Do you find yourself going through the motions without being present during vast chunks of your life? Guess what? You’re performing on autopilot—and you’re not alone. A research study by Marks and Spencer uncovered: 96 percent of their participants admitted making decisions while on autopilot averaging 16 autopilot decisions a day.
Such a primordial mechanism may conserve time and energy to aid in alleviating brain burnout. However, it doesn’t allow you to breathe in new experiences or generate new ideas or place your feet on new territories or find joy in the unexpected moments of life.
A study by Daniel Gilbert offers additional evidence when he found 46.9 percent of participants are “mind wandering:” where people are not focused on the outside world or the task at hand instead they are looking into their own thoughts. And as the study brings to light, this activity doesn’t leave anyone experiencing happiness.
Why would you stay in this state when you can cultivate living in an alive frame-of-mind? If you’re ready to leap joyously into the middle of life:
Stop Coasting and Start Choosing: Too often you interact with your world on cruise control as you coast through life. Such mind drift has you performing life as though an actor who knowingly accepted the role of a tree with nary a line or even scripted to make a single move on stage. Is this the role you dreamed of achieving or would you prefer being an action character who is the hero of the story? It is your choice to be proactive or reactive within the storyline of your life.
Take The Needle Out Of The Grove: Everyday you drive to work at the same time and take the same route rarely paying attention to the sites you pass along the way. What a terrible start to a day… The only glorious today you’ll ever live. Shake up your habits. Get up early to sip coffee in the park or drive a more scenic, longer route to work or chew some bubble gum counting how many bubbles you can form on your way to work. You see moving from habit to intentionality shifts you out of autopilot, so your heart isn’t merely beating it’s singing the song of aliveness as well!
Design Your Future: The very act of fashioning your future draws you right out of the dull-drums of autopilot into the excitement of flow and creation. Produce the reality you desire in your mind’s eye, which, as the renowned Stephen Covey declared, is “first creation.” Everything you’re touching right now is “second creation.” You can’t get away from it; you’re always generating because life progresses on a continuum meaning the seeds you planted in the past have blossomed into your “today.” Determine how big a tomorrow you intend to create right now. And then, lean into your future taking one small step after another builds momentum bringing about a sustainable, fully realized, sensational life.
Notice Points of Gratitude: By appreciating and savoring each moment with gratitude, you will hold autopilot at bay. And it is a conscious decision you make to focus on the good as you fully experience the reality of your life rather than floating through it.
Become a stand for yourself because no one else can.