Most people in society are asleep. They are unconscious – living in autopilot mode, living in the past and in the future, but rarely, if ever, in the here and now. On top of that, to compound the issue, they feed their unconscious state with distractions, whilst at the same time the voice in their head (the ego) provides a constant running commentary of judgements, observations, and dramas based on the past and future projections. As a consequence, these people are not awake or living on purpose – they are living in a distracted, drama filled reactionary state rather than a present, empowering pro-active state.
It’s a pretty bold statement that I am making about society, I agree.
But think about it, how many of us leap out of bed and race around unconsciously getting ready for work? And then whilst commuting to work, plug into technology – the Blackberry, iPhone, Smartphone or headphones being our commuting companion. We then get to work and fill our days with meetings on top of meetings, conference calls on top of conference calls, and we add to the never ending To Do List caused by the “do more with less” work culture that society has embraced. Finally, after finishing work, we commute home, plug back into technology during our journey, and on arrival home, we distract ourselves again by surfing the internet, mindlessly scrolling social media or watching made up drama on TV via shows or the News.
Still not convinced that society is sleepwalking through life? Google how many hours the average person works and consumes media, and it will become obvious that we are working, scrolling, swiping and watching our precious lives away.
And we tell ourselves that this is living. That this is what life is.
It’s not. It is what unconscious living looks like.
To accept that this is what life is, means that we as a society have adopted a herd mentality. Rather than question the norm, we become a part of it, and we live a collective unconsciousness – a collective disempowerment.
Living in a distracted, unconscious state does not create happiness or a healthy society. Instead it produces disempowerment and helplessness – a feeling that life happens to you rather than for you. Think about it – how many times have you said or heard someone say, “One day I will” or “I want to” or “When I get”? These are all disempowering statements that suggest one does not have a sense of agency over their life - that in the future they will be/do/have but until then there is a ‘lacking in life’. And whilst we are waiting for the future to happen, we end up sleepwalking through life, living in a state of inertia – and with the incorrect assumption that we have an infinite amount of time to live.
So, what is the solution?
It’s a simple one really. The solution is to wake up and live in the NOW.
To become aware of every single moment of our lives. To get into the habit of constantly asking ourselves “Is what I am doing or thinking right now, helping me to live a meaningful life?”. And, if it’s not, then stop doing it or thinking about it. That is what having a sense of agency is about – controlling our own mind and actions and forgoing the herd mentality. Realising that just because it’s the way it is, doesn’t mean it’s the way it should be.
Now that you have read this, my question to you is this – are you truly awake? Are you in control of your own mind and what you put in it, or have you filled it with distractions, autopilot mode and incessant ego chatter? Are you living a life on purpose?
Not sure? Okay, here’s a simple test to determine the state of your mind:
Go grab a pen and paper.
Now for 5 minutes sit and think of nothing.
* * * *
I bet you couldn’t do it. Your mind chatted to you the whole time, right?
No judgement if it did – my mind was the same way until I got rid of the distractions and trained myself to think and act differently… however, in the interest of full disclosure, I still haven’t mastered this. It’s a work in progress, but at least I now have a conscious awareness of when I am falling back into unconscious living.
I am guessing this exercise may have woken you up to how distracted your thoughts are and how unconscious you may be living. My questions to you now are these…. What are you going to do about it? What are you going to do to get rid of the distractions, control your mind and regain your sense of agency?
What are you going to do to live a consciously aware life?