone asked me these three questions;
What could you do each day which would make you substantially happier?
What could you do each day which would get you closer to your career goal?
Now you’ve identified those two things…why aren’t you doing them?
The third question is the one that makes you hold the phone. It’s normally quite easy to recognise what we want to be doing (though I’ve had plenty of times in life where I wasn’t even sure of which direction I wanted to go in, that seems to make the mindfulness a lot harder). It’s quite a lot harder to admit what it is which is getting in the way of what we want. Because ultimately it’s me. I am the reason, the procrastination, distraction and naysayer all wrapped up into one. For every action there is a battle in my mind between desire and goal. I want to stay in bed all day but I really want to be an amazing yoga instructor and all around good person. Doing yoga this morning is going to get me closer to my goals. Lying in bed is going to get me nowhere. So why do some days I get up and some days I’m still there now snuggled up with breaking bad?
Some days I give my mind a meaningful enough reason to get up. It’s about meaningful motivations not intellectual ones. You can tell me over and over and over that sugar is bad for me but until I have a meaningful personal reason not to eat that cake, I’m going to be choosing the cake. Every time. It’s not even my fault, it’s the way our brain works. You have an animal instinct desire center and a frontal reasoning center and they’re going to fight it out everyday. Have you supplied yourself with a good enough reason today?
Every ninety minutes we have a dip of energy. So that means you have to have some real will power or be well away from your distractions. If you don’t want to have a drink, then don’t have drink in the house – your mind can only fight for so long. Equally recognise that you need to surround yourself with people who have similar goals. Ninety minutes down the line you are going to waver and end up smashed and feeling pretty disappointing in yourself for dancing on that table.
Take home message; don’t feel bad about it when your short- term desires win out of those long-term goals. We’re all human. We aren’t perfect all the time and that’s what makes this human ride enjoyable. Beating yourself up about it creates a forbidden fruit, which is going to only eat you up eventually. Just be aware of what you actually want to achieve, write it down stick it on your wall so you see it every time you get up, attach meaningful reasons and enjoy the mindful days with the not so mindful ones!
Have you got any goals which your having a hard time putting in to action?
Helen – WAP