Being Proactively Aware
“Why do I often feel that I’m overwhelmed and out of control”? I get this question a lot! It can be said in different ways too. For instance, “I try to stick with a system, but I just do it for a few days and forget about it”, or “I try to pause three times each day to clear my mind and be aware of the moment, but I forget about it and finally say I’m not good at this and stop trying”. These comments sound like different issues, but they all relate to the same problem… reactive unawareness. This title sounds complicated, but I’ll try to explain it in a way that can be quickly understood.
The first thing to remember is that our natural, instinctive response to life is to allow what is happening around us to direct us through our day. Our natural human instincts always encourage us to be reactive. Our instincts are much better at reacting than planning. That’s because planning requires proactive thought, and proactive thought is the exact opposite of reactive thought. They’re like oil and water; they just don’t mix. That’s why our tendency is usually to avoid planning, and just go with what feels natural or normal. This is the biggest problem I face in helping clients grow to new levels in life. Our natural instincts will always encourage our “sameness” and sameness is always driven from reactive thought.
To keep everything in our lives the same, requires us to think from the memories of our past, which are stored away in our subconscious. We do not have conscious access to our subconscious. We can only reach this area of our mind through dreams or intentional directed thought, prayer, meditation or some type of transcendental event.
Most recent psychological research also shows that we can’t change our thoughts by trying harder or the use of discipline. Our subconscious, reactive thinking patterns are directed from our past. So, we continue our reactive thinking patterns which simply creates our future from memories of our past. With this understanding, it would then make sense that new growth could never be sustained by thoughts that are being derived from our past. New thoughts cannot be driven from a storehouse of old thoughts. To drive new thoughts, new behaviors and new growth, we must intentionally move from reactive unawareness into a consistent thought process of proactive awareness!
Awareness takes place when our current thoughts are completely in the present moment. Research has demonstrated that ninety percent of our daily thoughts are dedicated to the past or the future. We actually invest less than ten percent of our daily thoughts to the current moment, and we average somewhere between seventy to ninety thousand thoughts daily. The current moment is the only time where life can take place. So, it seems insane that we invest ninety percent of our lives in a past that is gone or a future that does not yet exist. To correct this habitual instinctive thinking process of living in the past or future, requires us to completely change our minds. We must move from reactive unawareness into a continuous mindset of proactive awareness.
A good question would be… “How do we do that”?
Time and space will only permit a suggestion of a simple, development process that is a great way to start, and it will only take three minutes daily. Here it is. Pause for approximately one minute three times each day. I suggest morning, noon and evening. Sit in a quite place with your back straight and feet on the floor. Close your eyes and think about nothing but your breath. I call this process “Centering” yourself. You are centering yourself intentionally in the present moment. Do this for month. This will be some of the hardest work you’ve ever done, but it is well worth the effort and can be life changing, if it becomes a habit.
This process teaches your brain to center in the present moment rather than the past or the future. “Centering” is a process being used by some of the top athletes and is a vital part of the Navy Seals training. I hope this is something that you will use, and make it a part of your life. It has been a part of my daily routine for the past four years. Good luck, always expect the best and never stop growing to new levels in life. See you next time
David Byrd is an author, coach, consultant, and a developer of personal growth behaviors in pursuit of Achievement. Founder and CEO of David Byrd Consulting, LLC, he is a master of effective leadership and works closely with leaders and their organizations worldwide utilizing a system of personal management and achievement called the Next Level Achievement System™. He is a best-selling author with four published books, a sought after speaker, and leadership development consultant.
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