How is Your Awareness?

Consider this. Most of our thoughts and actions come from auto pilot. This means that many of the activities you do and the thoughts you have, are happening over and over again without you realizing it.  Think about driving to work. When you get in your car do you think about opening the door, sitting down, starting the ignition, fastening your seat belt, and putting the car in reverse or drive? For most, these actions are so automatic that you don’t have to think about it; and this same auto pilot process is happening with emotions, thoughts, and actions. When you get cut off in traffic is your reaction anger and the action yelling or pounding your fist on the steering wheel, or is it racing to catch up to the car and flip them off? Whatever you have done you probably have done many times and don’t really think about what you are doing you just react to the situation. So why does it matter? Well, Albert Einstein once stated that “problems can’t be solved with the same level of thinking that created the problem”.

In order to solve problems such as over-reacting to getting cut off in traffic we have to be able to respond instead of react. This takes being aware of what we think, how we feel, and how we act. When we act and do the same thing over and over it becomes an auto pilot reaction. The key is to become more aware of what we think, do, and say. According to Bill Harris author of The New Science of Super Awareness, we have about three choice categories. 1) Things we have no choice over, 2) things we can influence, and 3) things we could have a choice about.

We have no choice or control over other people, as hard as we may try to control someone else we will never have this control, so getting angry at the other driver will never give you control over the other driver. We have no control over mother-nature either so getting angry at a rain storm is literally useless. The things we do have a choice about is the life we want to create for ourselves; and this takes awareness. Bill Harris puts it like this, you have a choice about how you feel, how you behave, what you attract or become attracted to, and the meanings you assign to what happens. If we are always in auto-pilot doing the same thing and thinking the same thing then you are not aware enough to change the way you feel, behave, or think about situations.

Creating awareness about what you think, feel, and act can change your life.

It is not easy to pay attention and be self-aware but the outcome is incredible. So begin by paying attention to the little things you do every day such as, getting ready in the morning, getting in your car, eating a meal (actually taste the food you are eating), or doing the dishes. Once you realize that awareness can give you choices to how you feel, think, or act, you will not waste energy getting angry at other people you have no control over. You will respond by reminding yourself you have probably cut people off in traffic too and it wasn’t intentional. Being this aware in moments of frustration will give you freedom to change the outcome of your day. Practicing being aware everyday can reduce stress and give you more energy to focus on what matters in your life.

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